Wood vs Laminate Flooring: Which Should You Lean Toward?

Are you looking for flooring that’s timeless, yet on-trend?

Your choice comes down to wood vs laminate flooring. They both come in a seemingly endless variety of tones, styles, and designs. With huge improvements in the quality of laminate flooring in recent years, it can be hard to know which one to choose.

What can help to tip you in one direction or the other? We’re going to look at how hardwood and laminate compare in terms of style, cost, and durability.

Let’s get started.


Comparing Styles

Laminate flooring copies wood flooring, right? So surely the styles are the same? Well, yes and no.

Laminate certainly takes its inspiration from hardwood. The design layer of laminate – the layer that looks like wood – is basically a high-resolution photograph of wood.

You can enjoy high-end hardwood looks without the hardwood price tag. Laminate also comes in stone and tile effect options.

That said, there is nothing to compare to the rich, natural warmth of a real hardwood floor. Check out local hardwood flooring services and marvel at the looks they are able to create. Hardwood also comes in stunning designs, including herringbone, chevron, and wood mosaic.


Wood vs Laminate Flooring: Which Should You Lean Toward?


Comparing Cost 

In terms of costs, there’s no competition. Laminate wins hands down. DIY options are available that are easier to install than tongue-and-groove edges of hardwoods.

You can expect to pay from $3 per square foot for laminate. Hardwoods start at around $7 per square foot.

However, consider the value that hardwoods add to your home. Laminate flooring is unlikely to add any value to your home if you choose to sell. On the other hand, hardwood flooring is built to last, and buyers love it.

You could bump up the value of your home by 5% by laying down quality flooring.

Comparing Durability

Ideally, flooring boards are something that you would lay once, and then forget about. Hardwood flooring allows you to do that. If you choose laminate, expect to replace it every 10 to 15 years.

Even with proper maintenance, laminate flooring doesn’t have the structural strength of hardwood. In time, it will start to look shabby. But if you buy high-quality laminate flooring and have it professionally installed, it may last up to 25 years.

Hardwood flooring is built to last a lifetime. Because it’s a natural product, you can refinish it. Resanding and varnishing the hardwood will make it look as good as new.

The fact is though, that hardwood floors actually look better as they age. They develop a richer patina and a worn-in look that most people love.

True, hardwoods are not the best choice in high-moisture areas like bathrooms. They’re just not water-resistant enough. But they can stand up to daily wear and tear and only need regular sweeping and damp mopping to keep them clean.


Wood vs Laminate Flooring: Which Should You Lean Toward?


Wood Vs Laminate Flooring – The Winner Is…

Laminate flooring has come a long way from its early days and is a great budget option. But in the battle of wood vs laminate flooring, there is still a clear winner.

Hardwood flooring is a timeless classic. It will add value to your home. A quick refinish is all it needs to restore its good looks.

If you’ve enjoyed this article, we’ve got lots more waiting for you. Head over to our Interiors section for more design tips and ideas.

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