Laminate vs Hardwood Flooring: Which is Best for You?

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We spend around 90% of our time indoors, and with many of us are working from home, it’s important to have a well-designed space. Flooring ties a room’s decor together, so find the best material for your needs. Perhaps you’re amidst the laminate vs hardwood flooring debate, and you’re unsure which to choose.

Sounds familiar? Don’t worry, you’ve come to the right place. Here’s everything you need to know.

 

Appearance

When browsing floor options, it’s important to consider their appearance.

A major benefit of laminate flooring is that the style won’t change because it’s synthetic. And thanks to technological advancement, it’s difficult to tell between natural timber or laminate. If that’s not your thing, then there’s a huge selection of styles available from natural stone to tiles.

But if you’re desperate for a gleaming, natural-looking wood, then hardwood is a no-brainer. You can choose from a range of species, stains, and finishes to suit your preference.

Sizes

As you compare flooring materials, you must factor in the sizes available. For instance, hardwood comes in 1 1/2 inch to 2 1/4 inch planks so you can determine how much to purchase. Note, these are always 3/4 inch thick too.

In contrast, laminate flooring comes in 4-inch wide planks with 10mm thickness.

Installation

If you’re an avid DIYer, then laminate flooring is fantastic as you install it atop your subfloors. You simply use snap-and-lock joinery, so you don’t even need adhesives. But, be mindful of the edges because if they aren’t cared for, then they become more susceptible to water damage.

Instead, get a professional flooring installation with hardwood floors by following this link: https://www.flooringsystemsaz.com/tucson-flooring-services. You’re guaranteed a hassle-free process, so you can complete your home decor in no time.

Cost

It’s wise to source your materials from the best flooring company you can find. On average, hardwood flooring with installation costs around $10 per square foot depending on the type of wood you’ve chosen.

In contrast, laminate flooring is less expensive and costs around $6 per square foot.

hardwood flooring

 

Durability and Maintenance

If you’re in a big household and foot traffic is a concern, you need a durable option.

Although hardwood lasts a lifetime, it is susceptible to scratching and will show wear after an extended period. A simple solution is to throw down a rug in your entryway or any high-traffic areas.

Also, occasionally recoat or refinish your flooring, and when it becomes severe, sand and refinish it. Note, hire professionals as they have the tools and know-how to finish the job.

Laminate is more durable as it is scratch- and water-resistant so you needn’t worry about regular maintenance. On average, laminate flooring lasts around 10 years but it can’t be saved by refinishing or sanding. Instead, you must remove and replace the entire floor.

Note, there are different categories to determine laminate’s durability. For instance, AC1 is the best for moderate food traffic, like bedrooms, whereas AC2 is targeted at areas with general use like dining or living rooms.

But if you want to install laminate flooring on heavy traffic areas, then choose one with an AC4 label. It’s also the best option if you’re worried about furniture leaving behind scratches.

Water and Heat Resistance

Hardwood flooring isn’t recommended for wet areas like your kitchen or bathroom. This is because standing water warps the boards, ruining their appearance and integrity.

Because of this, consider installing laminate flooring as they are resistant. But make sure no moisture seeps into the joint between planks as it can cause the wood to swell and chip.

Cleaning

Taking care of hardwood flooring is easy, simply sweep or vacuum your home once a week. But only use a cleaning product that has been recommended by the floor finisher or mix soap with water.

Note, you should clean the floor with a damp mop so water doesn’t seep through the surface. And never use oils or wax because it leaves behind residue so it becomes slippery, potentially putting your household at risk of accidents.

The same goes for laminate flooring, except choose a cleaning agent that is designed for it. Further, take immediate action if you accidentally spill a drink as, if left unattended, it could cause irreversible water damage.

Lifespan

When you properly care and refinish your flooring, hardwood floors can last 100 years. In contrast, the lifespan of laminate flooring is around 20 years maximum, proof they have a considerably shorter life than hardwood.

So factor in how long you’re planning to live in your home. If you’re planning to sell, choose laminate so the new owners have the flexibility to choose whether to swap to hardwood or another material.

The Winner Is…

Before choosing the winner, weigh the pros and cons alongside your current situation. For instance, if you want to boost your home’s resale value and have authentic flooring, then hardwood is for you.

Whereas, laminate flooring is fantastic if you’re following a strict budget or want to install the material yourself. And, decide where you want to place your laminate or hardwood because if it’s a potentially wet area, then avoid the latter.

 

That’s Our Hardwood Flooring vs Laminate Debate

Hopefully, after reading this article, you can easily choose between laminate or hardwood flooring.

It’s important to consider which style you’re after, how much you can invest, and the lifespan. You should also factor in the installation process, maintenance, and durability so you can decide your dream flooring. Good luck!

Did you find this article helpful? Great! Then check out our posts on everything from Health to Real Estate.

 

 

 

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