Advantages of Laminate vs. Wood Flooring

There’s nothing quite like putting down new flooring in a house. This one act can take any room and give it a completely new look and feel, and while it might not be the cheapest or quickest renovation, it’s definitely one that’s always worth it.

If you’re thinking about putting down new flooring, you might be overwhelmed by all the choices. It’s true that there are a lot of options available, but for most people, the choice almost always boils down to one of two possibilities: laminate flooring, or hardwood. While both of these are fine options, it can be difficult at first to tell which one is the better choice. However, if you look at the advantages that laminate flooring has over traditional hardwood, the best choice soon becomes obvious.

Here are some reasons why laminate are the better choice:

 
  • Laminate Flooring Looks Just Like Wood
 

One of the big objections people immediately have when they think of laminate flooring is simply that it isn’t hardwood. Surely, they think, because it’s not a traditional hardwood floor, it won’t look like one, right? In reality, nothing could be further from the truth. Today’s laminate flooring comes in a vast array of styles, and many of them simulate hardwood flooring to the point where it can be very, very difficult to tell the difference.

If you like oak, cherry, maple or some other wood, there’s a laminate flooring option for that. Even more, laminate flooring can simulate other, non-wood options as well, such as tile or stone. In fact, laminate flooring can look like just about any flooring option available (with the possible exception of carpet).

In short, whatever you want your floor to look like, there’s most likely a laminate flooring option that will do the trick – hardwood included.

 
  • Laminate Flooring Is Easier to Clean
 

Another great thing about laminate flooring is that it’s much easier to clean than hardwood floors. Keeping your wood floor looking nice typically involves a regimen that includes waxing and polishing, as well as cleaning. This can be an incredibly time-consuming process to go through in order to get those floors looking nice.

Furthermore, you can’t clean hardwood floors with water and any old soap. Not using the proper cleaning products can lead to multiple problems, including water damage and wax build-up. In some cases, the recommended cleaning products can be quite expensive.

Laminate flooring, on the other hand, is usually pretty easy to take care of. Most floors can be cleaned with a simply over-the-counter cleaner that you can find at just about any hardware story.

 
  • Laminate Flooring Is Scratch-Resistant
 

As long as we’re talking about upkeep and appearance, it’s important to think about the fact that hardwood floors are a lot harder to keep scratch-free. Laminate flooring has a protective coating that renders it incredibly scratch-resistant, which is good because your typical floor goes through a lot of wear and tear each and every day.

Hardwood floors, on the other hand, don’t have this protection, and so they tend to get scratched a lot easier. Of course, they are made of hardwood, so the scratching doesn’t happen right away, but over the very long life of a floor, as furniture is moved, as kids and then eventually grandkids visit and play, as pets walk across the floor – there’s bound to be some scratching at some point. It’s almost inevitable.

 
  • Laminate Flooring Is Easier To Install
 

Another reason so many more people prefer laminate flooring over hardwood is because laminate flooring is so much easier to install. If you are a do-it-yourself sort of person, and are seriously considering putting down wood floors, then this is something that you need to be aware of – hardwood flooring installation is not easy.

A typical installation involves several steps, including laying the sub-floor (although that can change depending on the room and what’s already there), attaching the floor to that sub-floor with a special nail gun, sanding the floor and then cleaning and polishing. This can take days and days of work. In addition, an installation like this requires experience and training, and that means wasted pieces as you slowly learn the process.

To make matters worse, the sanding stage can actually ruin your floor, or at least make it look dipped and uneven, if you don’t do it right. A poorly sanded floor means you then have to remove the wood in question and redo it, costing you time and money at the least.

A typical room can take a couple of hours with laminate flooring, but it can take upwards of two days with hardwood floors. In short, laminate is much easier, and much quicker.

 
  • Laminate Flooring Is Cheaper
 

As if all these reasons weren’t enough to convince you, the last one should seal the deal: laminate flooring is by far the cheaper option between these two. How much cheaper? Consider this:

When having your floors professionally installed, labor becomes a big point of cost. Because hardwood flooring is much more labor-intensive, the cost difference can be staggering. To have hardwood floors put down in a 1,000 square-foot area, a homeowner can expect to pay anywhere between $6,000 and $10,000. That same room, with professionally-installed laminate flooring, would cost on average $3,500 to $4,500.

While self-installation can end up saving a lot of money, there is still a definite price advantage for laminate. Most mid-grade laminate flooring costs somewhere between $1 and $3 per square foot, so that same 1,000 square-foot area will cost between $1,000 and $3,000, including all materials needed. Hardwood floors, however, typically range from $4 to $8 per square foot, if not more, so you can see you’re still looking at thousands of dollars more for the hardwood option.

When you’re making a huge decision like flooring, it’s important to know all of your options before you pull the trigger. We at Starwood Distributors want you to know we are here for your consulting and purchasing needs. If you would like to know more about what sort of flooring fits your home and budget the best, please don’t hesitate to contact us today

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