While getting new floors might sound like a stressful decision, there is a wealth of information out there to help you narrow it down. From the many options available, we have taken an in-depth look at two of the most popular: laminate vs. hardwood floors. For those that already have hardwood floors one of the easier things to consider would be hardwood floor refinishing, although each person has different needs that must be met. Both laminate and hardwood each have their benefits and drawbacks – let’s see which one wins.
Although laminate flooring tends to be a cheaper alternative to hardwood, the materials does not tend to have the same longevity. Installation for laminate flooring is also cheaper than it can be for hardwood as there are less steps involved, but if a piece were to be damaged it can bring up some issues. It can be hard to find an exact match to laminate years down the road as patterns can be discontinued, or manufacturers can change their ingredients. On the same note, even if the same laminate piece was found, there is no guarantee that it would match the visible wear of the laminate already on the floor. In a traditional sense, laminate is a newer option than hardwood and thus doesn’t have quite as much support. For those looking to sell their home in the future, there does not seem to be any extra incentive to have laminate over hardwood.
Unlike hardwood, laminate flooring does not scratch easily and can be trusted in any amount of sunlight without fading. While water should never be left to sit on top of laminate for any length of time, it does hold up decently underneath children’s messes and even active pets. To clean, laminate flooring can be washed with regular soap and water.
Laminate is typically much easier to install than hardwood floors and has been more often cited in DIY videos across the internet. While laying flooring should never be attempted by an amateur (as improper installation can ruin the floor itself), laminate tends to be a faster installation by professionals than hardwood. Finishes on the laminate flooring boards are finished right at the factory they are made and can even be made to look like regular hardwood (however in some low-quality laminate this fake wood grain can be obvious).
Traditional hardwood flooring has been around for hundreds of years due to its natural beauty and durability. Because hardwood can easily match up with a broad range of home styles, we can see this popular option across the United States. This flooring option is simple to maintain and with some types of wood, is a great option for those that have children and pets running around (and will even hold up to those spills and messes!). While standing water can have a detrimental effect on hardwood, simple spills should not be an issue. From a resale standpoint, hardwood floors tend to attract buyers and is seen as a benefit.
With the right maintenance, hardwood flooring can last quite a long time. Even after years of abuse with scratches and dents, the great thing about hardwood floors is that they can be sanded down and refinished for a new look. Rather than dealing with the upfront cost of a brand-new flooring, hardwood floor refinishing can make all the difference in fitting in a budget (while lasting another long amount of time before needing to be done again). Unfortunately, hardwood flooring in the sunlight is most likely to fade, although different wood types will be able to withstand more than others.
How do Hardwood & Laminate Compare?
Even though laying down flooring can be a DIY project, installation plays a huge role in the longevity and end look of the floor. In most cases, it is recommended to use a professional company like Ridgeline Floors to get the fastest, highest quality flooring possible instead of taking the extra time out of your busy schedule to do it on your own. For a value-adding flooring option, hardwood should be the go-to choice as it is seen around the country as a beautiful feature to have in a home. When damages are found on the floor, hardwood has a simple fix of filling in scratches throughout the years and then migrating to refinishing, while laminate flooring is hit or miss whether or not a correct match will be found.
While hardwood does need more maintenance and care than laminate would, the overall benefits outweigh the drawbacks. In order to maintain either one on a regular basis, they need to be swept and mopped to keep dirt and dust from deteriorating the floor boards too quickly. Neither laminate nor hardwood should be allowed to house standing water, although laminate will deal with spills slightly better. When looking at longevity, hardwood tends to beat out laminate almost every time (you can expect your hardwood to last about 25 years with great care).
Which One Will You Choose?
Each of the options we have broken down above have great benefits, although hardwood often pulls ahead in many aspects. Even though the initial cost is more expensive than laminate, hardwood flooring has proven time and time again to be a superior flooring in durability, easy of fixes, and visual appeal. For any type of home style, hardwood flooring can be a great match with multiple color shades and woods to choose from. No matter how many times you decide to switch up the trends in your home, your hardwood flooring will never go out of style.
With hardwood comes the option to do hardwood floor refinishing down the road, another great perk of the flooring. After it has gotten a little worse for wear, let us bring in our team of professionals here at Ridgeline Floors to bring your floor back to brand-new! Simply give us a call to schedule your consultation today.