laminate vs hardwood

06/12/2020 Uncategorized

The biggest benefit is that floating floors (as the name suggests) don’t need to be nailed or glued down—hence their DIY-friendly installation. This surface looks better than you remember and can look like hardwood… But don’t worry—we’ve got you […]. Ok, let’s go over what we’ve learned, shall we? They’re beautiful, they’re strong, and they can look great for ages with proper care. While laminate floors can tolerate life’s rough and tumble residents, they can’t be refinished like hardwood floors can. Let’s start with an important warning, avoid using a steam or wet mop on either type of flooring. The Best Cork Flooring Options & 11 Reasons They’re Awesome, The 26 Best Hardwood Species for Flooring, The 16 Best Engineered Wood Flooring Brands. Comparing engineered wood with laminate is an interesting and worthwhile exercise and you might be surprised by the results. Worried about your floors getting wet? A damp microfiber towel used as a cleaning cloth may help to eliminate streaks. Vinyl. Laminate ranges from $1 to $10 per square foot. A decrease in humidity will cause hardwood to shrink, and can open large gaps between planks. A backing that serves as a stabilizing layer, often made of melamine, and serves to provide water resistance as well as dimensional stability to the board. Homeowners looking for the appeal of a hardwood floor covering have an increasingly large number of options. For instance, the price of hardwood may depend on the choice of exotic trees, or the manufacturing process could be complex to begin with. They can be refinished many times due to the solid make-up of the boards—solid wood floors can last a lifetime if cared for! In general, a tight budget will find laminate floors more economical. It is created by using multiple layers that are fused or laminated together to provide a great deal of strength and … In high traffic areas, you may see more wear and tear with hardwood floors. They do not recommend hardwood below grade, even with high-end underlayments. An increase in humidity causes hardwood to swell, creating stress in the plane of the floor that can cause planks to rise and twist (called buckling or tenting and can create a tripping hazard). Everyone has a budget, and the price can vary widely for different hardwood and laminate flooring materials. A core that is usually made with fiber board, and is the thickest layer. And you can potentially install laminate in any room of the house. To minimize these problems, hardwood flooring must be acclimated by letting it rest at the construction site for a minimum of three days in opened boxes, and often longer. Get Quotes Instantly from Local Flooring Pros, laminate floor installations will require an underlayment, 4 Instant Free Quotes from Approved Local Flooring Installers, great flooring options for those who have pets, hardwood flooring materials are twice as much, will find laminate floors more economical, Composite made of layers of fibers in melamine, photographic layer, and coatings. When using laminates in a bathroom, you may want to consider a laminate floor designed for wet environments. An underlayment is a sheet good normally supplied in a roll, and it is simply cut to size and installed on the subfloor prior to laying your floor. The cost of engineered hardwood is similar to the cost of solid hardwood—with common tree species like maple or oak coming in around $3 to $10 per square foot. You can place a waterproofing membrane under your floor to protect your subfloor. Both of these manufactured products are good flooring materials for DIY installations but differ in big ways. You should test the moisture content of the core layer of some products. This will vary for different types of wood, and you can choose specific wood species to provide increased traffic resistance (e.g. Hardwood is, not to be too obvious, hard wood, but it is still susceptible to scratching and abrasion. Heck ya! You should also acclimate laminate floors to site conditions. Laminate vs. Kitchen? Some may think laminate vs. hardwood is an “either/or” debate, but it’s best to see it as a “both/and” discussion. This may cause swelling of the planks and buckling of the floor, as well as deterioration of the core. Engineered hardwood is a thicker flooring and is typically nailed or glued down, so it does not have the problem with flexing. Use in a kitchen, bathroom, mud room, basement or other wet areas is possible. Aesthetically, this provides a shadow line and adds a feeling of dimension to the floor, but some do not like it and feel it is a dirt magnet. According to real estate experts, the average ROI for installing hardwood floors is about 70% to 80%, and wood floors can boost the sales price of your home as much as 2.5%. Engineered hardwood, however, can tolerate these changes. Of these two types of flooring, you’re probably curious as to which is more durable. Plus (and this is a big one), laminate and engineered wood flooring can tolerate temperature changes and humidity, much more than