Hardwood Or Laminate – Choosing the Best Floor For Your Home
Hardwood flooring is a beautiful addition to any home, whether you’re looking to add value to your house or just change the décor. However, all of the hardwood and wood-look flooring products can make choosing the best floor for your home overwhelming.
Both wood laminate and hardwood offer a beautiful look for any space. They’re also durable, stain resistant, and easy to clean. Unlike carpeting, both of these types of flooring are considered hypoallergenic because they do not trap allergens. Yet, hardwood and laminate do offer definite benefits and drawbacks.
Hardwood flooring provides several distinct advantages over laminate. First, although laminate is attractive, hardwood offers the distinct beauty of a natural floor. From grain variation to satiny feel, real wood is arguably more appealing than engineered laminate. Hardwood also presents more options for customization: homeowners can select different woods, stains, and sheens to tailor the floor to their exact desires.
Additionally, hardwood flooring offers endless design possibilities that simply can not be achieved with laminate. From borders to inlay medallions to herringbone, parquet, and other patterned designs, custom hardwood floor installation creates striking one-of-a-kind floors. Finally, hardwood floors can be refinished when they become scratched or worn, making them a longer term investment than laminate. While refinishing hardwood floors makes them as good as new, laminate must be replaced when it is damaged.
However, despite their benefits, hardwood floors do have some disadvantages. The fundamental problem with hardwood is price; this is an expensive flooring material. Installation can also be a lengthy process, as the floor must be laid, sanded, stained, and sealed over the course of several days. Lastly, hardwood floors can not be laid over your old flooring. They require a subfloor that can be nailed into, meaning the old floor must be removed down to the subflooring before the hardwood can be installed.
Laminate can be a good-looking alternative to hardwood flooring. Its primary advantage is cost; laminate is affordable, at approximately half the cost of hardwood. Moreover, laminate floor installation is a quick, straightforward process. Adventurous do-it-yourselfers are even capable of laying laminate flooring. And, since virtually all laminate floors are floating floors, no special subflooring is required. They can be laid right on top of your old floor, excluding carpet. One added benefit is that floating laminate floors can be installed and later removed without harming the underlying floor!
Nonetheless, laminate floors do have several shortcomings. The most significant of these is that, unlike hardwood, laminate can not be refinished. If a laminate floor is scratched, worn down, or warped by excessive moisture, the only option is to replace it. Another downside to laminate flooring is that it comes with more limited design options. While there are numerous colors and styles to choose from, hue and sheen are set by the manufacturer, not the consumer, so you can not customize with the same flexibility as with hardwood. Also, the custom medallions, patterns, and borders available with hardwood just are not an option with laminate. Lastly, laminate floors simply add less value to your home than hardwood floors. Many buyers zero in on hardwood; while laminate floors do increase the worth of your house, they do not bump it up as much as hardwood flooring.
With these pros and cons in mind, you can easily select the perfect wood-look flooring for your home. Whether you select laminate or hardwood, your new floor will certainly be a lovely, enjoyable addition to your home. Visit your local flooring dealer or hardwood floor installer to see samples and learn more about hardwood and laminate floors.