Hardwood vs. Laminate

When it comes to the flooring in your home, you are bombarded with multiple decisions. You can choose from tile, laminate, carpet and hardwood, and each of these items comes in many different styles, colors and textures, making the decision that much harder.

If you like the look of hardwood, you are now faced with the decision to choose either hardwood or laminate. Many people face this question everyday, and in order for you to make the right decision, you need to have a full understanding of the pros and cons of each.

Durability

Not only does the floor throughout your home have to incorporate the look and style you want, it also has to withstand the the normal activity and wear and tear of your family. The durability of your floor has a large bearing on the type of maintenance it will require and the ROI you’ll get out of it.

Laminate is made from pressed wood, so it tends to be more durable than hardwood floors, and it can resist scratching and moisture better. It is also much easier to clean. However, laminate is not real wood, so it will not look as good as real hardwood floors, and depending on how cheap you go, it could end up looking very artificial.

Hardwood floors are much more attractive and will have a better resale value for your home. They do scratch more easily than laminate, and may not be good for homes that have pets with long nails. If you have excessive moisture in your home, your hardwood floors will be completely damaged and will need to be replaced.

Maintenance

The floors in your home take a large beating. They are constantly being used, they are always holding up furniture, and they experience spills and have items dropped on them on multiple occasions. At one time or another, the floors in your home are going to need some maintenance.

Laminate flooring is not easy to replace. Though most laminate flooring is simply snapped together, replacing one slat requires you to remove the entire floor and reassemble. Plus, depending on the normal wear and tear and the natural light that flows into your room, the color may not match.

Hardwood will last much longer than laminate because it can be easily repaired. If you don’t like the color of your floor after a few years, you can sand and restain the floor to a new color. If you have one or two slats that are damaged, you can also try to sand out the scratches and re-stain them to match, or you can use a saw  to cut out the damaged slat and replace it with a new one.

Price

Price is probably the most important factor in the type of floor you choose. The difference in price between the two vary, and you’ll have to stick with the option you can afford.

Laminate is much cheaper than hardwood because it is made from composite wood instead of natural wood. The hardwood finish is then pressed onto the composite wood in order to look like real wood. Along with the cost of material, the installation fees for laminate are much less than those of hardwood.

Hardwood floors are made from real wood from real trees. The price is much higher per square foot than laminate, and depending on how exotic the wood you choose is, the higher the price you’ll pay.

When it comes to choosing the right floor for your home, you need to consider the type of wear and tear you’ll place on it, the price and the repair costs. Having a good understanding of what you need and want will help influence your decision.

Stella Brown lives in Dallas and likes to do home design.  She recently replaced her counters with brand new tempe tile countertops.

Photo credit: mikee414

2 thoughts on “Hardwood vs. Laminate”

  1. Thanks for this! This post is really helpful in choosing the right flooring for your house. My sister is planning renovations for the flooring of their house. They can’t decide what to use! I think they’ll go for the hardwood based on what you’ve pointed out in here. I’ll definitely share this with her!

  2. Choosing the right flooring is very important in the overall look of your house. Not to mention that it should be durable and could last for years. You have shared very good points here. Those three main points should be considered in choosing the flooring. I prefer hardwood, though might be costly than laminate, it’ll last longer and easier to maintain.

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