Many homeowners find it challenging to choose between solid wood flooring and laminate when seeking to buy new flooring. There are advantages and drawbacks to each of these options, so it’s easy to understand why making the right choice can be so hard. This article will help you better understand each of these two types of flooring to make an informed choice.
Solid wood flooring has been the choice of stylish and wealthy people for many years now. Its timeless beauty, style, natural tones, and honest look make timber flooring a perfect choice for a wide array of interior styles, from a farmhouse and traditional to contemporary and minimalist.
Many homeowners and interior decorators consider laminate flooring as a reliable alternative to wood flooring. Thanks to modern processing techniques and advantages technologies, laminate floors boast a natural appearance and a wide range of styles and colors to choose from. The best of all is that it costs way less than hardwood floors.
Laminate flooring can be significantly cheaper than wood floors. This fact alone can heavily influence your choice.
Solid wood comes from real trees, and its price may vary with several factors:
– Whether the trees are exotic or common where you live
– The grade of wood
– The tree size (narrower planks may come from younger trees while wide ones require the harvesting of very old trees, being, therefore, less frequent and also more expensive)
– The wood thickness (thicker planks will last longer than thinner ones)
Regardless of all the above-mentioned factors, solid wood floors are more expensive to purchase and to install than laminate.
Laminate flooring boards feature a photo image of a wood plank sandwiched between high-density support and a protective coating.
Both the manufacturing process and the materials are cheaper, hence the lower market price of laminate. Furthermore, thanks to the easy fitting systems, its installation costs are also significantly reduced.
The traffic intensity is something you should take into account when you shop around for new flooring. The expected traffic load will determine the type of flooring to buy.
Solid Wood Flooring
Solid wood is quite resistant to scratches. Nevertheless, dragging heavy furniture items or dropping sharp items on wood floors may scratch it. Even sharp stones on the soles of your shoes may scratch hardwood floors. Also, heavy traffic will inevitably generate wear and tear that will alter the beauty of these floors. You can prevent some of these from occurring. You can apply pads on the legs of heavy furniture items before dragging them. You can buy a useful doormat to catch all stones on your soles. You can also sweep these floors at regular intervals to prevent tiny bits of debris from scratching them.
Laminate flooring is more durable than wood floors. While it doesn’t get scratched that easily, we’d still recommend using foam pads whenever you have to move heavy furniture items around. The bottom layers of laminate flooring are designed to prevent the warping and the bending of the planks under the effect of moisture. However, once they start to show signs of wear and tear, these planks are impossible to restore by sanding. While your wood floors can be refinished whenever needed, laminate will require replacement.
As wood is sensitive to water, many families with toddlers or young children choose laminate. If you have small kids, but you love hardwood floors, you have to brace yourself for cleaning and drying any spills as soon as they occur in order to protect your wood floors.
Solid wood looks merely amazing! There’s no way you can argue with that. The rich colors, the exquisite details, and the natural fibers can add beauty to interior style and decor. Also, this type of floor will add to the market value of your property.
Laminate, however, despite its tremendous popularity and its fairly beautiful look, can’t equal the charm of solid wood floors.
The adaptability of solid wood allows you to refinish it whenever necessary. Depending on the traffic intensity, solid wood flooring may require sanding every ten years or so. During this refinishing process, you may choose another stain color, if so you wish. This is a great advantage when going for a complete makeover of your interior space.
As hardwood is a natural material, it can slightly change color over time, mainly due to sunlight. However, this isn’t a negative thing, as wood can age very beautifully, adding even more character to your home. The laminate features UV protection coating, so its color doesn’t fade over time.
When it comes to looking, wood flooring is a better choice than laminate. Even though more durable, laminate can’t be as beautiful as wood, regardless of its quality. Furthermore, if you choose a cheaper laminate, it will have an artificial look right off the bat.
Hardwood is sensitive to moisture and heat. This means it isn’t suitable for kitchens and bathrooms. Also, spillages can be a huge problem, as they need immediate attention. On the contrary, laminate can be an excellent choice for your kitchen, as it isn’t that sensitive to spills and heat. However, you may want to think twice before choosing laminate for your bathroom – you have to ensure you pick a moisture-resistant product. If you’re keen on having a wood-like floor in your bathroom, we would recommend you to choose wood-style LVT.
Whatever your type of flooring, sooner or later, you’ll have to consider some reconditioning or repair. Minor accidents and normal wear and tear will alter the look of your flooring.
Solid wood is relatively easy to repair by sanding and refinishing it. This is usually required only once every ten years. However, keep in mind that stained timber will lose its color due to sanding. You can also only sand a floor a limited number of times, depending on the thickness of the wood planks.
Laminate is easy to repair. You can repair laminate boards that snap together by replacing the damaged board. However, you may not be able to find a replacement to match the color and the texture of the original boards. When this happens, the only solution is the complete replacement of your floor.
Which Type Of Flooring Should You Choose?
Even though many people consider laminate as more durable than real wood, we have to consider the excellent longevity of wood. Also, a bit of caution can prevent excessive wear and tear. Regular cleaning and protective foam pads on the furniture legs are two of these precautions that can help you protect your solid wood floor.
When comparing solid wood flooring and laminate, the real question is whether you are willing to give up the exquisite beauty and elegance of wood flooring in favor of the much lower price and higher scratch resistance of laminate.
Try to be realistic when you assess your specific situation. If you have toddlers and pets running around all day long, you should probably choose laminate. If you are almost positive you’ll need to replace your floor again, you should pick the cheapest option. If, on the contrary, you want to add value to your home and to curb its appeal, solid wood is the way to go!