Hardwood vs. Laminate Flooring

So, you’re probably wondering what the difference is between hardwood flooring and laminate wood flooring? There must be some important pros and cons between the two that make them such huge competitors? 

First off, hardwood flooring is the traditional wood floor and many people find it to be the only option. To them, wood cannot be replaced with any substitute, especially laminate wood. Hardwood floors have a unique solid sound and many people find them to be somewhat quieter than the laminate floors. Solid wood floors are offered in a broad selection of species. The exotic woods are obviously the most expensive.

Another positive factor concerning hardwood is its beneficial impact on resale value of a home. When the words “solid hardwood flooring” is seen by a home-buyer, there is a higher appeal to the buyers. Owning hardwood floors, when cared for properly, can last forever.

Consumers’ other option is laminate wood flooring. Laminate floors offer less variety than hardwood, but do include many popular wood choices like Brazilian cherry, oak, pecan, maple and hickory. With laminate and engineered wood floors, there are a variety of installation options, including glue-down, staple-down and free-floating.

Solid wood floors do not offer a floating option. When floating a floor, the feeling underfoot is lighter and softer, whereas the glue-down application creates a solid feeling underfoot.

More importantly, all flooring expands and contracts with changes in conditions like extreme moisture and temperature changes. Engineered floors are more dimensionally stable under those extreme conditions.

When considering any wood flooring, it’s very important for the consumer to keep in mind how the flooring is treated by the users of the home, i.e. dogs, cats or children. Is there a budget that will determine what material is more affordable?

What is important to you and the flooring you purchase? Typically, laminate wood floors are most often chosen by young families with children and pets. These floors are more affordable and very durable. Solid wood floors might appeal to more of the up-scale homeowner or to those who truly admire the honesty of real wood. Both flooring choices have many positive characteristics and have satisfied many homeowners.