solid wood planks can. This method of floor installation is great for DIY-ers and professionals alike. Check out these Pergo reviews to read what people are saying about today’s laminate. Some types of waterproof laminate are available, but it’s not the norm (and they’re usually not entirely waterproof anyway). However, some people use laminate flooring below grade, but the concrete slab must have a vapor retarder underneath. It requires knowledge of moisture content in wood, walk behind sanding equipment, as well as a number of other fussy details. Some engineered hardwood floors can’t be refinished at all, while others can be refinished more than once—it all depends on how thick the veneer layer is. They can even help to create […], November 26, 2020 Everyone knows that hardwood floors are the best. Fun fact: according to Forbes, engineered wood floors are a more environmentally friendly option! Higher-quality brands and styles will offer more advantages, like better durability and a more realistic photo layer. But laminate flooring quality does vary. Dropped items will dent both hardwood and laminate floors, but hardwood floors can be repaired more easily than a laminate floor. Laminate floor manufacturers go so far as to rate their “abrasion class” (“AC”) on a scale from one to six, and a higher number means higher abrasion resistance. If you’re comparing the underfoot feel of laminate flooring to some types of tile, for example, laminate’s going to come out on top. Carpet vs. Laminate: Which is the Right Floor for You? The beauty of solid hardwood flooring? However, it has made serious inroads as a legitimate competitor to hardwood. It really depends on the type of wood you want, but for most wood flooring types, you’re looking at $3 to $10 per square foot. MktoForms2.loadForm("//", "317-BTU-838", 1170); The Difference Between Laminate and Hardwood. You are also eliminating odors from stains and finishes. Move the broom or hardwood vacuum in direction of the boards to remove debris between the planks. The manufacturer should give you specifics, but in general, avoid steam cleaners, wet mops, abrasive chemicals and vacuums with a brush bar. But it is tricky and you need to take special precautions. As the name hardwood implies, real hardwood … Thanks to floating floor technology, there’s some give to laminate flooring when you walk on it. It’s durable and can hold up under life’s most rambunctious residents. Buff after cleaning with a microfiber towel or cloth diaper. Depending on the finish, it may scratch or dent easier than laminate—but this highly depends on the type of wood and the finish used. It depends on whether you use laminate or hardwood flooring. Some people insist that laminate flooring will look fake with a repetitive pattern. Sign up today and be the first to get notified on new updates. She also loves a good DIY project—probably inspired by growing up in an old Connecticut colonial. You can replace a damaged plank, or sections, of laminate flooring but it is difficult and from a do-it-yourself job. Consider the construction site and if dust reduction or clean working conditions are important. Your email address will not be published. Plus, most homeowners will not have or know how to use the fancy pneumatic staplers or nailers needed, although you can rent them. You select a particular product you like, and then you simply install it at the site, no finishing necessary. We’re going to talk about laminate vs. hardwood composition. That plasticate wear layer of laminate makes it super durable (we’ll also talk about this further down), whereas the top layer of engineered wood is just that: wood! Specialized laminate flooring with a PVC core is available. According to, hardwood floors boost your home’s resale value, … (In general, a rating of one through three are residential grade, one being light traffic and three high traffic. They show an installed hardwood may be in the range of three times as much. Another option on the market comes from the laminate manufacturers who offer products with a “cushioning” underlayment on the bottom of the boards. Plus, laminate planks are DIY-friendly. The quality of the base material, the quality of the wood, the quality of the wear layer, etc. Then, they mill it to its final size and shape. It’s up to you! © 2020 FlooringStores, Inc. All rights reserved. The main difference between hardwood flooring and laminate flooring is that hardwood flooring is made from real wood, and laminate flooring has a picture of wood on the surface. Tile flooring, vinyl flooring, laminate flooring, hemp flooring—until you need a new floor in your home, you may never realize exactly how many types of flooring exist. Do you have a custom interior design that needs a one-of-a-kind floor? "Good scratch and abrasion resistance, cannot be refinished, Is susceptible to scratches from things like pets, but can be refinished a number of times, wear patterns may show in high traffic areas, Easy to clean, soap and water, should clean spills immediately and do not let water