Laminate vs. Solid Hardwood Flooring: Which Is Better?

laminate vs hardwood flooring - hardwood area

Which One Is a Better Choice?

When buying a new flooring, many homeowners are confronted with a decision between hardwood and laminate. The distinction between these 2 kinds of floors can be complicated at first, which is why Hardwood Area made a simple guide to compare laminate against hardwood, mentioning the benefits and drawbacks of each flooring type in terms of looks, endurance, durability, the efficiency of maintenance and repairment, and eco-friendliness.

The Basics

A laminate floor is a multi-layer artificial flooring product. It is created to simulate the look of real wood. The center layer of the laminate floor is constructed originally from melamine resin and fiberboard substance. The first layer has a printed textured image created to seem like real wood.


Engineered hardwood floor is a kind of wood flooring that is made of several kinds of wood or plywood layers. The bottom and middle layers are constructed from cross-laid solid hardwood or plywood boards. The top layer is created of a solid sawn wood lamella, usually painted and prefinished in a factory environment. Solid hardwood floorboards are created from single pieces of wood, can be bought unfinished or prefinished.


In reality, while solid or engineered wood floors are constructed from real wood and protect the unique textured graining and look of natural wood, a laminate floor is only a simulation. Although some kinds of high-quality laminate flooring may seem like real wood, there are much more variations between these outcomes than what originally meets the eye.

laminate vs hardwood flooring - hardwood area

Lastingness

The durability of any floor surface mainly depends on the quantity of foot traffic and adherence to company suggestions in regards to care and protection of the flooring.


The external layer of most laminate flooring is created by defining melamine resins plus aluminum oxide at high heat and intense pressure. The outcome floor surface is usually more difficult than that of natural hardwood. Most laminate flooring surfaces are extremely resistant to dampness damage, staining, or fading. Many popular laminate floor companies offer 10 to 25-year warranties on the finish.

The stability of an actual hardwood flooring differs depending on finish, company, and protection methods. Real wood is smoother than a pressurized composite layer, so, it can scratch more simply. Solid or engineered wood flooring can be refinished, renovated, and restored very easily, usually without needing to substitute boards or even the whole floor, as is the case with a broken laminate floor. For instance, if an oiled wooden floorboard is destroyed, it can be fixed by sanding down the injured area manually, then easily using more paint and oil. With laminate floors, easy DIY place adjustments are not possible.


On some kinds of hardwood flooring, like those with wire brushed or oiled finishes, unimportant surface scratches, and dents seamlessly mix in with the current appearance, highlighting the unique look and depth of wood graining. Once damaged or cut, laminate floor surfaces will reveal the damage.

Looks and Beauty

In terms of beauty, the distinction between hardwood and laminate flooring is completely clear. Real hardwood is identified by the great texture variety of the wood graining, which is why no 2 boards of hardwood floors, whether solid or engineered, look precisely alike. In laminate floors, pre-designed models that simulate the appearance of wood texture, are printed onto the flooring surface. For this reason, the same patterns are replicated on average every five boards.
However, in appearance some high-quality laminate flooring may seem like real hardwood, redundancy is certain, as the uniqueness of actual wood is undesirable to replicate.

laminate vs hardwood flooring - hardwood area

Humidity

Wood is an organic, “live” material that reacts to variations in humidity and temperature. Therefore, solid and engineered hardwood flooring has to be placed in interiors where moisture levels are controlled and preserved between 45 to 55 percent for solid and 45 to 65 percent for engineered flooring. However, engineered hardwood flooring has excellent dimensional resistance, most wooden floor companies do not suggest installing them in tour kitchens or bathrooms, places, where temperature and moisture can vary significantly.

In environments, such as California, hardwood floors that are multilayer or engineered are superior over solid.
Laminate flooring has high moisture resistance and is usually utilized for bathrooms, kitchens, and basements. Although, it’s essential to fully read the company’s warranty and suggestions to withdraw expensive mistakes.

Efficiency of Protection

Routine sweeping, dry mopping, or rubbing with a wet cloth is all that is required for protecting and sustaining laminate floors. Solid or engineered hardwood flooring needs a little more protection, they have to be cleaned utilizing special hardwood floor detergents, preferably the company’s suggested items that protect and repair the finish.

