Your flooring is one of the first design elements guests notice about your home. To that end, hardwood is one of the most popular flooring options and has a naturally inviting appearance and timeless appeal. While many older homes with traditional decor have hardwood, newer ones often incorporate laminate, which looks like hardwood at a fraction of the cost.
Are you in the process of designing or remodelling your home but can’t decide between laminate and hardwood? Don’t worry. Here, we compare the two to help you decide which is best for your home.
Which is the better option for your home: laminate or hardwood? Let’s compare.
Hardwood flooring is made of solid wood planks and is an attractive building material that offers indisputable prestige. Even if you don’t have a big budget, you can choose cheaper species and rest assured knowing it will still look better than the most premium laminate flooring tiles.
Laminate flooring is made from composite wood pressed together at very high temperatures. It may look like real wood from a distance, but you’ll (almost) be able to tell the difference upon closer
inspection. Newer high-quality laminates are now available with more random patterns that integrate a grain-like texture to make the flooring more authentic.
When deciding between laminate and hardwood, budget is a big factor.
Overall, hardwood is expensive, and the stronger the wood, the bigger the price tag. Additionally, exotic woods are generally more expensive than domestic ones. You also have to consider the cost to treat, wax and finish the floor.
Laminate is much cheaper, and the cost of installation is lower as the same level of expertise isn’t required.
Hardwood floors are easy to clean with regular sweeping and vacuuming. Cleaners designed specifically for hardwood are best. You can also have hardwood floors refinished to look as good as new if scratched. Alternatively, you can seal them with polyurethane varnish which eliminates the need for polishing and waxing altogether. Just steer clear of water as hardwood doesn’t perform well in the presence of moisture.
Laminate floors can be cleaned with regular sweeping, mopping and vacuuming. For best results, use a damp cloth with a laminate floor cleaner. Laminate floors don’t need to be waxed, but steer clear of steam cleaners as these can damage the appearance of the surface.
While the top layer of laminate flooring is strong, making it a good option for high-traffic areas, it’s not immune to scratches and dents. In case of accidents, the entire flooring will need to be replaced since it can’t be refinished.
Hardwood flooring, on the other hand, can last up to 20 years when looked after properly. Even if it is damaged, it can be refinished.
The differences between laminate and hardwood flooring become apparent upon close inspection. While both are readily available, hardwood is sturdier and healthier. Ultimately, you’ll need to choose the product that best fits your requirements, also keeping in mind budget.