Hardwood Flooring vs. Laminate Flooring

Jan 01, 2011 | Networx Team
Living area

If you’re planning on re-flooring your home, there are a wide range of choices. One popular option is to hire a tile contractor and install ceramic or porcelain tiles. However, if you’re looking for a more elegant, enduring look, hardwood or laminate flooring is the way to go.

Hardwood, as well as its laminate alternative, are both recommended for their charm, beauty, and durability. Hardwood floors come in a wide range of styles, with each plank ground from a single piece of timber, giving it a unique, natural look. Hardwood can be repaired more easily than laminate floors, and lasts an incredibly long time, sometimes 30 years or more. Additionally, because hardwood can be sanded, it has the potential to be revitalized numerous times, and it will add significantly to your home’s value. However, hardwood floors cost more than laminate floors and do not fair well in moist conditions. Further, they require periodic maintenance to keep their shine and quality. The average price of installed hardwood runs between $8 and$15 a square foot.

Laminate flooring is a high-quality alternative to hardwood. It has a photographic layer that mimics the look of wood, and has a clear, melamine resin protective surface. The inner core is made from a wood/fiber composite, and though its life-span is typically only about 20 years, there are many advantages to it. The protective surface of laminate floors keeps it waterproof, scratch-resistant, stain-resistant, and easy to clean. What’s more, laminate floors never need waxing or polishing. Additionally, it’s relatively inexpensive, and ideal for kitchens, bathrooms, and other high-traffic areas that are exposed to moisture. Furthermore, laminate flooring does not turn yellow or fade from sunlight or other elements like hardwood can. In sunny cities like Glendale, this can be a major factor to consider, as it can add to hardwood floor maintenance costs.

Depending on how realistic the photographic layer looks, the price will increase. The higher-end laminate can run between $6 and $10 dollars a square foot if it’s professionally installed, and a more inexpensive style will typically cost $4-$8 to install per square foot. Other factors that affect the price of laminate flooring include the strength of the locking mechanism and the level of moisture resistance. Laminate flooring can either click together with special locking systems or glued together with a special adhesive. The glued-together style is more waterproof but harder to remove or replace.

The richness of natural hardwood flooring can add distinctive charm to any room, and will considerably increase your home’s value. With proper care and preservation, hardwood flooring can last more than a lifetime. On the other hand, laminate flooring can be a convincing, inexpensive replica of hardwood floors that may better suit your budget.

If you still are not sure what kind of floor is best for your home, contact a local floor contractor. An experienced, professional contractor will be able to factor in your home’s age, climate, and usage in order to determine what flooring material best suits your needs.

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