Laminate Flooring

Laminate Flooring

Laminate is a multi-layer synthetic  is manufactured primarily from melamine resin and fiber board material. The top layer has an imprinted textured image made to look like real wood.

Engineered hardwood flooring is a type of wood floor that consists of several wood or plywood layers. Bottom and middle layers are manufactured from cross-laid solid wood or plywood planks. The top layer consists of a solid sawn wood lamella, often stained and prefinished in factory setting. Solid hardwood planks are produced from single pieces of wood, can be purchased unfinished or prefinished.

In essence, while solid or engineered hardwood flooring is manufactured from real wood and preserves the unique textured grain and appearance of natural wood, laminate flooring is only an imitation. Although some types of high quality laminate floors might look like real wood, there are far more differences between these products than what initially meets the eye.

Laminate flooring is sold in a wide variety of wood, stone, and tile finishes. All of these are available in different colors, surface treatments, thicknesses, and plank styles. Laminate’s versatile, and can be installed on nearly any type of subfloor, like concrete or even pre-existing vinyl floors. In many cases when the installation of a hardwood floor is not compatible with a subfloor, laminate flooring is a smart option.

Laminate is a strong, scratch-resistant, and highly durable flooring surface. Protected by a tough external layer and resin coating. It’s great for high traffic areas and houses where there are pets and children. For general residential and light commercial

Price

Take into consideration the cost of laminate and hardwood flooring to determine what is best for you.

  • Hardwood: CONS – Hardwood flooring is made of harvested trees; pricing depends on how exotic the trees are. In general, hardwood is considerably higher to buy and to install.
  • Laminate: PROS – Laminate wood flooring is made from composite wood pressed together at high temperatures. The image of hardwood is then placed over the composite wood, covering it to form the laminate. Not only are the materials themselves cheaper, but laminate wood installation cost is, on average, 50 percent less than hardwood installation.

Durability

Assess the traffic load and wear and tear on flooring in your home. A durable surface will make maintenance easier and will look great for years to come.

  • Hardwood: CONS – Hardwood is susceptible to scratching, can get damaged from excessive moisture and will show wear, especially in heavily trafficked areas. PROS – Hardwood is the real deal; it is gorgeous and, depending on the type of wood, can add considerable value to your home.
  • Laminate: PROS – Since laminate is made from pressed wood, it is more durable and resists scratches, moisture and wear and tear. Laminate flooring is also easier to clean. CONS – Even though laminate is more durable, it is not as visually appealing. Lower qualities of laminate may have artificial-looking woodgrain textures.

Repair

Flooring is one component of your home that will have to be repaired at some point. From minor accidents to excessive wear and tear, laminate and hardwood have advantages and disadvantages.

  • Hardwood: PROS – Hardwood can be repaired by sanding imperfections and refinishing. This gives it the edge over laminate, in that it will last for years.
  • Laminate: CONS – Laminate flooring doesn’t repair easily. If you buy flooring that comes in individual pieces and snaps together, you may be able to replace individual boards — although, depending on sunlight and age, the new piece may not match properly.

Your home will benefit from the look of wood flooring; deciding whether to use hardwood or laminate is up to you.  Review the pros and cons, and be realistic about your lifestyle; if you have pets, young kids or high traffic, that may influence your decision.

Now that you know the difference between laminate flooring and hardwood flooring you can make a decision on which kind of floor you would like to have installed

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