Laminate vs. Hardwood Flooring
Laminate vs. hardwood flooring—which one is right for you? Learn more before you make your final choice.
What is laminate flooring? With today’s technology, laminate flooring is a strong alternative to hardwood. While the look of laminate and hardwood flooring may be similar, knowing the differences between laminate and hardwood flooring will help you make the best choice for your home and budget.
- Construction. Wood materials are pressed together to make a plank. Top layer is a photographic layer made to mimic various surfaces like wood and stone. Can be installed in basements.
- Cost. Less expensive
- Repair. Minor scratches can be repaired, but new flooring needs to be installed for major repairs. Since laminate is made of composite wood, it cannot be refinished.
- Lifespan. Average of 15-25 years
- Construction. Made of solid wood. The look of the wood comes from the natural state of the wood itself. Grain and color are unique. Installation of hardwood flooring below-grade is not recommended.
- Cost. More expensive
- Repair. Minor and major damage can be repaired. Hardwood floors can be refinished multiple times throughout its life.
- Lifespan. 100+ years
Cleaning Hardwood Floors and Laminate Floors
Even though the materials vary, cleaning hardwood and laminate flooring is basically the same. You’ll want to set up a maintenance routine of daily dust mopping, weekly cleaning with a vacuum/wet mop and a deep clean/polish every few months or as needed. A proper maintenance plan will help keep your floors looking great for as long as you own your floors.
Some may think laminate vs. hardwood is an “either/or” debate, but it’s best to see it as a “both/and” discussion. Both types have their advantages. While many view hardwood as a better investment, the advances in laminate flooring and the wide range of looks you can achieve with it cannot be denied. Find the choices that meet your needs and budget.