Wood flooring looks beautiful and is a desirable flooring option for many homes. The warm hues and gorgeous grains can add class and a certain timelessness to a room. Both hardwood and laminate can help to achieve this look, but each has pros and cons that should be considered with your specific situation and needs in mind.
Laminate Costs Less
Laminate is generally much less costly than hardwood, which can make it easier to fit into a tight budget. If you’re selling a home and need to redo the floors, laminate can add curb appeal quickly and inexpensively. However, laminate will typically not raise the home value, whereas hardwood may.
Hardwood Lasts Longer
Some types of hardwood flooring can last a lifetime, needing only periodic sanding and staining to stay looking beautiful. Laminate, on the other hand, generally needs to be replaced every few years when the plastic sealant becomes scratched or scuffed. Durability may vary depending on the specific brand and type of laminate or hardwood, the traffic through the area, and how well the floor is cared for, however.
Hardwood Is Eco-Friendly
Hardwood floors are typically organic and may even be crafted from reclaimed wood, a benefit to the environment. Laminate floors are created from bonding composite materials and resins at high temperatures, so these floors are not organic or eco-friendly. Additionally, some laminate floors release volatile organic compounds, or VOCs, into the air. This may aggravate respiratory conditions in sensitive individuals.
Laminate Is Easier to Install
Laminate flooring is relatively simple to install, whereas hardwood is a little more complex and takes a bit of skill. Many homeowners that decide to go with hardwood pay to have professionals install the flooring, whereas laminate is typically a DIY project. With the right materials and planning, laminate can be installed with attractive results in just a few hours.
Laminate Is Softer Than Hardwood
Laminate is a “floating floor” that’s installed on top of a layer of underlayment. The underlayment and the laminate itself result in a floor with more “give” that’s easier on the feet and ankles. Hardwood floor is harder and doesn’t have the same amount of “give,” so it can be tougher on the feet and ankles if it’s placed in areas where people will stand for long periods of time.
Which Should You Choose?
As you can see, there are advantages and disadvantages to each hardwood and laminate. Consider your budget, how long you want the floors to last, whether you‘re concerned with eco-friendliness, and how the floors are generally used in the areas that you will be installing the flooring. If you can’t decide between the two flooring types, consult your Longwood laminate flooring experts for more details on specific flooring types and prices.