There is a great debate raging! Wood vs. laminate! Are you confused by these two options? Well, relax! There are some good reasons to choose one over the other. Either hardwood or laminate flooring offers both benefits and drawbacks. It all depends on your desires and needs. Here is a look at each one.
Hardwood is a beautiful choice for flooring. It is warm and inviting and a timeless classic. It increases the value of your home and is a sound investment that most are not likely to regret. It is durable and stain resistant. Depending on the type of wood you choose, it can be resistant to scratches and dents, though some woods are harder than others. Another great benefit of hardwood is that you can refinish it several times, so it will last a very long time, if cared for properly.
Laminate is a beautiful choice as well. Exactly what is laminate flooring? It is a composite of wood fibers pressed together under heat and pressure and then covered over with a picture of hardwood grain. You really have to see samples in person to be able to tell if it is laminate or hardwood. A high quality laminate floor will be hard to distinguish from hardwood. Laminate resists moisture and scratches and is durable even in high traffic areas. It resists stains and is easy to clean. It is less susceptible to humidity changes than hardwood, although neither of these choices is impervious to moisture. Laminate can be installed by the homeowner and can even be floated over an existing floor. It can be used with radiant heat as well. It usually is resistant to fading, even if you have a lot of sunlight in your home.
In terms of green construction, wood is, of course, a renewable resource. However, not all wood is grown in a responsible and sustainable way. Some woods are harvested at a rate that threatens their survival. Laminate is made from wood fibers but the resins and melamine are made from non-renewable sources. So, depending on the type of hardwood you choose, this is the greener choice.
Some drawbacks of hardwood include a higher initial cost for the wood itself and also for professional installation. This is something that requires a little more skill to install properly. The type of wood chosen will also mean a variable cost. There will be some inconvenience as the hardwood will have to be finished on site. Generally a polyurethane coating is used. Also, hardwood must be nailed or fastened to the sub floor, so you will need to remove the existing floor before installation.
Some drawbacks to laminate include the fact that some can look a little fake. A very dark or distinctive wood pattern will be more easily noticed to repeat than a lighter and less obvious grain. However, laminate has improved in quality and you may be surprised to see that the difference is not so stark. If laminate is damaged, it is difficult to repair without replacing the entire floor. It could be possible to remove only the damaged portion if you used a click together type of laminate, which will work well if you can match the color. Laminate floors cannot be refinished.
So, the bottom line is this. If you can afford the initial investment, do not mind the professional installation, want a choice that is as green as possible, and you cannot settle for anything less than the real thing, then wood is for you. You will love the timeless beauty and you will benefit from the increased value in your home.
However, if you need a lower initial cost, you can find laminate floors that look good, are durable, and you can install them yourself over an existing floor. They are ready for use after installation and should you find you don’t like it, you can easily take it up and install something different.
Carolina Flooring knows all the pros and cons of every type of flooring available! We can show you samples and discuss the benefits and drawbacks of each floor type according to your own situation. Click on the icon below and get some answers from the professionals! We look forward to being your flooring solution!
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