The flooring in your home defines its value, look and overall appeal. Hardwood flooring and laminate are two of the most common flooring options for house owners. In fact, the similarities between the two are the major reason why the question of laminate vs hardwood flooring is an important one.
Hardwood flooring is all-natural. Furthermore, it’s solid construction makes it an aesthetic flooring option that can stand the test of time. Most older houses in Canada use hardwood flooring. On the other hand, laminate floors offer a similar look but at lower prices. As a result, many newer homes have laminate floors as opposed to hardwood flooring.
To choose a side in the hardwood vs laminate flooring discourse, you have to consider the advantages and disadvantages of each option. Sure, laminate floors are affordable and will do the trick. However, factors such as installation, durability and more have to be put into perspective. Not to worry, we will help you with the finer points of doing this. Can’t choose between laminate flooring and hardwood? The information in this blog will provide you with the specifics to make the best choice.
Laminate vs. Hardwood: What is the Cost of Each?
The foremost factor that should be considered when making a decision is pricing. Although both options are reasonably affordable, one of them is more expensive.
Hardwood flooring is more expensive compared to laminate. The reason behind the price of hardwood floors is the construction. Typically, they are made from already-harvested trees. Trees are expensive to cut down and process. Consequently, this translates to an increase in the price of hardwood floors.
On the other hand, laminate floors consist of slabs of composite wood. These slabs are pressed together under high temperatures, forming a laminate. To buttress our point, the component materials are cheaper compared to hardwood floors. In some cases, the difference in pricing may be as much as 50%.
Additionally, in the hardwood vs laminate argument, installation costs have to be considered. Laminate flooring costs about $3-$8 per square foot to install depending on the material and complexity of the project. However, wood floors can cost as much as $12 dollars under the same circumstances.
Therefore, if the price is an issue, laminate flooring may be best for you. It’s more affordable and will provide great value for money.
Laminate vs Hardwood Floors: Which is More Durable?
Before making a decision on the best type of flooring for you, consider the possibility of wear and tear. Foot traffic, dirt and weather conditions are some of the factors that affect the durability of the flooring. Furthermore, this feature will impact how functional and beautiful your floors look after a while.
When it comes to durability, hardwood can last for a hundred years. More importantly, it will remain in place without a substantial loss in aesthetic value. However, for this to happen, strict maintenance and cleaning regimes have to be followed. This is because this type of flooring is prone to scratches and dents.
On the other side of the hardwood vs laminate floors argument, the latter is highly durable and can resist scratches. Furthermore, it is fully moisture-resistant and easy to clean.
Hardwood vs Laminate: Repair and Maintenance
Over time, it’s normal for wear and tear to cause significant damage to hardwood floors. With this level of damage, repairs have to be made to ensure that your floors still look beautiful.
If you are wondering which is easier to repair and maintain between hardwood floors vs laminate, it’s the former. Wood floors can easily be fixed by sanding over imperfections and indentations on the floor. This gives it the edge in this discourse.
On the other hand, Laminate flooring is not easily repaired. However, if you buy laminate floors with individual pieces, it may be possible to replace damaged pieces. Although, even with this, you may not find the perfect fit due to ageing and weathering of the other installed pieces.
Is Hardwood Flooring More Comfortable Than Laminate?
When you buy high-quality wood flooring, you enjoy a natural sense of warmth and authenticity. Additionally, a pre-attached layer may make for a comfortable underfoot feel. In addition, the solid construction of hardwood flooring offers great thermal and soundproof qualities.
In terms of ergonomics and comfort, laminate flooring offers a soft underfoot feeling. Since it’s always installed on top of a foam layer, it offers great comfort. However, the hard plastic surface of laminate can boost the clicking sounds of pet toenails and shoe heels.
If your overall decision in the laminate vs hardwood flooring is based on comfort, laminate comes first. However, if you’d prefer thermal and sound insulation, wood floors are definitely the nether option of the two.
What Sizes Do Hardwood and Laminate Come in?
Typically, solid wood floors are sold in 1 ½ inch and 2 ¼ inch-wide boards. In inches, the length of these boards may be up to 48 inches with a width of 6 inches or more. Finally, the thickness is typically about ¾ inches.
Conversely, a laminate flooring plank is about 4 inches wide with a length of 48 inches. Depending on the construction of the product, laminate floors can have a thickness of 6-12 mm.
Hardwood Floors vs Laminate: Which is Best?
It’s hard to say that hardwood is definitely better than laminate flooring. Usually, the factors described above should be juxtaposed with your unique needs to select the best option. Based on its features, hardwood floors offer a lot of aesthetic value and functionality.
Therefore, they are great for sitting rooms, bedrooms and other living areas. If the hardwood is certified 100% water-resistant, it can also be used in the bathroom. However, it is not advisable to use hardwood floors in areas that see increased exposure to sunlight.
On the other hand, laminate flooring is accessible for users with pets and areas that see high foot traffic. In the same vein, it also retains moisture better than wood counterparts.
Hardwood vs Laminate: Make a Choice Today
There is no doubt about it, both hardwood and laminate flooring add loads of value to homes and other buildings. Before making a decision between hardwood vs laminate floors, review your lifestyle and unique needs based on the factors described above.
Here at LV Flooring, we offer a fine collection of hardwood floors and laminate flooring options for residents in Canada. Look through our options to select the best one for your home!