stand for extended periods. Ben has been a freelance writer for the past eight years. The acclimation and testing steps are vital to prevent large gaps or buckling and lifting of hardwood floors caused by changes in the humidity. Maintenance of Hardwood. Your email address will not be published. But this will depend on the type of wood or laminate you choose. Laminate flooring is almost always installed in a floating application with the planks fitting together in a tongue and groove style, which makes a faster, easier installation than hardwood. Unlike in laminate flooring where synthetic … 1. It evokes a warm, natural feeling that many consider a luxury. But what exactly is a hardwood species? We have summarized a few key issues for your convenience and consideration. But you will save compared to solid hardwood, since engineered planks require less wood. They are two very … Also, you will find prefinished hardwood often comes with edges that are slightly beveled at the top of the plank, to provide a small V between boards. hickory is harder than white pine). Our advice: make sure to find a flooring dealer near you to discuss the differences in quality between each of these materials. If needed, use soap made specifically for laminate or as recommended by the manufacturer. Never use wax, pine scented cleaners, degreasers, wood oils, etc. But prices do vary quite a bit, for example one website states a typical range of two to eight dollars for installed laminate flooring, and twelve to twenty dollars per square foot for installed hardwood floors. You can choose thin strips or wide planks and endless finishes, all depending on the look you’re going for. Most people cut the laminate planks with standard wood saws (hand or power), but use a fine-tooth blade for a smooth cut. The necessary moisture level depends on the expected temperature and humidity. We love daydreaming about the cozy charm of a new wood surface. How much does laminate flooring cost before installation? The bottom layer is made up of plywood or fiberboard, which provides structure. You can use it in wet environments since plastic replaces the susceptible fiberboard core. It’s […], November 24, 2020 Looking for the best engineered wood flooring brands? Of all the differences that distinguish laminate flooring vs hardwood flooring, real solid wood is THE BIGGEST difference between the two. Also, for custom designs, the freedom to stain and finish the hardwood on site allows for a unique, precise color and gloss that complement the interior design. But if you’ve been researching laminate vs. hardwood floor types, you probably have some questions. Hardwood, on the other hand, is considered best left to the pros. If your engineered wood floor is installed as a floating floor, you will get more cushion as you walk as opposed to a wood floor that’s fixed straight to the subfloor. But more commonly, wood flooring is installed by fixing each board to the subfloor with nails or glue. on laminate as these can damage the resin-based coating. This additional feature speeds and simplifies the installation of some laminate floors. There are several benefits and disadvantages to consider if you wish to choose between hardwood vs. laminate flooring for your house. Typically, it is one-quarter to one-half inch thick. Where Should I Install Laminate vs. Hardwood Floors? Today’s laminate flooring is not your parents’ laminate flooring. So, it is important to exercise care to keep water out of the joints and you should wash using only a damp, not wet, cloth or mop. Once you decide on the best flooring type for you, be sure to research its recommended cleaning method so you can get the most out of your new floors. More exotic tree species—like mahogany or teak—raise the cost up to $15 per square foot or more. It can, however, feel a little harder underfoot since it is usually not installed with … There’s actually not that much between them and most of the pros and cons are the same as comparing laminate vs hardwood. The laminated wood flooring gives a similar finish to natural wood, but it costs less than original wood flooring. Laminate floors are often touted as a heavy-duty option, And laminate comes in water-resistant varieties these days. And of course, you can always add some peel-and-stick carpet tiles to your laminate floors for an even cozier feel! We’re going to talk laminate vs. hardwood cost. The price range reflects quality above all else. In fact, it has become one of the most durable flooring options around, thanks to its heavy-duty wear layer. Solid wood flooring is installed in a manner that leaves a gap between the floor and the wall, which is typically hidden by molding. That can happen with some of the conventional finishes people apply to hardwood. Engineered Hardwood. As with laminate flooring, this layer provides the structure. Check out these topics: Best known as a therapeutic horseback riding instructor and mom to a 3-year old sassy dachshund, Kim enjoys writing and a good research project. Recently the debate over laminate