If you live in Miami or South Florida in general and are considering replacing your floors with wood floors, take the time to do your homework on whether you should choose hardwood flooring or laminate wood flooring. While you may prefer the look of a hardwood over laminate wood, there are differences in the installation, maintenance and wear and tear of each type of flooring. Considering the subtropical climate in South Florida, one particular wood flooring option may emerge as the right choice.
It is true that hardwood floors are made out of real wood and therefore have the look of real wood. In northern states, hardwood floors work, but the problem with installing hardwood in South Florida is the humidity. Hardwood retains moisture, which can cause the floor to warp. This is not to mention the expense of hardwood over laminate or that installing hardwood floors is more complicated than installing laminate wood flooring. Harder installation also means you’re not only going to pay more for the materials, but you’re also going to pay more for the installation.
While laminate wood floors are not real or natural wood, these types of wood floors have several benefits, especially in South Florida. The wood material look alike used to create laminate floors tends to be water-resistant, which is a big bonus in South Florida with the humidity, rain, flooding and hurricanes. Second, wood laminate is easier to install than hardwood floors, so you are not only going to pay less for the materials but you’re also going to save on the installation. The downside of these floors is that the wood laminate can chip, but it does not scratch and dent like hardwood floors do.
Hardwood vs. Laminate Wood Floors
Moisture: Humidity and moisture warps the wood (HINT: South Florida is VERY humid.).
Durability: Dents, scratches and fades, but can be refinished.
Longevity: 80 years
Moisture: Most are water-resistant, but check with the manufacturer or supplier.
Installation: Easier to install than hardwood and comes with options for installation, including glue-less.
Durability: Does not dent and scratch, but can chip. Refinishing is possible with some wood laminates.
Longevity: 20 years
In less humid and moist areas of the country hardwood flooring is a fine choice. With the high humidity and water issues South Florida deals with on a daily basis, wood laminate definitely pulls out ahead as the leading choice for wood flooring.