Flooring – Laminate vs Hardwood

Laminate flooring has several advantages over hardwood flooring. This is why it is currently more popular among consumers. Laminate flooring is composed of four different layers. One of these layers is the design layer, which determines the look of the flooring. The design layer has a photographic image on it that allows laminate flooring to look very similar to natural hardwood flooring right down to its grain, color, and knots. Because the look of laminate depends on a photographic image on the design layer, laminate can have many more design options than hardwood. But there are still differences between the way the two look. The same grain patterns are repeated throughout the laminate flooring. In contrast, there is a little more variation in the grain patterns for hardwood flooring. This means that it is easier to find replacement laminate planks that will not contrast with the existing planks.

Laminate flooring is about twenty five percent cheaper than hardwood flooring. This means that you can get a floor that has the visual appeal of a hardwood floor at a much cheaper price.

Laminate flooring is much easier to install. The reason for this is because of the invention of glueless laminate flooring. Because it uses a locking tongue and groove design, you can install glueless laminate flooring by attaching the laminate planks together. This is much easier than using glue or nails to install hardwood flooring. It is also much easier to clean up after installing laminate flooring. Using a locking tongue and groove design instead of glue also means that you can immediately use your flooring right after the installation is finished because you do not have to wait for the glue to dry.

The installation of laminate flooring will also occur more quickly than with hardwood flooring. This is because the planks used for laminate are wider than the planks used for hardwood.

Laminate flooring is more durable than natural hardwood flooring. It is about fifteen times stronger. It is much easier to damage hardwood than laminate. Hardwood will not tolerate heavy foot traffic as well as laminate. This is why you will find that laminate often comes with a ten or fifteen year warranty. Warranties for hardwood are much shorter. However, if it is necessary, you can resand and refinish a hardwood floor as many times as is necessary. This will allow your hardwood floor to last for many years. Because of its design, you cannot resand and refinish laminate.

Another advantage of laminate flooring is that it provides ultraviolent (UV) protection. This gives laminate flooring the ability to block UV rays from the sun which will prevent the flooring from fading. Since hardwood flooring does not provide UV protection, you will have to spend a lot of money on maintenance costs to make sure that the hardwood flooring looks as good as it originally did.

Laminate flooring is much easier to maintain. Since it does not trap any dirt, the daily maintenance of laminate would only require the use of a brush or dust mop. If any water gets on the laminate, you can clean it up with a sponge, paper towel, or mop. Cleaning hardwood flooring is more time consuming and usually requires the use of relatively expensive cleaning products.