Laminate vs. Hardwood Floors

Posted by on August 16, 2017 in Flooring | Comments Off on Laminate vs. Hardwood Floors

hardwood floor

You have torn out your old carpet and now you need to choose your new floor type. Will you install new carpet or consider a hard surface like tile or laminate or hardwood floors?

The choice between laminate and hardwood floors use to be easy. If you could afford them, you would purchase hardwood floors. If you couldn’t afford them, you would purchase laminate floors. But with recent improvements to the construction, style and performance of laminate floors, the choice is no longer as obvious.

Here are some of the differences between laminate and hardwood floors:

CONSTRUCTION

Laminate wood is fiberboard. Fiberboard is very thin and nowhere near as durable as real hardwood. The laminate then has paint or acrylic to create the appearance of wood and then another protective sealant over that layer.

Hardwood floor is, well… it’s hardwood. It is extremely durable and very high-quality.

Hardwood Floors: 1

Laminate Floors: 0

INSTALLATION

This one is a win for laminate floors. You can install laminate floors in your home fairly easily. Laminate floor often can be snapped together. Hardwood floor requires professionals or renting various equipment you won’t have on hand at your home. In almost all aspects, hardwood floor will cost more than laminate floor.

Hardwood Floors: 1

Laminate Floors: 1

COST

Like we mentioned above, cost favors laminate. You can buy a quality piece of laminate flooring for around $3 per square feet whereas hardwood floor can cost upwards of $5 per square feet depending on the type of wood you choose. If you do purchase laminate, don’t skimp too much on the quality and construction to save money. You should still invest the $3 per square foot.

Hardwood Floors: 1

Laminate Floors: 2

DURABILITY

You should expect a decent laminate floor to last for around 10 years. Laminate will deteriorate from scratches, UV rays, water and several other factors. Hardwood floor is extremely durable and can last your entire lifetime if you care for it properly.

Hardwood Floors: 2

Laminate Floors: 2

RESTORATION

You cannot sand or repair laminate floor. If a piece of laminate floor is damaged it must be replaced. You can refinish hardwood floor several times to renew its color and polish. This is another benefit related to the durability of hardwood floor.

Hardwood Floors: 3

Laminate Floors: 2

RESALE VALUE

Laminate has improved over the years but there is no denying that real hardwood floors will increase the chance of selling your home for a price you desire. Hardwood floor is an excellent long-term investment in this regard.

Hardwood Floors: 4

Laminate Floors: 2

APPEARANCE

Hardwood floor used to be a clear winner here but laminate has improved to the point where a high-quality laminate floor will look very similar to hardwood. Hardwood floor still has the better appearance but due to the low-cost of laminate, we will call this a tie.

Hardwood Floors: 4

Laminate Floors: 2

PETS

If you live with pets, we recommend laminate floor. The synthetic wear layer over the top protects against claws and scratches whereas hardwood floor does not have a protective layer over it.

Hardwood Floors: 4

Laminate Floors: 3

You can see that overall we still prefer hardwood floor vs laminate but the gap is much less than it used to be and if you don’t see a noticeable difference between laminate and hardwood floor you could consider it a tie, but for now, if you are installing new floor today, we would recommend hardwood floor.