Flooring is often one of the qualities noticed first in a home, especially if that flooring is beautiful. When choosing which flooring to install in your home, there are several different factors you’ll want to take into consideration, from aesthetics, to price, quality and durability. Hardwood flooring and laminate flooring are two materials that are commonly used and well-known. While they may look similar, there is quite a difference in quality and longevity between the two. Below we’re laid out some of the top differences you’ll want to compare between the two to make your decision.

Quality and Price Comparison

For a homeowner on a tight budget, laminate flooring is a cheap option. However, it is flimsy and requires numerous chemicals. Chemicals in the laminate can be dangerous in many instances. Laminate can be made to look like wood, but it is easily differentiated by anyone paying close enough attention.

Hardwood floors are typically more expensive than laminate. However, the quality and durability of hardwood is far better, which often explains the price difference. Hardwood is far thicker than laminate and sturdier in general. It also outlives laminate by several years, especially when maintained properly.

Ease of Installation

Hardwood and laminate flooring are both rather easy to install. For most people, laminate is easier. Laminate clicks together like a simple puzzle but fails to account for the natural wear, expansion, and contraction over time. On the other hand, hardwood floors connect in a way that allows for slight give and take over time.

How Long Will It Last?

It was previously mentioned that hardwood outlives laminate, but how long, exactly? There are numerous positive components when it comes to the durability of both flooring options.

  • Hardwood is harder than laminate, which means it can withstand more damage.
  • Laminate does not require much upkeep, whereas hardwood will need to be refinished.
  • Both flooring types can last decades.

Hardwood is not completely scratch resistant and it can fade in high traffic areas. It can also be susceptible to water damage. Laminate, however, can rip, curl, peel up, and fail after water damage. Knowing these facts indicate that there is no guarantee of a perfect floor that lasts forever. The finish on hardwood floors can last more than ten years before it requires a new coat. Laminate flooring tends to finish its life after 15 to 25 years. While it seems as though laminate lasts longer, refinishing hardwood floors is far less costly and easier than completely replacing laminate.

Finished Look

In the end, the finished look of flooring comes down to personal preference. Most people find hardwood floors to be more aesthetically pleasing and homey. Where laminate flooring can be seen as cold and cheap, hardwood floors are warm and have a wide price range that trends with the final appearance.

Which Should You Choose?

Making a choice between hardwood flooring and laminate seems like an obvious choice. There are many kinds of hardwoods that can fit a variety of budgets. The quality is higher on a hardwood floor and the durability is far better. If you’re interested in learning more or scheduling a service to have hardwood floors installed, Central Mass Hardwood is here to assist! Our team can assist in finding just the right hardwood and stain for your space to create beautiful, long-lasting floors in your home. Give us a call at 508-460-0199 or fill out an online form to get started!