The average American homeowner spends between $2,500 and $6,740 on wood flooring installation.
Many factors determine how much you end up spending on a flooring project. These include:
- The type of wood
- The cut and grade of the wood
- The size of your floor
Regardless of the style of your home, its flooring is literally its foundation.
It’s usually the first thing people notice upon stepping inside your house.
It, therefore, matters what kind of floor you choose.
Fortunately, there are decent options for homeowners looking to install new wood flooring.
Many homeowners often find themselves in the laminate vs hardwood dilemma.
If you’re currently in this position, it’s quite understandable.
Both laminate and hardwood floors have many impressive features.
Similarly, both have a number of cons that you need to think about carefully.
It’s the reason we’ve prepared this friendly guide to help you understand the difference between hardwood and laminate.
We hope by the time you’re through reading it, you’ll whether to invest in hardwood or laminate flooring.
Laminate vs hardwood: Which Should You Choose?
The decision between hardwood and laminate flooring is not an easy one to make.
To make things easier for you, it’s best to look at the reviews of both.
These reviews usually list the pros and cons of various flooring options, some of which we discuss below.
Pros of Hardwood Floors
For centuries, hardwood floors have delighted people around the world because of their natural appeal and unquestionable reliability.
Below are some of the benefits you gain when you install a hardwood floor:
Hardwood floors come in countless colors, textures, and finishes.
Their timeless appeal added to their unexpected knots, and unique, organic grains, are unparalleled in the flooring world.
A hardwood floor can take on a variety of stains, including blue, red, and purple.
For extra shine, add a coat of wax.
Today’s hardwood floors can last about 20 years you take proper care of them.
As expected, harder woods are tougher than softer woods and will thus last longer.
There are hardwood floors in some existing historic buildings that have survived for over a century.
Easy to Refinish
Inevitably, every type of flooring will deteriorate over time.
The good thing with hardwood floors is that once they start showing signs of scratching or aging, you can refinish them to get them looking glorious again.
Most hardwood floors allow refinishing multiple times in the course of their life.
You can quickly reverse any noticeable imperfections.
Boost the Resale Value of Your Property
Due to their aesthetics and their ability to last for generations, hardwood floors enhance a home’s value.
Most homebuyers are willing to spend more on a home that comes with a hardwood floor than other types of flooring.
If you see the possibility of reselling your home at some point, investing in a hardwood floor could help you get a good price for it.
They’re Environmentally Friendly
Hardwood floors are biodegradable as they are made using organic materials.
This makes them eco-friendly. That said, it’s essential to know that some hardwood floors can take many years to decompose, depending on the thickness of the floor and the species it came from.
Cons of Hardwood Flooring
While hardwood floors have lots of features people love, they’re not without faults.
Here are three of them:
Need More Care and Maintenance
Hardwood floors can quite easily be scratched, which can significantly affect their beauty.
They thus require proper care and maintenance to avoid this.
Hardwood floors are also very sensitive to sunlight and can get discolored when exposed to the sun for a long time.
Prone to Moisture Damage
Hardwood flooring is organic, so it can grow mold when it gets exposed to constant moisture.
This makes hardwood floors unsuitable for bathrooms and kitchens.
Expensive to Buy and Install
Given their aesthetics, durability, and other desirable features, hardwood floors don’t come cheap.
Going for strong or exotic woods further adds to the price.
Pros of Laminate Flooring
Laminate flooring is a fairly new entrant in the flooring world.
This type of flooring is wildly popular among homeowners, and it’s easy to see why.
Below are just some of the reasons:
Laminate floors typically cost half the price of hardwood floors.
Given the close resemblance between laminate and hardwood, price is a huge selling point for laminate floors.
Of course, you want to veer away from laminate floors that come at suspiciously low prices.
In flooring, you always get what you pay for.
Laminate floors have always been seen as the best option for handy homeowners who love DIY.
As soon as you’ve installed the underlayment, you can easily pop the laminate into place.
Easy to Maintain
Laminate flooring is easy to clean. Since the flooring doesn’t trap dust or allergens, you can clean it with a light vacuum.
And since the flooring is generally water-resistant, you can mop it with water.
Cons of Laminate Floors
Laminate floors have their downsides too.
Below are some of them:
They Tend To Be Slippery
In the past, most laminate floors have been quite slippery.
This can prove dangerous, especially when there’s moisture on the floor.
The good news is that laminate flooring companies are now developing slip-resistant layers to make these floors safer.
The Issue of Appearance
While laminate flooring is designed to resemble hardwood flooring as closely as possible, they don’t look as authentic when you look at them closely.
They lack the uniqueness that real hardwood features. Pattern repetition is prevalent when it comes to laminate floors.
Choose Flooring Based On the Features
The laminate vs hardwood discussion finally comes down to what works best for the individual homeowner.
Do you love the warm, natural ambiance that comes with hardwood flooring?
Or is affordability, ease of maintenance, and simple installation what you find most desirable?
Carefully examining the features of both flooring options is the best way to make an informed decision.
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