Choosing Between Hardwood and Laminate Flooring


Replacing flooring can seem like an overwhelming project. The floor is one of the most visible parts of a house and one of the most frequently used. You have many options for these improvements, including laminate and hardwood flooring. When deciding between these styles, there are five main factors to consider including style, longevity, use, maintenance and cost.


Style is a very personal preference. Hardwood flooring is made from wood and offers a classic, natural look. Laminate flooring is typically made from layers of plastic, fiber board and photographic paper to manufacture the appearance of real wood. It can look like hardwood from a distance, but the difference is often noticeable up close and by the touch. Obtaining samples of both materials can help you decide on which style fits your home improvement project.


The flooring types have different life spans. Hardwood flooring can be a lifetime investment. It is not uncommon for an old house to still have its original flooring. Laminate flooring typically has a shorter life span, although this is improving as technology advances.


Different rooms have different uses and needs. A foyer might demand a hardwood look, whereas a storage room could get away with laminate.


Maintenance required for each floor type is another major factor. Hardwood flooring is more susceptible to wear and tear than laminate flooring and more difficult to clean. However, you can extend the life of the hardwood by sanding and re-polishing it, whereas you would have to replace a severely damaged laminate floor.


The last major difference between the two styles of flooring is cost. Laminate is typically much cheaper than hardwood flooring. While home improvement projects can be expensive, and there is always temptation to go with the cheapest product, cheaper is not always better when it comes to flooring.


When deciding between laminate and hardwood flooring, carefully balancing these factors can help you select the right product for your home.