Hardwood vs. Laminate: Which flooring is right for you?
Many homeowners find it difficult to decide between hardwood and laminate flooring when the time comes to invest in a new floor. The difference between these two types of floors can be a little unclear at first. This is why we have put together this short guide to help you decide which is right for you. We will look at a few factors: appearance, durability, and longevity.
In terms of appearance, there really is no comparison. The difference between hardwood and laminate flooring is abundantly clear. Real wood has an impressive texture variation in the wood grain, which means no two pieces of hardwood appear exactly the same. The pre-designed patterns in laminate flooring that are meant to replicate the look of real wood will be repeated every so often, which can lead to a cheaper look and feel.
The durability of any flooring surface depends largely on intensity of foot traffic, as well as paying attention to the manufacturer’s recommendations for care. The surface of laminate is often harder than that of natural wood due to the manufacturing process. Also, most laminate floor surfaces are extremely resistant to moisture damage, staining and fading. The durability of hardwood flooring depends on the finish, as well as manufacturer and maintenance practices. Natural woods are softer than laminate floor and can dent more easily. Although, solid hardwood floor can be refinished fairly easily, and the need for replacement is rare.
Laminate floors have quite a short lifespan in comparison to hardwood flooring. Generally, laminate flooring will need to be replaced every 20 or so years. This is when the finish will be worn down and they cannot be sanded or refinished. On the other hand, hardwood floors can literally last a lifetime if they are well-maintained. Once their existing finish has worn down, they can be sanded and refinished, leaving them looking as good as new.
While both have their advantages, in most instances, hardwood flooring is a wiser choice than laminate.
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