When you look down at a wood floor, you may find it difficult to tell if you are looking at real hardwood or laminate. Today’s laminate floors are made in such a way that they can be very difficult to distinguish from the real thing. If you want wood floors but are unsure if you want to commit to real wood or prefer laminate, take the following into consideration.
Longevity: When it comes to lifespan, hardwood floors are the winner, hands down. With proper installation and maintenance, hardwood floors can outlive a home owner. Laminate floors, on the other hand, have a considerably shorter lifespan, losing their color and sheen over time.
Installation: If you are looking for a DIY flooring material, laminate is the best choice. You can certainly lay your own hardwood flooring, but it can be quite difficult to do so that you end up with a professional look. Hardwood floor requires very precise measuring and cutting that can present a challenge to even the experts.
Restoration: Unfortunately, once your laminate flooring has lost its color or will no longer hold a shine, it will need to be replaced. Hardwood, on the other hand, can be restored quite easily. In fact, if your hardwood floor looks aged and haggard, a professional flooring expert can recondition your wood and make your floors look like new.
Price: Laminate floors are the most suitable choice for home owners looking for a budget-friendly option. Depending on the manufacturer and quality of the laminate, you can find this type of flooring for less than a single dollar per square foot. Wood flooring can cost between hundreds and thousands of dollars.
Style and Color: If you purchase unfinished wood for your floors, you can stain it in almost any color your desire. What you cannot do, however, is find it in a range of styles. At the end of the day, wood is wood. If you are looking for both a splash of color and a unique style, take a closer look at laminate.
Maintenance: It is a draw when it comes to maintaining hardwood floors versus laminate floors. Wood floors will need to be waxed or polished, on average, twice each year. Laminate floors will need to be polished at about the same interval. Both floors require regular sweeping, mopping and stain removal.
Home Value: For some home owners, making any sweeping change is done with a potential rise in home value in mind. For other home owners, other factors are more important. If one of your purposes in replacing your flooring is increasing your home’s value, consider hardwood flooring rather than laminate. Although it can be beautiful, laminate flooring is not considered an addition that will add anything to the value of your home.
If you are thinking about replacing your current floors with the look of wood flooring, take the above into consideration as you decide between real wood and laminate. Consider the floor plan of your home, your personal tastes, and the type of traffic that moves through your home. No matter which type of flooring you choose, the look of wood will enhance any room.