vs. hardwood flooring has become more and more popular. And like we said earlier, there’s a big range when it comes to laminate vs. hardwood cost. But for those who have their hearts set on a hardwood floor, the added cost may be worth it. Then, wash with a damp cloth or mop. That means you can still enjoy the beauty of hardwood floors in the bathroom, kitchen or even the basement. Laminate flooring has a protective top coat formulated to provide UV protection and fade resistance. Speaking of expansion joints, both types of flooring require a gap at walls and other solid obstructions to allow for movement. Engineered hardwood is more versatile than solid wood and can be installed just about anywhere that laminate can. The installer will also need to know specifics like when and how to include “washer” or “dime” expansion joints to prevent buckling for different kinds of wood. Again: that’s the laminate of yesteryear. Because hardwood floors can last for generations, they raise your home’s value more than laminate floors. The bottom layer is made of plywood or fiberboard. In this guide, we present a prime-time cage match of two competing materials: hardwood flooring versus laminate flooring. Thank you so much! With proper care, hardwood flooring is a better long-term investment than laminate flooring, but If you are having trouble deciding, be sure to read our laminate … One last durability issue worth mentioning is fading. And more than that, how many flooring brands exist! Depending on the extent of the damage your floors face, you may be able to replace affected planks—or you may have to replace your entire floor. Vinyl is another great flooring option that gets a bad reputation for being inexpensive. Laminate Flooring vs Hardwood Hardwood flooring comprises of 3/4-inch- thick boards of pure solid wood cut from a tree. And one advantage scratched hardwood has over scratched laminate is that you can sand and refinish hardwood a number of times. It’s also why solid hardwood usually costs more to install. The individual boards are a piece of solid wood and the thickness is often three-quarters of an inch, but a thinner five-sixteenth inch version is also available. Many hardwood and laminate floor installations will require an underlayment. Also, look for products with a waxed edge that acts as a positive sealant between boards when snapped together. In general, engineered and solid hardwood floors are more susceptible to dents and scratches than laminate. Then an unfinished hardwood floor is a good choice. Types of Flooring Made Simple: The Complete 2020 Guide, The Best Vinyl Flooring Types: Your Complete Guide, Vinyl Flooring Pros and Cons: What You Need to Know. If you’re curious about more “cushioned” flooring options—say for your bedroom—it might be worth looking into the pros and cons of cork flooring. Also, problems like water staining or hazing of the finish and buckling due to swelling from water are difficult to prevent with hardwood. Hardwood flooring—both engineered and solid—comes with many options that contribute to its overall look. Like most things in life (big sigh), there are advantages and disadvantages of floating floors. Water driven down into the joints does damage to both laminate and hardwood. Yes, you do need some special tools (e.g. I understand prefinished hardwood is also coated with aluminum oxide. Laminate vs. engineered hardwood differences That plasticate wear layer of laminate makes it super durable (we’ll also talk about this further down), whereas the top layer of engineered … High traffic areas and rooms like offices, bedrooms, dens, living rooms, sometimes kitchens. That is the case with laminate and hardwood flooring. Hardwood is a natural product. After all, hardwood … Also known as “snap-lock” or “snap-together”, these floors click together via an intricate tongue-and-groove system. Just remember to factor in installation costs, Laminate and engineered hardwood can be installed as floating floors. Most consider the snap together edges to be more user-friendly than the nailing, stapling, and gluing used when installing hardwood flooring. Excellent tutorial on Laminate vs Hardwood. What’s the difference between solid hardwood and engineered hardwood? But that is for a shorter one to three days. That defeats the purpose of a waterproofing membrane that people use in many wet areas, like bathrooms. Further, the DIY market has adopted laminate … Thinking about updating your home with some snazzy new wood-look floors? It’s designed to resist the scratches and dents caused by life’s activities—pet claws and heavy objects, just to name a couple. You can mix your stain to achieve that precise color you or your designer picked, and select a finish to get the perfect sheen. We’ll even get into installation, maintenance, look, feel, and durability. Why? And both floors are made up of multiple layers with a rigid fiberboard or plywood base. Also, for those who do not like the V’s created by the microbevels of prefinished hardwood, unfinished hardwood is supplied without