Laminate Flooring Versus Hardwood – Which One To Choose

In any form of house construction works, flooring is one of the defining features that add to the style and sustainability of a house. Hardwood flooring is one of the oldest and most traditional flooring concepts that is still prevailing and demanding. On the other hand, laminate flooring is rather a new concept having several advantages over other flooring concepts and a definite market.

Both laminate and hardwood floorings have their respective pros and cons. The sustainability of hardwood is unquestionable but that doesn’t mean that the sustainability of laminate flooring is compromised.

Let’s go into little deeper to find the pros and cons of these two types of flooring. It would help you understand which one would be better for your house.

What is hardwood flooring?

Hardwood flooring is designed out of boards made from a single wood. The process starts from cutting big fat branches from trees and sometimes cutting the planks. Flooring hardwood is collected from some specific types of trees only having few knots, strong fibres, and that can carry natural beauty even after processing. In the mills, the plank is sliced into boards with a smooth surface that forms the top surface in flooring and tongue-and-groove edges that can hold two boards together. Most house owners prefer smooth top surface; however, many home owners also prefer semi-finished upper surfaces for more natural-looking.

What is laminate flooring?

Laminate flooring is a synthetic form of wood flooring. It imitates wood flooring in look and design. However, you cannot expect an equal level of sustainability as wood flooring. In recent times, thanks to technology and innovations, the quality of laminate flooring have improved significantly. As the reputed manufacturers in this discipline are investing money in the design and production of laminate flooring, the market is

Laminate flooring vs hardwood flooring – the detailed story 

Here are the key aspects of both types of flooring that would help you understand these flooring types and choose the appropriate one as per your choice:

  • Appearance

Hardwood – In terms of appearance, hardwood is matchless. It’s gorgeous and strong. It can change the whole ambience of the house turning an otherwise simple house into the most attractive one.

Laminate – Laminate flooring mimics hardwood ones. However, these are the synthetic versions of hardwood. These days, laminate flooring is available in different colors and color combinations.

In appearance hardwood flooring is better than laminate flooring but the latter one is available in different color options today that you cannot expect in hardwoods.

  • Durability

Hardwood – Hardwood possesses unmatched sustainability in comparison to other flooring materials. Once installed, it serves a family for several decades. It’s also counted among the best flooring materials for any kind of weather conditions.

Laminate – Laminate flooring is sustainable but not as much as hardwood flooring. Laminate flooring cannot catch cracks or deep dents if a heavy object falls on it. In general, laminate flooring can sustain at most 10-15 years.

In durability, laminate flooring is far less than hardwood. In fact, hardwood flooring is once in a lifetime investment for a household. In many households, it remains intact for several generations.

  • Maintenance

Hardwood – First few years, hardwood flooring doesn’t require much attention. Normal cleaning as the hardwood floor installer recommends is sufficient to keep the surface clean and fresh. Hardwood needs recoating and refinishing periodically. The frequency depends on the condition of the flooring. It may also need periodic resealing.

Laminate – Laminate flooring is like a “use and through” type of installation. It cannot be re-polished, recoated, or sanded. If damaged, you have no option but to replace it. However, with responsible use, it continues to provide expected service for a pretty long time.

As far as maintenance is concerned, hardwood needs some servicing periodically whereas laminate flooring needs minimum DIY types of maintenance.

  • Installation

Hardwood – the installation of hardwood flooring needs specialized plumbers and installers having years of experience in this domain. It’s not the job of non-professional people. Some specialized tools are also important.

Laminate – Laminate flooring doesn’t need any special arrangement or any specialized personnel. You can complete the work yourself with one or two helping hands. This flooring can be installed anytime since it requires no fasteners or glue.

The intricacy of hardwood flooring makes expert intervention inevitable. It can be a bit expensive. Laminate flooring needs no expert intervention. You can install it yourself.

  • Cleaning

Hardwood – The cleaning process for hardwood flooring is normal. Most households vacuum the floors twice or thrice weekly. Sometimes, you need damp-mopping to keep the surface dry. Water cleaning should be avoided as much as possible. You can use disinfectant or sanitizer to keep the floor germ-free. These days, polyurethane varnish is used as a coating over the top surface. So, avoid waxing if your hardwood floor is coated with this kind of varnish. 

Laminate – Laminate floor cleaning is easy. Either vacuuming or brooming is sufficient. Occasionally you need to arrange dry mopping. Waxing should be avoided. Here also, avoid water cleaning as much as possible. You can use alcohol-based sanitizers and disinfectants to keep the surface germ-free. 

Both types of flooring, as we see, need normal cleaning and sanitization. You can do it on your own or occasionally call expert cleaners for deep cleaning.

  • Water and heat resistance

Hardwood – This flooring is not suitable for wet areas or where water can stand for some time like in the bathrooms. Though many households use it in the kitchen, it’s not actually suitable for the kitchen as well. Hardwood’s heat resistance is also not remarkable.

Laminate – This flooring is good water and heat resistance. However, longstanding water can damage the layers and swell them.

In water and heat resistance capacity laminate flooring is better than hardwood flooring.

  • Costing

Hardwood – Depending on the wood chosen and flooring pattern, hardwood flooring cost varies. Contact a hardwood flooring installer for full info.

Laminate – laminate flooring cost also vary as per the quality.

Expenses in both these categories vary as per your selection. In general laminate flooring is lesser expensive than hardwood flooring.

Perhaps, you have understood the advantage and disadvantages of laminate and hardwood flooring. Overall, for a lifetime of flooring, you can choose hardwood. It also makes the house look more gorgeous. However, if you want a modern look and don’t want expensive flooring, laminate flooring is appropriate.

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