Cheap Laminate Flooring Options & How to Cut Cost on Installation

Cheap laminate flooring is a top seller for refreshing any space on a budget.

Affordable laminate is great for sprucing up a home to sell or for use in part-time locations where lower cost is important.

This cheap laminate flooring options guide is your one-stop research spot for:

Cheap Laminate Flooring Brands and Options

Talk is cheap – Let’s get to the actual low-cost laminate and where to find it.

The best cheap laminate brands are:

  • Dream Home
  • TrafficMaster
  • Tarkett
  • Quick-Step NatureTEK
  • Lamton

Here are the best cheap laminate brands, their costs and where to buy them, all rolled into one section.

Then we’ll move on to saving money whether you install it yourself or hire a pro.

1. Dream Home

In our opinion, this is the first cheap laminate flooring to consider. It is well made and really cheap in terms of cost.

That combination is our definition of good value. We’re talking about the standard Dream Home line, not Dream Home XD or X20.

Features:

Woods include common domestics like oak and hickory plus exotics like Brazilian cherry and African rosewood. Browse the full spectrum of colors from white-washed light to deep browns and charcoals.

There are styles for every home: Rustic, Old World, beach house, traditional, modern, contemporary and more.

Some of the laminates have pad attached, a feature with a value of about 30 cents per square foot. Attached pad also saves a step during installation.

Thicknesses are 7, 8, 10 and 12 millimeters.

The most affordable Dream Home has a 10-year residential warranty.

The slightly more costly stuff has a 30-year warranty.

Dream Home Laminate Cost:

The flooring with a 10-year warranty costs $0.59 to $1.15 per square foot. The longer warranty is on Dream Home laminate flooring that starts at $1.49 per square foot – the upper limit of what we consider cheap laminate.

Where to Buy:

Dream Home is sold exclusively at Lumber Liquidators. Shop online or at one of the brand’s 400+ local stores. Lumber Liquidators can sell it so affordably because they also make the flooring – there is no middleman getting a cut of the profit.

2. TrafficMaster

This brand is sold "exclusively" at Home Depot – though a few stray boxes show up on eBay and from outside sellers on Amazon.

Shaw makes TrafficMaster for Home Depot, so the quality is decent.

Features and Options:

Selection is quite good.

In the cheap price range, your options include traditional wood looks, smooth surfaces, handscraped – not usually found in cheap laminate – and embossed. The embossed laminate has raised woodgrain for a nicely textured feel.

Thicknesses of 7mm and 8mm are available, and you might consider adding a nice foam pad to make the floor softer and feel more substantial.

A good range of colors, wood species and styles from rustic to modern are offered.

The warranty is 15 years for residential use. There is no commercial warranty.

TrafficMaster Laminate Cost:

TrafficMaster laminate flooring at Home Depot ranges from $0.68 (68 cents) to $1.49 per square foot. Costlier options are available, but if you're sticking with cheap, that's what you'll find.

Where to Buy:

Shop at your local Home Depot or browse online at HomeDepot.com.

3. Tarkett

Tarkett sells laminate in cheap, midrange and more expensive versions.

There’s a decent selection of affordable laminate flooring choices from Tarkett.

Features:

The least expensive Tarkett flooring is made in rustic, traditional and contemporary styles.

That means you’ll find at least a few good options for your home’s architectural style and your decorating plans.

Mostly domestic wood species are used – Oak, walnut, pine, et.

The 25-year residential warranty on some cheap Tarkett is better than TrafficMaster. In fact, it is one of the best available on affordable laminate flooring.

Tarkett Laminate Cost:

The price range for the cheaper options is $0.99 to $1.65 per square foot.

Where to Buy:

You have two options: Menards and independent floor stores.

The most affordable Tarkett laminate is sold exclusively at Menards. It starts at 99 cents per square foot and tops out at $1.19.

No other major home improvement chain carries Tarkett.

The other places to find it are online and local flooring stores. For example, online try Carpet Wholesale and FastFloors.

4. Quick-Step NatureTEK

NatureTEK is one of three lines from Quick-Step, and it’s the most affordable laminate flooring the brand offers.

Features:

Choose from a nice selection of oak, maple, chestnut, hickory and more domestic species. Brazilian cherry and a few other exotics are available too.

Lights, mediums and darks are produced, so you’ll find the right color for the rest of your décor.

Styles are called Natural Authentic and Textured, which gives the flooring wood graining you can really feel.

This is wide-plank laminate flooring with plans of 7.5” and 8”, so it’s a very handsome look.

The 20-year warranty is about average for flooring in this price range.

Cost:

NatureTEK from Quick Step starts at $1.39 per square foot. Some cost more, placing them in the midrange of cost.

Where to Buy:

NatureTEK is sold mostly at independent flooring stores. We found a good selection of more than 60 options at Best Laminate including the cheap NatureTEK.

5. Lamton

This brand doesn’t get a lot of publicity, but it is well made and pretty durable for cheap laminate flooring.

Features:

Lamton is available in about 30 styles from very light to rich and dark.

Most are named after wood species like Ash Brown and Pewter Oak, but some aren’t – Sand Gray and Honey Brown, for example. Both domestic and exotic (Siberian Tigerwood, e.g.) are used for the photographic layer.

The warranty is an impressive 30 years for residential use. There is no commercial warranty. The AC3 rating is standard for laminate in this range.

Cost:

$0.89 to $1.49 per square foot – a perfect cost range for affordable laminate floors.

Where to Buy:

The best place to buy Lamton laminate flooring is online at Build Direct. We found close to 40 styles there.

We also located some at Wayfair, a site we identify in our Laminate Cost Guide as one of the best places to buy laminate online.

Cut Cost with DIY Laminate Flooring Installation

If you really want to save on cost, install the laminate yourself. It can be done, as homeowners prove every day.

In our Complete Cost Guide, we’ve outlined what it takes – the Easy and Hard of DIY laminate installation.

Here are just a few tips for doing it yourself.

  • Measure carefully and add 10% for trimming, waste and to have some left over for potential future repairs.
  • Watch video tutorials from the manufacturer of the laminate you choose – not all laminate installs exactly the same.
  • Gather tools and supplies ahead of time, so when it’s time to install, you won’t have to interrupt the work with trips to the store.
  • Read the written instructions, and follow them exactly for best results.
  • Enlist a friend with laminate installation experience, if you’ve never done it before.
  • Consider starting in a room guests don’t see – the laundry or a storage area – to get the hang of it before doing the kitchen or living room.

Save Money on Pro Installation  

No time or inclination for DIY installation? No problem.

You can save costs by getting estimates from multiple flooring installers where you live. Again, in our Cost Guide we outline how to do this. There’s a long way and a quick way.

The long option is to make a list of possible installers, research their websites to learn about their experience and expertise. Make a bunch of phone calls and interview a handful of companies.

Or, take a convenient shortcut and get written estimates from pre-screened, licensed and experience installers in your area.

To save time, use the Free Flooring Estimate options on this page. The installers know they are competing for your job!

There is no cost to you, and you are never obligated to use one of the estimates. Feel free to look at Google Reviews and the Better Business Bureau (and similar sites) before hiring anyone. In fact, we encourage it as the best way to find a quality installer at a fair price.