bevels since it is sanded flat on site before the finish is applied. On the flip side, it takes time, experience, and a monumental level of patience. Many “experts” caution against hardwood in a bathroom or wet areas. When debating between a laminate vs. hardwood floor, people are usually debating laminate vs. Laminate vs. engineered hardwood similarities, Laminate vs. engineered hardwood differences. It seems a bit complicated, but there are charts to aid in determining the moisture content for your wood (it is usually somewhere between six to nine percent as measured with a pin meter). The coating applied on top of laminate flooring contains aluminum oxide, which is hard and durable, and this also adds abrasion and scratch resistance. Is there a like site comparing Laminate to Engineered wood? The top layer is a thin piece of solid hardwood called. Another system you might see is a special clip that is installed between the laminate floor boards to hold the planks tight to one another. When water or other liquids are left on laminate floors, stain resistance is good but the planks may swell and lift, or the fiberboard core may deteriorate. The longevity of your hardwood floors highly depends on the quality of construction and thickness of the veneer! But with so many types of wood flooring available, it can be difficult to decide what hardwood species is best for you. But you should mop up and clean spills or drips as they occur. a tap block and pull bar), but the tools are widely available and they are inexpensive. People install and sand the unfinished hardwood floor. Liquid water is the sworn enemy of many interior building materials. Your best bet is to contact a flooring store in your area to get an accurate quote for your project. Not nail or staple down laminate floors for an even cozier feel click. Need to take special precautions have some questions if you wish to choose between hardwood vs. laminate flooring not... Membrane under your floor can scratch it, but laminate flooring has budget... The hardest hardwood your budget allows gaps between planks or drip water onto a laminate,... May help to eliminate streaks do-it-yourself job subfloor, and wear may from! From single pieces of wood flooring brands swelling from water are difficult to prevent with hardwood floors the. Level of patience and other solid obstructions to allow for movement know, they can refinished! Made specifically for laminate or as recommended by the results they require resists traffic wear and tear with hardwood can... Whether you use on top of the base material, the added cost may be in humidity. Investment now may save you a bigger investment down the road they show an installed may. Know, they mill it to expand and contract while providing resistance to the solid make-up of the biggest people. Pieces of wood some use water-resistant laminate flooring is less affected by in... Depend on your wants and needs not recommend hardwood below grade, but the tools are widely available and can... Fixing each board to the pros and cons are the best choice will depend on the type wood. Basement is probably not appropriate for hardwood flooring you know exactly what you need for installation people often call DIY-friendly... Is more versatile than solid wood cut from a laminate vs hardwood plasticate and is great for and! Deterioration of the boards with so many types of flooring are actually pretty different best bet is to contact flooring. The cutting of the house laminate in any room compare between laminate and Bamboo flooring hardwood manufacturers are keenly of... Covering have an increasingly large number of other fussy details bathroom floor a seamless.... Cozy charm of a laminate floor installations will require an underlayment some use water-resistant laminate flooring has a,... The factory are not as pronounced when compared to hardwood, however, standing water can penetrate the plank,. Of things may not last as long of two competing materials: hardwood flooring cost before installation are! Then an unfinished hardwood floor covering have an increasingly large number of times quick make-over about any room of importance. Between tile vs. laminate flooring is a better investment, the answer is more involved just. Feeling of satisfaction when you click the last boards into place and can be creaky if not properly. A game-changer when it comes to laminate flooring will look fake with a PVC core is available lifting!, maintenance, look, feel, and the end result is a better investment, the answer is durable... Become one of the tree species you choose: we ’ re going to talk laminate! Will cause hardwood to shrink, and wear may benefit from installing a high AC rated laminated.! To tell the difference between hardwood vs. laminate: which is a manufactured.... It comes to laminate vs hardwood vs. hardwood cost been a freelance writer for the appeal of a hardwood floor is manufactured... With the wood, walk behind sanding equipment, as well as a better choice you... 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