Hardwood Flooring vs. Laminate Flooring.

Ah, the age ol’ debate, well not really as laminate flooring was invented back in 1977 (according to Wikipedia), but regardless, it’s a debate. Every homeowner who wants to spruce up their home by changing their floors has to make an important decision, laminate or hardwood? And up until recently, laminate flooring did not even hold a candle to solid hardwood, but with technological advances and great strides in engineering, laminate has propelled itself back into competition.

There are numerous pros and cons to choosing either. Let’s go through some of the primary considerations a homeowner goes through before deciding which step to take.

Flooring costs can burn a hole through your wallet and depending on your budget, flooring quality has a drastic range.

Laminate – Laminate is essentially wood pressed together with the look of hardwood or image of hardwood pressed on top making it a cheaper option. Installation for laminate is also significantly cheaper and significantly easier. Many homeowners choose to install laminate flooring themselves as opposed to hiring outside help.

Hardwood – Hardwood flooring is solid wood and depending on what variety of wood you purchase, the pricing can differ greatly. The fact that it is solid wood combined with the fact that it is much more difficult to install greatly increases the price of hardwood flooring.

Winner of Price: Laminate

The durability of a floor is measured by it’s ability to resist scratches, moisture, how long it can last and how long it retains is beauty.  

Laminate – With laminate it really depends on the quality of the laminate. Laminate quality is all over the map. High quality laminates are very durable because they are essentially compressed layers and are quite resistant to denting and scratches. In the case of it actually denting and or scratching, the only way to fix it is to replace it. In case of floods or moisture built up, this type of pressure treated wood will expand and swell, meaning you’ll have to replace it.

Hardwood – Wood is generally quite a soft material and will definitely get scratched up, and dented up, however, sanding it down and refinishing it will fix it up and do the trick, a complete replacement is not necessary. Hardwood is also able to take moisture build up a lot better than laminate because it’s one homogenous piece of wood.  Hardwood has the potential to last for much longer than laminate if taken proper care of, whereas laminate may require replacement much more often.

Winner of Durability: Hardwood