Hardwood Vs. Laminate Flooring Guide

Solid hardwood flooring is often thought to be the real thing, with laminate flooring occupying another rung down as a cheap way to simulate the appearance of real hardwood flooring. Hardwood flooring-3/4-inch-thick boards of solid hardwood cut from a tree-is undoubtedly a quality material. But this will not imply that you should automatically discount laminate flooring. Solid hardwood floor and laminate flooring each have their own place, with their own group of values as well as challenges.

Laminate vs Hardwood: Major Differences

Solid hardwood flooring, as the name suggests, is comprised of flooring boards that are solid hardwood material through-and-through. The boards, usually 3/4-inch thick, are usually milled with a smooth top surface and tongue-and-groove edges that interlock to hold the boards together. Theyre usually installed by blind-nailing the boards to the subfloor through the tongues along the edges of the boards. In the event the boards are unfinished, the ground is stained and varnished once the installation is complete. However, prefinished solid hardwood flooring is increasingly preferred.

Laminate flooring is created by you start with a core layer of fiberboard manufactured from wood byproducts. Over this is a design layer that is printed to resemble wood or other material. The design layer is protected by the clear, hard wear layer that offers good resistance to scratching and stains. The flooring boards are relatively thin, 6 to mm (1/4- to 1/2-inch) thick, and are produced with click-lock edges that snap together to secure the boards. That is a floating floor that will require no nailing or glue.

There comes a period in the flooring decision-making process when you understand that it boils down to hardwood vs. laminate. Youve come to your senses regarding that shag carpet. Youve done tile before and, like the majority of everybody else, wished youd picked a different color, size, kind, grout, etc. Weve all been there.

And today youre here, where most people eventually arrive, at the hardwood vs. laminate debate. In the past, it used to be no contest: Got lots of money? Spring for the hardwoods. Not really much money? Receive the wood laminate.

Now, though, the debate is little more complicated mostly because laminate flooring options have grown to be extremely attractive in a lot of ways.

First of all, consider how much of your homes flooring youre replacing. Will you be tying the ground into another space that already has laminate vs. hardwood? If youre tying into a preexisting floor, you might stick with the same flooring for it to match. Matching an existing hardwood floor, however, is much easier in theory. But if other floors at home arent a concern, here are the basic arguments when contemplating hardwood vs. laminate flooring.


People often make a big fuss about how long hardwoods last. The funny part is that they need to be refinished every 5 to a decade or so depending on amount of traffic or, in some instances, the destructive tendencies of young children. A superior quality laminate is resistant to wear, fading and staining. So that it will look as good as it did the day you installed it after twenty years or even more without needing not the casual cleaning.


Hardwoods and laminate require about the same amount of routine care. Vacuum, sweep and tidy up any spills and youre done. But spill burgandy or merlot wine on some hardwoods and youll finish up with red floors. And a person with a dog or small kids must just figure out how to tolerate the scratches that hardwoods tend to get.


Few installation jobs will motivate you to leave your home more than installing and refinishing hardwood floors. The dust, curing time and lingering smell are unpleasant at best, potentially hazardous at worst. Laminates can be professionally installed efficiently without nails or glue, and everything the finishing is performed at the factory rather than your home.Cost. This last one isnt even fair. Laminates go longer, install easier, tend to be more eco-friendly are absolutely stunning and, with their embossed grain or hand scraped finishes, impossible to differentiate from hardwoods. And theyre still usually significantly less expensive than hardwoods.

The winner in hardwood vs. laminate is

Just taking these factors into consideration, youd expect us to state laminate. And we would, quite honestly however, not necessarily for those reasons.

Ultimately, the hardwood vs. laminate debate comes down to whether the quality and beauty of modern laminate flooring matches not simply the natural splendor of hardwood flooring but also the deterioration of life with kids and dogs, scratching, spills and so forth. For many, {it does|it