Laminate flooring is a synthetic product designed to mimic the appearance of natural hardwood planks. Hardwood flooring has a long tradition of use in home design and is available in two primary types today: Solid hardwood flooring consists of planks that are each produced from a single piece of natural wood and can be purchased either unfinished or prefinished.
Hardwood can be installed in any room that doesn’t experience high levels of moisture or humidity.
Related Article The Biggest Differences Between Engineered Wood Flooring and Laminate Whether you’re moving into a new place or simply want a stronger flooring option, we’ll prepare you to choose between engineered wood and laminate Natural wood surface offers unique grain textures and appearance on every plank
Countless options for wood species, color, finish, width, and installation pattern Any individual laminate flooring product will offer a limited number of unique plank designs. Both hardwood and laminate flooring can be customized to fit in with your color scheme and decor style.
Related Article Pros and Cons of Carpet, Hardwood, Laminate, and Tile When you're choosing new flooring, what are the benefits and disadvantages of each type? Solid hardwood can be made from a variety of different wood species that range in hardness, with softwoods tending to dent more easily. Most laminate flooring features a finish that is harder than natural wood, making it highly resistant to moisture, staining, and fading for up to 20 years.
Hardwood may not be as resistant to these common forms of wear and tear, but with proper care and a well-maintained finish, it can be comparable in durability and last just as long. Additionally, solid hardwood can be sanded and refinished several times throughout its lifespan, allowing it to last for decades—or even generations—without the need for replacement. Laminate plank can be installed on any level of your home and can float over most existing floors without the need to tear them up. The tongue and groove joint design easily clicks and locks into place, and there’s no need to finish or sand the surface when you’re done. For both laminate and hardwood, you can expect the best results when you go with professional installation from a local flooring pro . Unlike most floors, hardwood can experience minor dents and scratches and actually increase in value.
This aesthetic wear can emphasize the unique appearance and depth of the wood grain, which is valued by many homebuyers. That said, solid and engineered hardwood floors can both be sanded down and refinished relatively easily, even on the level of individual planks.
Cleaning laminate floors requires little more than regular sweeping, dry mopping, or wiping with a damp cloth. You can also reduce fading by closing blinds and shades and by periodically rotating rugs and furniture so your floors wear evenly.
Universal cleaners will do the opposite, instead making the finish appear dull and possibly damaging your floors. Solid hardwood flooring is made of organic material that expands and contracts with changes in your home’s humidity and temperature levels.
The layers of engineered hardwood flooring offer more stability, making it preferable to solid wood in warm or humid climates. Most laminate floors offer high moisture resistance and can be safely installed in just about any room. However, you should still carefully read the warranty and manufacturer recommendations for any product before installing to avoid costly mistakes.
Hardwood planks range in composition from mostly to completely organic, so they can be disposed of or recycled without risk of damage to the environment.
Strict industry standards ensure that most hardwood manufacturers are producing flooring that contains no organic carbon emissions and glues free from harmful chemicals. Laminate floors, on the other hand, are made entirely from layers of synthetic material bonded together by glue.
Installing new floors will always boost the look and potential resale value of your home in the short term. The lower cost of laminate floors and their shorter maximum lifespan won’t enhance your home’s value.