Purchasing new flooring is a big decorative decision: Unlike a new tropical metal art or grapes and wine decor, flooring is a substantial investment that should last for years. If you are looking for the appeal of hardwood floors in your home, you may want to consider which type of flooring would serve your purpose the best: Laminate wood style flooring or hardwood. Each type of flooring has its pros and cons, and if you understand the characteristics of each one it will be easier to make the most appropriate choice for your floors.
Pros and Cons
As you are trying to choose the best flooring for your room, consider how the area is used. Look at things like how much foot traffic is in the room, the potential for spills and moisture in the room and if you want to invest in the resale value of your home. The look of laminate wood style flooring has been greatly improved in recent years, and either laminate or real wood will give you the look of hardwood flooring, so understanding what you want to achieve by installing your new flooring will help you choose the right material for your lifestyle and goals.
When Moisture is a Concern
If you have a room that has a lot of moisture in or around it, then real hardwood may not be the best choice. A disadvantage of hardwood is that humidity and moisture can damage the floor or cause it to swell. Laminate, on the other hand, is generally installed with moisture resistant barrier, and it is constructed from engineered wood products. If your room has the potential of excess moisture, laminate is often the most practical choice.
Another thing to think about is how easy the flooring material is to install. If you are planning to install the floor by yourself, then you may want to think twice about installing a hardwood floor. Generally hardwood flooring is not the best choice for a novice, weekend project. A laminate floor, however, is pretty easy to install, and if you are at all handy, you should be able to install it without too much trouble. Usually a laminate floor is installed as a floating floor, and the laminate panels lock together with a tongue and grove construction. You can find laminate in a large variety of styles and colors that mimic just about any type of hardwood flooring available, check here.
When you are looking a the best flooring choice for a high traffic area, the two materials really run neck and neck for durability. While a hardwood floor may scratch or dent a little more easily than laminate, a hardwood floor can be refinished and brought back to “like new” condition. A laminate floor is quite durable; but it can chip, and when it does you do not have the option of refinishing it. Also consider how much sunlight an area gets, because hardwood is much more likely to fade than laminate. Under general conditions laminate flooring lasts about twenty years, while hardwood flooring will last a lifetime if it s properly maintained.
Cost versus Value
One of the biggest variables between the two flooring materials is the price. Hardwood flooring is usually more expensive than even the best laminate floor; however, a real hardwood floor will generally add to the resale value of your home while a laminate floor will not make a substantial difference in the resale value. Consider if the extra expense is worth the potential increase in the resale value of your house.