Hardwood vs. Laminate Flooring

Monday June 02, 2008
Article Word Count:553 Comments (10) Permalink

The hardwood vs laminate flooring debate is fueled by a number of factors including cost, installation and durability. If you don't want to spend a bundle but want the look of hardwood, laminate may be just the ticket. When it comes to appearance, it's often difficult to tell the difference between real hardwood floors and those that are of the laminate or engineered variety. With all the advancements in the world of laminate, flooring that isn’t 100 percent wood can sometimes look like it came right from a 100-year-old oak tree.

What are the differences between hardwood and laminate flooring? How can you tell which type of flooring is the best fit for your home and budget? Below are bullets that highlight the pros and cons of hardwood and laminate flooring:

  • Opening your wallet – The biggest difference in real hardwood flooring and laminate flooring can be found in the cost. Basic oak strip flooring averages around $11.50 a square foot installed. Laminate flooring can be installed for as little as $7 per square foot. The more precious the hardwood, the higher the cost. Laminate floors do vary in the type of finish, but it is all composite wood that is pressed together and covered with a photographic image of hardwood. The cost remains relatively the same no matter what type of laminate flooring finish you choose.
  • Ease of installation – Most laminate flooring comes with tongue-and-groove edges which allow the planks to snap together. There is no need for glues or other adhesives with laminate, and it can be installed over almost any type of sub-flooring. Hardwood flooring is much more difficult to install and involves strong glues and adhesives. Installing hardwood floors also requires much more cutting and carpentry skills than installing laminate flooring.
  • Durability – Hardwood floors are often more visually appealing than laminate, but they also are much more vulnerable to a home’s wear and tear. Laminate flooring is more scratch, stain and moisture resistant, and is easier to clean and maintain than hardwood. When and if damage to hardwood or laminate floors does occur, there is also a vast difference in how easy it is to repair them. Laminate is difficult to repair because the flooring cannot be sanded and re-stained. Hardwood floors can be sanded and refinished.
  • Light: A friend or an enemy? – Everyone likes to have that warm spring or fall sun dancing through the windows of their home. Is that sun a friend or an enemy to your floors? That all depends on what type of floors you have. Hardwood floors don’t want anything to do with extended direct sunlight. Laminate floors, however, are UV-protected and will resist fading for many years. Hardwood floors will fade and become discolored over time if they are in direct sunlight. Hardwood and laminate floors may look similar, but they are very different. Determining whether those differences are pros or cons for your home is the key to selecting the right type of flooring for your needs. When shopping for hardwood or laminate, bring one of our print-friendly floor buying checklists along to ensure that you don't miss a step!
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    Comments (10)

    Talkback – Leave a commentThere are 10 comments

    Casa Sandoval
    Thanks for giving us such an interesting information, well, the Article is really awesome and I also appreciate you for writing a wonderful article for us, I am will forward it to all my friend,s I am sure that they can also get some information from this post.
    May 5 2013
    Hardwood flooring looks beautiful but laminated flooring looks more attracting for me. I don't know why but it get my eyes fast.
    April 22 2013
    Hardwood floor in Sydney
    I prefer the hardwood flooring because hardwood flooring is more beautiful and attractive as compare to the other flooring.hardwood flooring is a unique idea to design your house according to your desires.For more information you can also visit: http://www.selectionflooring.com.au/
    April 22 2013
    Hardwood floor in Australia
    I prefer the hardwood flooring because hardwood flooring is more beautiful and attractive as compare to the other flooring.hardwood flooring is a unique idea to design your house according to your desires.
    April 22 2013
    Timber flooring in Sydney
    I prefer the laminate flooring because laminate flooring is more attractive as compare to the other flooring.It is cost effective but it is makes your house beautiful in real words.
    April 19 2013
    Laminate
    I prefer to have the laminate floor than that of the hardwood. Though you will have to spend much for the laminated floor, but you will also have a good appearance of flooring. a href="http://www.youtube.com/user/MichaelCourouleau"Michael Courouleau/a
    April 18 2013
    Timber Flooring Sydney
    This article will take a closer look at some of the key factors for bamboo and bamboo flooring that might help you decide if it is the hard wood flooring material for you. www.timberlandflooring.com.au/
    April 6 2013
    Laminate Wood Flooring Rocks
    For me laminate flooring in a budget based mindset would win, laminate manufacturers keep coming up with better and better laminate products, they are getting closer to real wood by the day. I work with laminate and real wood on a daily basis, we probably sell 75% more laminate than we do real wood, and it seems to be getting more popular. Don't get me wrong I love real wood floors too, but laminate flooring is just such a great concept.
    April 18 2009
    Great Idea - Real Hardwood Floors actually Laminate!
    HAHA That's brilliant! Great idea!
    April 2 2009
    Laminate Wins!
    I just redecorated my kitchen with all new appliances but my hardwood flooring looked like it was ready to be replaced. I started looking at buying guides, installation instructions and more but found that even if I installed new hardwood myself which is impossible for me to do there was no way to meet my budget. Found laminate flooring from Tarkett and what a difference! Laminate wins! I bought my new Tarkett laminate floors , had them professionally installed and still stayed under budget! what a relief to save the money and no one knows its laminate. I just tell everyone its real hardwood floors =)
    April 1 2009
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