Laminate vs Hardwood Flooring: Which Is The Best?

 In Design, General Information, hardwood, Management, Tips and Tricks
When it comes to picking the right flooring for a room, price and the material type can play huge factor. Check out our comparison of Laminate vs Hardwood here!

Your flooring takes a lot of abuse.

If you have pets, they scrabble and scrape along it. If you have children, they pound their little fists on it.

And if you have adults in your house they walk all over it.

But the eternal question is “what flooring should I install? Laminate vs hardwood?”

Each option has its pros and cons. And there is no reason why you can’t know exactly what those are.

Pros And Cons of Laminate Flooring

Laminate flooring is an alluring option mostly because of the price.

It’s much cheaper than hardwoods. But you’ve probably seen some pretty crummy laminate floor jobs in people’s houses. And this makes you hesitant to go all in on laminate flooring.

But the pros of laminate flooring are many. So let’s take a look.

Laminate Vs Hardwood: Laminate Flooring Is Easy To Install

It’s fairly easy to lay laminate flooring in your home.

If you’re a DIY type of person, laminate might be the way to go.

You can easily lay 300 square feet in a weekend.

Most laminate flooring has a click and lock or fold and lock design. This lets you put the pieces together without having to glue down the boards.

And the boards are fairly easy to cut. They’re made of a soft particle board and a utility knife should slice through these well, maybe not like butter, but pretty well indeed.

Except…

Laminate floors sometimes don’t click or lock like they should. Just like you might have a few ill-fitting puzzle pieces in a box, you might have some ill-fitting boards.

And if you force these board too hard, they curl up and cause the floor to be less moisture resistant.

Laminate Flooring Is Easy To Clean

With laminate vs hardwood flooring, you never have to wax the floors with laminate but with hardwood you do.

Laminate floors also don’t need much water for cleaning either. You can use a slightly damp mop to clean the floors.

Except…

If you use too much water when cleaning, the moisture seeps between the boards. The boards swell up along the edges and look ugly.

So, make sure you use the right methods. There are laminate floor-only cleaners, but these can be expensive.

Instead, you can use the dry and damp mop method.

Laminate Vs Hardwood: Laminate Flooring Is Eco-Friendly

Since laminate flooring is made from particle board, you might be concerned that it’s not environmentally friendly.

But the chip fiberboard is made from natural wood and plant materials. So it’s recyclable.

None of the chemicals used in the process of making laminate pollute the air. And it generally complies with the strictest environmental law in the land, California Air Resources Board of the California Code of Regulations.

And it requires no special glues for installation. Glues can be harmful to the environment.

Except…

If you don’t recycle it. That’s probably the only con. People don’t always recycle.

Laminate Flooring Is Perfect For Semi-Moist Environments

Don’t want to do tile or linoleum in your kitchen? How about laminate?

Laminate can’t take large amounts of standing water, of course, but the moisture of a kitchen doesn’t affect the material.

As long as the boards are tightly placed together, they will resist moisture.

Hardwood Flooring Pros And Cons

Even if you’re already convinced that laminate flooring is best. It’s still a good idea to compare laminate vs hardwood to see if you’re investing wisely in your flooring.

Hardwood Will Increase Your Property Value

If you’re considering laminate vs hardwood for return on investment, the choice is clear.

There is no doubt that hardwood floors will make your home more favorable in the eyes of buyers.

They are beautiful and highly sought after in the real estate market.

Except…

If you don’t take care of them.

Consider how you are going to use your floors. How much foot traffic? Are your pets or children going to destroy the floors? Do you own a rental and have no clue if your tenants will care for the floors?

You don’t want to invest in hardwood floors if they are going to be destroyed.

Laminate Vs Hardwood Floors: Both Are Easy To Clean

Again, like laminate, hardwood is fairly easy to clean. It’s a hard surface and it’s fairly hygienic.

You typically just have to sweep or vacuum a hardwood floor. Especially considering that they are most likely placed in living rooms, bedrooms, and hallways.

Just like laminate, you avoid leaving grime and dust mites in the fibers of carpet like flooring.

Except…

When considering laminate vs hardwood flooring, both can’t take too much water without sustaining damage.

But hardwoods will be less able to seal out moisture than laminate flooring.

 Hardwood Is Easier To Repair

When speaking of laminate vs hardwood, once you damage laminate, you have to replace more than just one board generally, most likely removing the entire floor all the way to the closest wall.

But with hardwood floors, damage sustained to one board means just replacing one board.

But..

It will require refinishing.

Hardwood floors need to be waxed regularly. And if they sustain any kind of abuse, they will quickly need to be refinished with a polyurethane coating.

The softer the wood, the easier it will scratch. And refinishing scuffed and scratched wood can be costly.

It can cost anywhere from $1.25-$4.00 per square foot.

Hardwood Floors Come In Many Types

With hardwoods, you have several choices of wood.

This is both a pro and con as you can end up spending a fortune if you choose a costlier wood or you could save money with hardwoods.

You can also paint or stain a hardwood floor to the desired color if the cheaper option doesn’t fit your taste.

Laminates And Hardwoods Are Both Great Choices

Depending on your budget and the intended use, either choice could be the perfect choice for your home.

You know what your home needs. And now that you have the pros and cons of each you can make an informed decision.

If you’re ready to install a new floor, get a free estimate today.

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Comments
  • Billy
    Reply

    Definitely a difficult decision between laminate and hardwood! Looking forward to doing more research to properly decide between the two!

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