“Should I go with hardwood or laminate flooring?” This is a common question homeowners ask us when planning their home remodel. Maybe you’ve found yourself asking this question. If so, just know that there is no one correct answer. The choice that is right for you depends entirely on your family and your priorities for your home.
Let’s take a quick look at some of the properties of laminate and hardwood flooring. Laminate is comprised of several layers of synthetic materials. It has a stabilizing layer on the bottom that helps to resist moisture, a layer of fiberboard to add strength, and a unique photographic layer on top to give the look of wood or even other materials such as stone. It’s most valued for its cost, durability, and easy DIY installation. Hardwood is just as it sounds — natural wood harvested from various types of trees or even bamboo. Hardwood is a favorite of many builders and homeowners because of its classic look, longevity, and environmental friendliness.
We’ve compiled a list of pros and cons to think about, along with a few questions for you to ask yourself when facing this major design decision.
- Can last a lifetime when properly cared for
- Can be sanded and refinished
- Adds resale value to you home
- Easy to clean
- Classic wood appearance
- Environmentally friendly
- More expensive
- Often requires professional install
- Not recommended for wet or damp areas
- Hard underfoot
- Sensitive to UV light
- Easy DIY install
- Best for kids, pets, and radiant heating
- Water, stain, and UV resistant
- Easy to clean
- Softer and quieter underfoot
- Can not be refinished
- Typically lasts around 10 years
- Less authentic look
- Does not add resale value to you home
- Less environmentally friendly
- Can stain or warp if spills are left too long.
Questions to ask yourself:
Do I have pets or kids?
Laminate is often recommended for families with pets or young children. This is mainly due to the fact that it is more scratch and stain resistant than hardwood.
Am I planning on reselling anytime soon?
If you are planning on reselling your home soon after replacing the floors, you should consider hardwood as it typically increases the value of the home.
What is my budget?
Your budget is a big factor to consider when choosing a type of flooring. Hardwood can be expensive, and many people opt for laminate simply because it’s less costly.
Is the room dry or prone to dampness?
If your room is prone to dampness, such as a kitchen or bathroom, you should consider laminate’s water resistance as an important factor. If it is a dry room such as a living room or bedroom, hardwood will give you a warmer and more authentic feel.
The best part about this debate is that there is really no wrong answer. Whatever you choose is best for your home, and your family will provide you with many benefits for years to come!