There are several differences between real hardwood flooring and laminate flooring, besides just the look. Laminate flooring is synthetic multi-layered floor with a core made of melamine resin and fiber board. Hardwood flooring can be real or engineered. Engineered hardwood flooring is created from several layers of plywood or other wood.
Hardwood flooring comes in many stains (shades) and they can be sanded, re-stained and varnished, so it’s possible to completely change the look of hardwood flooring anytime you want. If you polish your hardwood floors it also reflects more natural light into your home; especially in hallways and living rooms.
One of the good things about laminate is that it can mimic the look of any type of flooring. If you are not able to keep up with the fine care and polish that a real hardwood floor needs from time to time, but you want a wood finish, you may do better with a mock wood laminate floor. Although laminate flooring may look like vinyl flooring to the untrained eye, laminate is much harder than vinyl. Also, most laminate flooring is stain and scratch resistant since it’s not as porous as vinyl or hardwood. Laminate floors come in rolls or tiles, both can be installed using glue or the floating method.
Which has the Best Quality and Durability?
Durability all depends on how much traffic the room will have. Hardwood is longer lasting and easier to buff scratches from, so it does well in areas with heavy traffic such as living rooms, dining rooms and media rooms. However, some laminate flooring comes with scratch resistance, so these floors do really well in higher traffic areas like hallways and playrooms.
Laminate flooring also tends to be best in areas with a lot of spillage such as bathrooms, kitchens, playrooms, garages, laundry rooms and offices. Laminate flooring also withstands households with indoor pets very well. Both hardwood and laminate flooring are suitable for bedrooms and guest rooms. As a general rule of thumb, laminate flooring lasts less than 20 years, whereas some hardwood flooring can provide more than 25 years of life. The most durable hardwood floors are the ones with UV-cured urethane finishes.
Differences in Pricing
Hardwood flooring is more expensive than laminate floor. This is because hardwood floors are real wood, it has a longer life expectancy and it takes professional installation. Pricing for both is often given by the square foot, and in some cases, square yards.
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