For many consumers it is tough to distinguish the differences between laminate and hardwood flooring. To the casual observer, natural hardwood and engineered laminate often look incredibly similar. However, there are a few important differences that you should be familiar with before you settle on one or the other.
When considering the specific type of hardwood that will be best for your home, you shouldn’t be shy about doing diligent research to obtain as much helpful information as you can. When all is said and done, you’ll have to be content with your final choice, knowing full well that your new floors will most likely be in place for some time to come.
At Smith Brothers Floors, we have a wide variety of both natural hardwood and laminate flooring options. To help you make the best decision for your home, based on your needs and preferences, you should be sure to consider these important differences between natural hardwoods and engineered laminates:
Hardiness and Maintenance Requirements
In general, hardwood floors can be more susceptible to scratches as well as damage that results from excess moisture building up on the floor’s surface. Over the course of time, hardwood typically shows more wear and tear than laminate flooring. In addition, hardwood can actually change color over time when it is stained.
In contrast, laminate flooring tends to be more scratch-resistant than hardwood. Laminates are also less susceptible to moisture damage and other general wear and tear. It’s important to recognize that laminate flooring can be stained or smudged much more easily than hardwood and it also requires special padding underneath to dampen excessive noise.
Both hardwood and laminate flooring are considerably cheaper than common stone flooring options, such as granite or marble. While it will ultimately depend on the specific product that you select, on average, laminate flooring is cheaper than hardwood. Basic hardwood usually costs anywhere from $10-$13 per square foot while laminate flooring ranges from $7-$11 per square foot.
When it comes to the ease of making repairs, hardwood is typically viewed as superior to laminates. Sanding and refinishing affected areas is typically an easy solution for repairing unsightly imperfections or blemishes in your hardwood floors.
Laminate flooring, on the other hand, can be much more difficult to repair. If you elect to install laminate flooring, it’s more imperative to do everything in your power to protect the integrity of your new floors. This is because even the slightest damage or imperfection often necessitates the replacement of an entire panel of flooring. While replacement panels can be efficiently snapped into place, this practice involves the risk of reinstalling a new piece that doesn’t quite match your existing floors.
Typically, hardwood floors last much longer than prefabricated laminate flooring. On average, the lifespan of most hardwood floors is around 75 years while laminate flooring will typically need to be replaced by the 20-year mark.
As you can see, there are some considerable differences between hardwood and laminate flooring. We hope that this comparison will assist you in making the final decision that is best for your home, your family, and your lifestyle.
At Smith Bros, we pride ourselves on offering a wide variety of options for our clients and our expert salespeople in our show room are glad to help you sort through these options to find the hardwood or laminate selection that will leave you feeling satisfied for years to come. If you are interested in learning more about our products and services, please don’t hesitate to give us a call directly at 1-403-255-7791 today!