Flooring Showdown: Laminate vs Hardwood
Throughout the years, there has been a steady increase in flooring options available to builders and homeowners alike. Choosing a floor that fits your needs includes a number of attractive choices such as wood, tile, marble, stone, and more. In the wood flooring arena, two options stand out: traditional hardwood and the more popular than ever laminate flooring.
Tradition and Innovation
Hardwood flooring is the traditional choice for residences and commercial buildings because of its solid reputation as a reliable flooring material. Laminate flooring, on the other hand, is a more recent development. It has been used in Europe for many years, which is where it originated, and is continually gaining popularity in North America. Many say that laminate flooring is a worthy substitute for hardwood flooring.
Being similar in appearance, hardwood flooring and laminate flooring are often compared to each other. Although they both offer advantages to the homeowner and can be very similar in appearance, they are very different surfaces. Traditional hardwood flooring offers a solid natural surface, whereas laminate is a replica, manufactured from paper, fiberboard, and innovative print technology.
Wood Grain Patterns and Colors
Hardwood flooring has naturally beautiful and distinct grain patterns and rich color ranges that set the standard for laminate flooring, which also exhibits beautiful and distinct grain patterns found in wood. But laminate flooring is a photograph of wood that is laminated onto a base.
Cost-wise, it is no surprise that hardwood is generally more expensive than laminate flooring. Laminate delivers on look, while being made up of less expensive materials. Hardwood is often the flooring of choice in more affluent settings and where additional structural strength is important. Laminate flooring adds no such strength.
Care & Maintenance Differences for Hardwood and Laminate Flooring
Laminate floors are easier to maintain compared to traditional wood floors. Another advantage of laminate flooring is that it can be installed on pretty much any flat, dry, and clean surface. However, unlike hardwood, laminate flooring is difficult to repair if it becomes damaged, and refinishing is not an option.