The floor of a house is one of its defining characteristics. Hardwood flooring remains one of the most popular choices, as it is a naturally attractive, beautiful, and timeless material. While older, more traditional homes often have the original wood floors still in place, many newer homes use laminate. What is laminate flooring? It is faux wood that creates a natural look similar to wood but at a lower price.
Need help choosing between hardwood and laminate flooring? Take our nine-question quiz to help you decide.
Hardwood Y laminate flooring the pros and cons leave you with several facets to consider. Sure, when you compare the cost of laminate to that of hardwood, laminate is usually the most affordable option. But you also need to consider durability, repair, and the type of room the flooring will be in. This article will compare some of the factors of laminate versus hardwood and help you decide which one is best for your home:
Laminate vs hardwood appearance
PROS – Hardwood floors have a beautiful, natural texture that creates appeal to many homeowners. You can choose from different types of wood, stains, and finishes that create a myriad of options.
CONS: Hardwood floors can easily be scratched if not properly maintained. Also, some types of hardwood floors can discolor if exposed to the sun for long periods of time.
ADVANTAGES: Laminate floors don’t scratch as easily as hardwood floors, so their appearance won’t change as much over time.
CONS: Laminate flooring is synthetic, and while its design often copies the look of wood, it doesn’t look as genuine.
Best for appearance: hardwood floors
Cost of laminate vs. hardwood
The reality of apartment costs and what you can afford can be miles away. Take into account the cost of laminate and wood flooring to determine what is best for you.
CONS – Solid wood flooring it can cost between $ 5 and $ 10 per square foot, including installation. But keep in mind that hardwood floors are made from felled trees; the price depends on the type of wood you choose. In general, buying and installing hardwood is considerably more expensive.
PROS – Laminate wood floors are made from high temperature pressed composite wood. The hardwood image is then placed over the composite wood, covering it to form the laminate. Not only are the materials themselves cheaper, but the cost of installing laminated wood is, on average, 50 percent less than installing hardwood.
Laminate flooring it can cost between $ 3 and $ 7 per square foot, including installation. Again, exact prices will vary based on the types of materials used and the size of your home.
Best price: laminate flooring
Durability of laminate versus hardwood
Assess your home’s traffic load and floor wear. A more durable surface is easier to maintain and will look great for years to come. But how durable is laminate flooring compared to hardwood?
PROS – Hardwood is the real deal; it is beautiful and depending on the type of wood it can add considerable value to your home.
CONS – Hardwood is susceptible to scratching, can be damaged by excessive moisture, and will show wear, especially in high traffic areas.
ADVANTAGES: Since the laminate is made of hardboard, it is more durable and resistant to scratches, moisture and wear. Laminate floors are also easier to clean.
CONS: Although laminate is more durable, it is not as visually appealing. Lower grades of laminate can have artificial looking wood grain textures.
Best for durability: laminate flooring
Laminate versus hardwood repair
The floor in your home will generally need repairs at some point. From minor accidents to excessive wear and tear, laminate and hardwood have both advantages and disadvantages.
PROS – Hardwood can be repaired by sanding imperfections and repainting. This gives you the advantage over laminate as it will last for years.
CONS – Laminate flooring does not repair easily. If you buy flooring that comes in individual pieces and fits together, you may be able to replace the individual boards, although depending on sunlight and age, the new piece may not match properly.
Best to repair: hardwood floors
Best Rooms for Hardwood vs. Laminate Floors
In addition to price, durability, and repair, you should also consider the best (and worst) places in the house for both types of flooring.
Hardwood floors are beautiful and quite durable, especially in low-traffic rooms like bedrooms and dining rooms. But, if you have pets or heavy foot traffic, your hardwood floors can show scuffs and wear over time. Basements and high humidity bathrooms are also not good places for hardwood floors. On the other hand, continuous sunlight can also fade your hardwood floor over time.
Because laminate flooring is so durable, it is less susceptible to wear and tear from pets and foot traffic. While it resists moisture better than hardwood, it shouldn’t be in an area of the home that gets regularly wet. Due to their top layer, laminate floors generally do not fade from sunlight as quickly and noticeably as hardwood floors and can be used safely in rooms with large windows.
The bottom line
Both wood and laminate floors have their advantages and disadvantages. Hardwood comes at a higher price, but they are easier to repair and last longer than laminate. The advantages and disadvantages of laminate flooring include that it doesn’t fade or scratch as easily as wood, but repairs can involve remodeling the entire floor. To decide which option is best for your home, weigh the pros and cons of each and consider your lifestyle. Having pets, small children, or high traffic areas can influence your decision.
Can you tell the difference between laminate or hardwood?
Yes, but it may not always be obvious at first glance. Laminate floors often have a repeating pattern, and hardwoods show discoloration and scratches more easily.
How much more expensive is hardwood than laminate?
Laminate and hardwood installation costs vary greatly depending on the type of each, but on average, hardwood is about two to three times more expensive than laminate.
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