When it comes to choosing between wood and laminate flooring, most people will choose wood. This fact seems to have its roots in the misguided perception that laminate is an inferior type of flooring to wood, rather than being based on any honest appraisal of the pros and cons of each type.
While it is true that laminates sometime give a ‘fake wood-look’ and its occasional habit of forming ‘waves’ if not properly fitted has seriously damaged its reputation, most people don’t stop to consider the number of ways that laminate actually outperforms wood flooring.
The aim of this article is to compare these two different types of flooring to help homeowners make a decision that is based on the facts and not on hype.
Wood vs. Laminate Flooring
Wood flooring costs more than laminate flooring. The price difference between wood and laminate flooring really depends on which type of laminate or wood flooring you go for. On average, a flooring that is made from bamboo will cost you somewhere in the region of $7.30/sf, while hardwood will set you back upwards of $8.00/sf. For larger kitchens, this can be quite expensive, particularly when laminate flooring costs just $4.70/sf.
When it comes to looks, up close wood flooring beats laminate hands down. There simply is no substitute for varnished hardwood flooring. It lends an air of classic sophistication to a home that laminate can only hope to match when being viewed from a distance. Laminate flooring doesn’t have the depth of wood grains, meaning that the texture is not nearly as great when viewed close up when compared to hardwood flooring.
Laminate flooring can be installed incredibly quickly. Most laminate flooring connects together as though it was Lego. This means that the center parts of the floor can be installed in a matter of minutes, leaving fitting the edges as the only difficulty.
Wood flooring, on the other hand, takes a lot more time, skill and tools to install. It is often a painstaking process to have to cut all the pieces to specific sizes, something which also creates an enormous amount of dust and noise. Because of this, installing wood floors is also a lot more costly than laminate flooring.
Durability and Repair
Laminate flooring is far easier to damage on account of the material being softer. Should you drop something heavy or sharp on laminate flooring, then there is a much higher chance of it damaging the floor. To repair a damaged panel of laminate flooring then you will need to dismantle the floor until you reach the damage panel that you intend to replace.
Wood flooring, on the other hand, can be easily sanded and varnished should it get damaged or stained. Since throwing some sheets over your furniture while you do some sanding is much easier than moving it all out so that you can rip up the whole floor, wood flooring is considered the easier of the two to repair.