Laminate or Harwood? Tips to Help You Decide.

Wood flooring can enhance the beauty, value and warmth of any home and is one of the most sought-after home amenities.  But it doesn’t always make sense to install wood in your home.  So the question arises: should I go with hardwood floors, or laminate?  Let’s explore.

Cost

Cost is usually a big factor in deciding whether to purchase hardwood or laminate.  Laminate is often significantly cheaper than wood to purchase and is less expensive to install.  Depending on your style preferences, hardwood flooring made of more exotic species of trees can be substantially more expensive to purchase and install.

Verdict: if you want to update the look of your home and need to do so on a budget, laminate is the way to go.

Maintainence

Consider what your flooring will need to stand up against once installed and how much effort you want to put into maintenance.  Do you have pets?  Young children?  Do you frequently entertain?

The laminate surface resists scratches and denting better than hardwood, because of the way it is manufactured.  Though it’s called hardwood, the surface is actually soft and is susceptible to scratches, dents and moisture damage.  While these surface abrasions can add to the character of the floor, excessive wear can take away from its natural beauty.

Verdict:  laminate is a better choice for high-traffic homes.

Style
Hardwood has a natural look and is available in a variety of species, colors and textures.  Depending on what you choose, it can add significant value to your home.  The newer styled laminates are also visually appealing however the lower quality laminates can look artificial.

Verdict:  when it comes to style, appearance and enhancing your home’s value, hardwood or upper-end laminates are winners.

Repair
Repairing your floors, regardless of the type of flooring you have, will likely be a consideration at some point during your occupancy of the home.  When laminate boards are damaged they are generally replaced, not repaired. Hardwood can be sanded and refinished to match the repair areas to the rest of the flooring.  After excessive wear, hardwood floors can be completely sanded and refinished so floors don’t have to be replaced but can still look new.  Both laminate and hardwood will last for many, many years.

Verdict:  hardwood is easier to repair.  Because it can be resurfaced, hardwood likely won’t need to be replaced when it begins to show wear.

Decide which type of flooring is right for you by taking these few simple things into consideration.  Whether you choose laminate or hardwood, the look of your new floors will enhance the beauty of your home.

1/17/2012 4:32:00 PM