Choosing Your New Flooring: Laminate or Hardwood?

Picking the flooring material for your home is a choice that you are going to have to live with for years. Two of the most popular choices are laminate flooring and hardwood flooring. Wood is beautiful and is also warm underfoot, providing an insulating factor in the coldest weather. Modern or traditional, both laminate and hardwood come in a variety of grains and finishes. But how do you know which is right for you?

Laminate Hardwood
Laminates are made from a wood composite with either an image of wood or a veneer. These are pressed together at very high heat. Laminates can be as much as 50 percent less expensive than hardwood flooring. Hardwoods are made from harvested trees which are then sawn and shaped into planks. Depending on the type of wood, hardwood flooring can be incredibly expensive. For the eco-conscious, sustainability can also be a concern.
Laminates are more durable in high-traffic areas. They are resistant to scratching and marking, moisture and warping. Laminates can be used even in high humidity areas such as bathrooms and kitchens. Hardwoods, unless durably finished, are susceptible to scratching, and can warp when exposed to high humidity or excessive moisture. While they are terrific for living areas, they’re not so good for kitchens and baths
Laminates resist fading in the sun, and wears well in high-traffic areas such as entryways. Hardwoods can be repaired by simple sanding and refinishing, while laminates are more difficult to repair.

A high quality laminate flooring looks terrific and would need very close scrutiny for someone to discern that it is not hardwood. Both materials have their advantages and disadvantages, but for the budget conscious and appearance conscious, laminate has clear advantages in price and usage. Talk to an expert flooring contractor to find out all about your options when it comes to laminate flooring, engineered hardwoods, and hardwood floors.


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