Nowadays, wood flooring is a preferred choice for almost every room. It is mainly due to its natural look and warmth. As laminate flooring is often considered to substitute hardwood flooring, it is a tough decision to choose amongst laminate and hardwood flooring.
There are a lot differences between laminate and hardwood floors but both of them have their strong points depending on the situation.
Let’s start with the price. Solid hardwood will cost you much more to buy and install than laminate flooring. Hardwood floors are difficult for non-professionals to install, while laminate installing is very easy.
Laminate wood flooring is made from composite wood pressed together at high temperatures. And a photograph of hardwood is used to cover the composite wood to form the laminate, thus is cheaper.
Hardwood flooring is made from harvested trees and depending on how exotic the trees are the price is different.
Since it is real wood, a quality hardwood floor can last for a lifetime with proper care and refinishing, while life expectancy of laminate floors is less than 15 years. Having hardwood floors will definitely increase the price point of your home if you decide to sell.
What about scratches? Since laminate wood flooring is made from pressed wood, it is more resistible to scratches, moisture and wear than hardwood flooring. Hardwood is susceptible to scratching, moisture and wear especially in high traffic areas.
Laminate flooring has higher stain resistance and is definitely easier to clean and maintain than hardwood. It also has smaller fading effect and behaves moderately well in moist areas such as bathrooms. As a natural product hardwood can fade in the future due to sunlight, while laminate flooring is UV protected.
Laminate flooring cannot be refinished, while hardwood floors can be easily sanded and refinished many times. This is why hardwood floors can be easily repaired if they become damaged, while laminate boards have to be replaced rather than repaired.
It is not recommended to install solid hardwood flooring below-grade, while laminate can be installed below-grade.
We hope the above information was helpful for your decision to choose laminate or hardwood floors.