At first glance, it might seem like a tough decision: hardwood flooring or laminate flooring? After all, both materials have their advantages and disadvantages.
But when you take a closer look, it’s easy to see that there are some important differences between the two. Wood flooring is made from real hardwood, and can last for generations if properly cared for. Meanwhile, laminate flooring is made of synthetic materials and offers a range of styles and colours at a lower cost.
In this article, we’ll provide a detailed comparison of wood flooring and laminate flooring. We’ll explain the advantages and disadvantages of each material, as well as the process of installation.
What Exactly Is Wood Flooring?
Wooden flooring is exactly what it sounds like: real hardwood flooring that is nailed, stapled or glued to the subfloor. It comes in a variety of wood species and board widths, offering you options that can help bring a sense of warmth to any space.
They are relatively easy to maintain since all they need is periodic sweeping or vacuuming and cleaning with a damp mop. The wear and tear on your floors will depend largely on the amount of foot traffic they receive. However, high-traffic areas may need occasional refinishing or buffing.
Advantages and Drawbacks of Hardwood Flooring
As with any material, there are advantages and drawbacks to wooden flooring. Let’s start with the positives:
- Unlike laminate floors, wood is easy to refinish and repair, meaning that if its finish wears away or gets scratched—this isn’t too likely with regular maintenance—you can fix it.
- Wood adds significant value to your home if you ever want to sell it. It’s also a natural material that has a timeless look.
- These floors are warm and cosy underfoot, and they provide extra acoustic insulation.
On the downside, wood can scratch easily when hit with something sharp or hard. So although it’s easy to refinish, it may not be practical in high-traffic areas of your home. It can also fade when exposed to UV light for long periods, which could be problematic for rooms facing south or west. Most importantly, it is expensive compared to other materials available on the market today. So think carefully about whether this investment makes sense for you in the long run.
What is Laminate Flooring?
If you’re considering laminate flooring, you may be wondering what it is, and how it differs from the traditional wooden flooring.
Laminate flooring is a type of synthetic flooring made up of multiple layers of fiberboard that have been fused with a lamination process. It has a printed layer on top with a realistic image of natural wood, which forms the “wear layer”. The part of the floor that receives the most wear and tear. The other layers underneath form the backing layer, core layer, and underlayer, which provide stability, hardness, and protection against moisture damage.
Advantages and Drawbacks of Laminate Flooring
When deciding between wood flooring and laminate flooring, it is important to consider the pros and cons of each. Laminate flooring has some advantages over wood:
Cost-effective: Laminate flooring is much more cost-effective than solid wood, so it’s a great way to get the “wood look” without breaking the bank.
Quick and Easy Installation: Laminate flooring combines planks with a tongue-and-groove system that makes the installation process much faster than it would be with solid wood. It is also easy for the average DIYer to install since there is no need for glue, nails, or screws. That is why we call it floating laminate flooring.
Durability: Laminate flooring is durable, making it ideal for busy households or offices where there will be lots of foot traffic.
Of course, laminate flooring has drawbacks as well:
Inability to Refinish: Unlike solid wood floors, laminate floors cannot be refinished when they become scratched or worn. This means that they will need to be replaced more often than their solid wood counterparts.
Limited Design Options: Laminate flooring comes in a variety of colours and styles. However, if you are looking for a unique look, you may find that your options are limited with this material.
Conclusion: After taking a closer look at the differences between wooden flooring and laminate, it’s easy to see why people tend to prefer one over the other. No matter which option you choose, both can provide your home with a luxurious, timeless look. While it is ultimately up to you to decide which option will best suit your needs.