Hardwood Vs. Laminate:  Which Flooring Should You Choose?

Hardwood Vs. Laminate: Which Flooring Should You Choose?

Years ago, if you had the money to consider both laminate and hardwood flooring, the choice would have been a no brainer. Now laminate flooring can give even premium hardwood a run for its money. Though deciding which type of flooring is best for you and your lifestyle depends on a variety of factors. In this article we’ll look at the advantages and disadvantages of each type of flooring to help make your decision clearer.

Advantages of Hardwood Flooring

1. Hardwood is the real deal; clean and allergy free

Hardwood floors are an actual authentic wood, offering their own unique sense of style; whether you choose oak, hickory, cherry, or walnut. It  will give your home a classic, warm, luxurious feel that is hard to imitate.

2. Hardwood has staying power and longevity

If you’re looking for flooring to last generations when properly taken care of, then hardwood if your best selection.  It’s resilience to stains and spills makes it a great long-term investment.

3. Hardwood is easy to clean

Cleaning hardwood is as easy as vacuuming up any accumulated dust or debris and moping with a damp/dry mop.  With wood. there’s no concern of dust mites accumulation in grooves or grout.  When doing a deeper clean it’s important to use hardwood cleaners; preferably manufacturer recommended ones.

4. Hardwood can be refinished to look as good as new

True to form, a hardwood floor does not need to be torn out and completely replaced. Though some prefer the charm of a worn hardwood floor, if need be a wood floor can be sanded down and refinished for that “new” desired look.

Disadvantages of Hardwood Flooring

For all of its advantages, people with an active lifestyle where wearability is desired should probably NOT opt for hardwood.  One of the greatest disadvantages is woods poor wear-ability.  Hardwood easily dents and is prone to scratches and scuffs, making it unsuitable in high traffic areas, especially if you have pets or children.

A second element to consider is the moisture factor.   Hardwood is a “breathing” material that responds to fluctuations in humidity and temperature.  If your home is in an area with large fluctuations in either, you may want to reconsider installing this flooring option.  For this very reason, hardwood is also not the best choice for bathrooms or kitchens, which are prone to seeing water and humdity.

A third disadvantage to hardwood is discoloration from prolonged exposure from the sun.  Installing in areas such as a sunroom could have coloring effects, either lighten or darken the flooring depending on the wood.

 

 Advantages of Laminate Flooring

1. Durability! Durability! Durability!

Laminate floors are scratch resistant, dent resistant and stain resistant; it’s like the “formica” benefits for your floor. A perfect choice for those with pets.

 

2. Laminate floors provide a natural vibe for less cost

Laminate flooring is typically less expensive than hardwood, while still offering the look of hardwood flooring. Where you really save money is with the installation. Laminates are an easy ‘do it yourself’ project while hardwoods is generally installed by a professional.

 

3. Laminate is easy to maintain and clean

Unlike its counterpart (hardwood), laminate does not have any maintenance. Its resistance to moisture makes it easy to clean and ideal for bathroom and kitchen installations.

 

Disadvantages of Laminate

As with any flooring material, Laminate comes with it’s own set of disadvantages.  Though it is almost impervious to dents, scratches, and scuffs, if the laminate flooring does get a deep cut you’ll be looking at a replacement it a repair?

Laminate is also not known for its Longevity.  The lifespan of laminate is shorter than that of hardwood;  estimating that the average laminate will be wore down and have to be replaced after 20 years.  Combine this with a perceived negative resale value, the short term savings of laminate installation may not outweigh the long term gains of going with the hardwood option.

All facts aside, if you’ve narrowed your options down to laminate and hardwood, the decision will ultimately rest on which flooring is personally most appealing to both your pocketbook and lifestyle. Both options come in a variety of shapes, sizes and colors sure to fulfill your desired style.

If you consider your options carefully and weigh the pros and cons of both hardwood and laminate, you’ll end up choosing the flooring that’s best for you and your home

If you’re interested in getting more information on which flooring is right for you or a free quote on a floor installation click here.