Nothing beats the look and feel of wood – whether real hardwood or high quality laminate – when it comes to the flooring of most homes. Homes designed to have ultramodern styles may be hard pressed to integrate wood flooring in the overall look, but can tend to take away from the homely feel by being or seeming colder or more sterile.
For homeowners looking for more of the charm and character of wood, hardwood or laminate floors are a great option. Depending on your specific needs and uses, however, either type has its own pros and cons.
Pros and Cons of Laminate Floors
While nature never really repeats itself, laminates based on hardwood patterns will always have repetitions in the pattern, at an average of every five boards for most types.
They are also not always easily repaired, usually requiring replacement of individual boards. Most laminate floorings will require replacement after around 15-25 years.
Care must also be taken to properly ventilate laminate flooring during its early life. Indoor plants and proper ventilation are recommended early on to absorb or diffuse such emissions.
High quality laminate flooring, however, can look just about as good as hardwood flooring, and can last as long as 50 years.
While not as easy to repair as hardwood flooring, laminate flooring is also much more resistant to dents, scratches, stains, humidity and moisture, and general wear and tear, making them an option where hardwood floors usually aren’t, such as bathrooms, kitchens, and basements. This is because laminate flooring is made using several layers of highly compacted wood fibers and an outer layer made of resins and aluminum subjected to high heat and pressure.
Installing laminate flooring is usually much easier to do yourself, often coming in pieces that can easily snap together without glue. They are also generally easier to maintain with the usual sweeping, mopping, and wiping.
They are often as much as 2-4 times less expensive than hardwood flooring.
Pros and Cons of Hardwood Floors
Hardwood floors can be more expensive than laminate, especially when using tropical hardwood species that get rarer by the year.
Installing hardwood floors is also usually more difficult, requiring precise cutting and placement and gluing down and/or nailing.
Maintenance can also be a bit more demanding than with laminate flooring, requiring quick cleanup of corrosive substances and moisture, and wood-friendly cleaners.
As mentioned earlier, however, nothing beats the unique grains and sheer beauty of hardwood.
With the proper quality, finish, and maintenance, hardwood floors will last a lifetime at least. While it dents and scratches more easily than laminate, unlike laminate, they will rarely ever need replacement of individual pieces or even the entire floor, but can be easily repaired several times over with some sanding and refinishing.
Hardwood floors are also 100% organic, meaning no toxic fumes are emitted after installation. It is best to look for those that are certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) to ensure the wood is harvested in a sustainable manner.
Leave it to the Professionals
Aside from giving you expert advice on the ideal material for your particular needs, leaving the installation to the professionals is always good advice. While both hardwood and laminate floors can be DIY’d to some extent, any mistake can prove very costly.
Karpet and Flooring Mart is a local business serving Oakland, Macomb, Wayne, Washtenaw, and Livingston Counties. We specialize in Michigan hardwood flooring and laminate flooring supply and installation. We go directly to you to find out your wants and needs, and present custom solutions with emphasis on quality, value, and service. Contact us today at 248-702-6400 to discuss the top brands we carry and what we can do to make your home beautiful with the minimal time and stress possible.
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