Laminate vs Hardwood Flooring: Pros and Cons

by Joanna Stewart

Sun, Nov 25, 2018

living room with laminate wood flooring

The type of flooring in your home or office has a huge impact on its overall attractiveness, and also on its functionality. Choosing flooring that is stunning, durable and easy to maintain is therefore very important.

So, should you choose laminate or hardwood flooring? Let’s find out.

Laminate wood flooring is steadily gaining in popularity, and is a synthetic product consisting of multiple layers. It is also laminated for an attractive finish.

A more traditional surface is hardwood flooring, a product that comes in several different forms, for example, wide strips or individual squares. Hardwood can be stained in various colors to match the decor of a room.

Laminate Wood Flooring Pros and Cons

Since laminate wood flooring has been in use, its versatility and durability when compared to other kinds of flooring has become highly appreciated.

Its upper layer is a strip of printed vinyl that can be made in a wide variety of styles and textures that replicate natural wooden floors.

In addition, the installation process is generally quicker and easier than most other floor varieties, and if you are a handy person, you may even be able to do it yourself.

If you prefer a professional to do the job, you will find that they do not charge exorbitant prices for this type of installation.

Laminate flooring is also easy to clean, but should not get soaked. The main disadvantage of these floors is the fact they can scratch fairly easily and be damaged from prolonged exposure to water/moisture.

Hardwood Flooring Pros and Cons

Hardwood flooring has stood the test of time in terms of its durability and value.

It is a fact that 100-year old homes and even older houses often still have their original hardwood floors, and they still look attractive if they have been properly maintained.

Hardwood floors are quick to clean – a sweep and an occasional use of a wood floor cleaner is all that’s required. In regards to value, a buyer will certainly pay top-dollar for a home with hardwood floors.

This type of flooring is available in many styles, for example, cherry, oak and walnut, and their look can be quite easily changed if necessary.

On the downside, hardwood floors require a bigger installation job, and can be prone to scratches. They will therefore need to be refinished from time to time. They can also be quite noisy when walking on them.

Cost Comparison: Laminate vs Hardwood Prices

You can expect to pay between $2 and $10 per square foot for laminate wood flooring, although prices can sometimes be as high as $20 per square foot.

The higher priced flooring may be of specialized materials, or may have a finish of particularly high quality. Depending on the quality you buy, you can expect your floors to last between five and twenty years.

Hardwood flooring costs between $3 and $12 per square foot, and this may not include the finish of the wood. The costs for labor will also likely be more for hardwood flooring than laminate wood flooring.

While you may pay less for laminate wood flooring, remember that they cannot be repaired. Once scratched or damaged, or once it has lost its finish, replacement is imminent.

Hardwood floors, however, can be refinished to restore their original glamour.

Keep in mind that laminate wood floors are far easier to install than hardwood floors. It is a big and fairly costly job to add hardwood floors to your home, but once in, they do add considerable value.

Both types of floors are quite easy to clean, and are considered to be hygienic.

Have a great time shopping for new floors, but don’t forget the pros and cons of each floor variety.

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