Differences to Consider When Buying Laminate or Hardwood Floors

July 5th, 2016
Tony Samic

Laminate vs Hardwood FlooringThere are many things to consider when you decide to install new flooring. A common dilemma is to choose between the laminate and hardwood floors. Both of them are suitable for households that have naughty family members such as kids and pets as they are easy to clean and maintain.

However, there are significant differences in terms of installation areas and particular features that each type of flooring has. Below you will find a comparison between these two – if you still can`t make your decision at least you will be more informed.

  • To begin with, you should distinguish what is your family’s lifestyle. As we mentioned, little children and pets should be taken into account when deciding what flooring to install. If you want a cosy and comfortable floor underfoot you can’t go wrong with wood floor. However, you should also consider the foot traffic – prefinished wood flooring will be perfect for a house with little feet running around but laminate also has some good properties in a matter of durability. The technology used for the application of the coating is done in a factory and using high-tech materials. This means that if you have to compare prefinished wood floor and laminate floor the favours are even.

  • Second of all, decide what kind of maintenance you can provide. If you rely on a reputable flooring contractor, the first thing that they will tell you, beside from choosing what is aesthetically pleasing, is to consider the maintenance you will be capable of performing. Unfortunately, there is no such a floor that requires zero maintenance – no matter if you choose laminate or hardwood, you will have to add sweeping and vacuuming on your cleaning list. You should know that laminate is more tolerant to neglecting the regular cleaning as it has endurable surface protection. However, you can’t miss sweeping it as the grit will result in damaging the finish.

  • The next thing to consider is the room in which you are installing the floor. Don’t forget that laminate and wood may look similar but their features differ. There is a certain type of laminate that can be installed in humid areas such as bathrooms. Always check the manufacturer’s recommendations and as sometimes warranty doesn’t cover that. Speaking of wood, things are different – you can`t install it in a wet room as it is not durable and shrinks and swells will appear.

  • Many people point out as the biggest difference the price. When you are choosing a flooring solution, you should definitely visit some flooring shops in your area – being well-informed means making smart decisions. When speaking of wood flooring, you should expect the installation to a significant amount, close to the price of the materials itself. Of course, this depends on the local rates but be prepared. Laminate floors cost less compared to wood floors but an underlayment may be needed which means additional expenses. Don`t be among the people that think that when they want new flooring, they only should estimate the costs of the material and the installation. Some procedures such as product delivery, removal of existing flooring and finishing moldings and trims should be estimated, too. The good news is that there is laminate flooring that can be installed by yourself so you can save the expense of installation.

  • The floor life is something that many buyers underrate. When you compare the price of hardwood and laminate flooring, you can easily go for the cheaper option. However, in perfect condition and constant maintenance, your laminate flooring can last about 30 years. When we are talking about wood floors, they can easily last a lifetime. A suitable maintenance is required as wear and tear occur inevitably. However, as laminate floor can`t be refinished, once they are damaged they have to be replaced. On the other hand, hardwood flooring can be revived by refinishing and sanding about 10 times during its life.

  • Think about the resale value of the floor that you are installing. If you are considering to sell your home, you should know that hardwood floor is always preferred by the potential buyers. Laminate may have the good looks and resemble the looks of genuine wood but you can`t expect the price to the one and the same compared to wood flooring – installing the latter is a considerable investment.

To conclude, comparing laminate and hardwood floors is a common exercise when you are installing new flooring. Hardwood floor provides unique cosiness and warm touch to any property – you can never go wrong installing this natural material. Of course, you have to be ready to pay its price and provide a good regular maintenance. Laminate flooring, on the other hand, has its own features – unbeatable durability, versatility in styles and colours and relatively inexpensive price and maintenance. Make up your mind and decide which is the one that will serve you best!

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