Everyone loves that warm homey look of hardwood flooring and the fact that it seems to last forever. But laminate has a look that is awfully close to hardwood and it has other advantages, too, like it costs far less. So, which one is the right choice for your home?
Wood flooring is the flooring for the ages. Well, since the rough cut plank colonial era certainly, but it has evolved overtime into what we now consider the ideal hardwood flooring. Today, the finishes are less shiny than in decades past and you’ll see hardwood floors, reclaimed barn wood or bowling alley floors and just good old fashioned New England pine planks. Each has its own unique beauty and lasts for generations.
This type of flooring is considered the standard in finer homes. It is usually what sits beneath glorious area rugs in every room. Although, some opt for a warm carpet in the bedrooms and stone tiles for bathrooms and kitchens.
On the downside, hardwood flooring is expensive to install and every decade or so you’ll need to refinish it. The polyurethane will wear off and you’ll find water stains and scratches from years use. Refinishing can be a costly maintenance.
Laminate flooring gives you a similar look, as it has an image of hardwood flooring over the core materials. It is finished right out of the box, so your choices there are minimal. It’ll likely be installed as a tongue and groove floated floor.
The biggest difference between the two is the length of life. Laminate does hold up well these days and it has evolved into a durable, scratch resistant flooring choice. But it cannot be refinished, because the top is only a photograph, not real wood. So, it will need to be replaced decades before hardwood.
Another difference with laminate is the price. This flooring choice is far less expensive than regular hardwood flooring.