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Many homeowners struggle to decide between laminate and hardwood flooring and often wonder which one is better than the other. But unfortunately, there is no simple answer—both laminate flooring and hardwood floors have their pros and cons. It essentially comes down to the needs and wants of the homeowner. Things to take into consideration include budget, maintenance, stylistic preferences, installation and repair procedure, and durability.
The two main differences between laminate and hardwood are material and installation process. Hardwoods are made of wood planks that are either nailed or glued to a subfloor. Most hardwoods are finished using a water-based polyurethane, oil-based urethane, or wax.
Laminate planks are made from layers of synthetic fiberboard with an image of hard wood on top and then sealed with a protective resin. Laminate is installed as a floating floor which means that it is not attached to the subfloor below.
Pros & Cons
For the budget conscious, laminate is going to be the cheaper option when compared to hardwood. It is also easier to install and you can probably even do it yourself. Hardwood installation is more complicated because it involves glue and nails and is best left up to the professionals.
When it comes to maintenance, both types of floors are going to require the same basic routine. To prevent particles from scratching the surface, the floors should be swept daily and cleaned weekly with a damp mop. However, hardwoods may eventually need to be refinished to restore their original appearance.
If a hardwood plank becomes damaged, it can be sanded and stained to mask the discoloration. This is not true for laminate floors. If a laminate plank becomes damaged, it must be removed and then replaced. Since there is no guarantee that that particular pattern is still in production, it’s important to have extra planks on hand for repairs, whereas hardwood planks are easier to match and replace.
In the long term, hard wood floors are going to be more durable and last a lot longer than laminate floors. Hardwood floors are also more likely to add more value to your home. If you need more help deciding on which type of floor is best for you, call Shan’s Carpet and Fine Flooring today or stop by the store and see our awesome selection of hardwood and laminate flooring in Houston.