It is best to withdraw utilizing universal cleansers, soaps, or furniture polishes, apart from making the flooring finish seem greasy, they can briefly dull, or even lastingly scratch the finish. Inappropriate care methods normally void all company-issued warranties.

Many hardwood floors have great endurance to Coca-cola, red wine, and various household chemicals. Still, to maintain the aesthetic of the flooring for numerous years to come, it is necessary to immediately clean up all spills and sweep the floor routinely.

Efficiency of Repairment

The laminate floor doesn’t repair simply. In a floating laminate floor, the one that is installed by snapping unique items together and placing them without adhesive, broken boards can be removed and restored. If laminate floors were placed utilizing the glue-down method, floor repairment becomes so hard. Laminate cannot be sanded or refinished. Even if broken boards are eliminated and restored, there is a high chance that the new parts will not accurately match the rest of the flooring because of the variations in sunlight exposure, waste levels, and age.


Whether engineered or solid, hardwood floor is significantly simpler to fix than the laminate floor. If its surface is damaged extensively, the whole floor can be sanded or refinished. If the loss is restricted, then it can be fixed by removing and restoring single boards, or even by manually sanding, painting, or refinishing the places in the problem, pending on the kind of finish. Spot renovations are very simple with wire-brushed or oiled hardwood flooring and can be done Do-It-Yourself-style in a few hours.

laminate vs hardwood flooring - hardwood area

Persistence

Laminate flooring has a comparatively brief lifespan as contrasted to hardwood floors. It is concluded that on average, laminate flooring will require to be restored after no more than twenty years. 20 years is the time it normally needs for a family to break down the floor finish. Because laminate flooring can’t be sanded and refinished, stored wear-and-tear, surface damages, and scratches ultimately ruin the flooring.

Engineered and Solid hardwood flooring, on the other hand, can remain a lifetime, about 40 to 80 years or more if well-protected. Once the current finish is adequately worn down, the flooring can be sanded or refinished. Many solid hardwood floors can be sanded up to 6 to 7 times, while great engineered hardwood flooring, up to 4 times. Gives it the average time between sanding is ten to twenty years, it’s simple to recognize how real wood flooring simply outlast laminate.


Eventually, when the time comes to restore the old flooring, solid and engineered hardwood floors can be placed or recycled without any harm to the environment. The same thing cannot be done for laminate.

Eco-friendly Floors

Solid hardwood flooring is 100 percent organic because solid floorboards are constructed from single parts of wood. Engineered hardwood is made from various layers of solid wood and plywood material, also principally organic.
Laminate flooring, on the other hand, is the outcome of bonding many composite materials or melamine resin at great heat and pressure, therefore the flooring itself is much far from being organic.

Many European and North American hardwood floor companies stick to severe standards, creating floors that include 0 harmful VOC emissions and utilizing adhesives that do not have formaldehyde.

laminate vs hardwood flooring - hardwood area


During the production of laminate floors, great amounts of adhesive are utilized to bond together the composite material. Contents of these adhesives can be unreliable, and it is not unusual for cheaper toxic adhesives that include formaldehyde and different harmful materials to be utilized. Once it is installed, such flooring will proceed to release toxic materials into the air, affecting and endangering the health of people.


While there are high-quality and non-toxic laminate flooring in the store, it is necessary to accurately research the company to make sure that you are purchasing a quality, eco-friendly stock.

Last Words

While frustrating at first, variations between hardwood and laminate floors become pretty clear when examined closely. While the floor store has an excess of both kinds of materials, in most situations solid or engineered hardwood floors are a smarter, better, and more environmentally intelligent option than laminate. If you had any further questions contact us, Hardwood Area.

Hardwood Area provides services and flooring installation in Thousand Oaks, Malibu, Calabasas, Camarillo, Westlake Village, Agoura Hills, Oxnard, and Ventura in a professional and quality manner.
Hardwood Area is located at The Oaks Mall, 2nd Floor, 474 West Hillcrest Drive, Thousand Oaks, CA, 91360, United States
Don’t hesitate to call us if you need any further information or free consultation (+1 805-338-6952)

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