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Laminate vs. Hardwood Flooring - Which is Better?

Laminate vs. Hardwood Flooring - Which is Better?

Any good home renovation needs a solid foundation. That's right; you need the right floors to really finish off the transformation. The choice you make about flooring material can make a huge difference in your overall design.

A wildly debated topic when it comes to flooring materials is laminate vs hardwood flooring. Both have their benefits and their drawbacks. Before making your final choice, you should consider the following factors. We created a guide to help you choose the best flooring material for your home.

What Are They Made Of?

One of the biggest differences between laminate flooring vs hardwood floors is, of course, what they're made of.

Hardwood floors are made of solid wood species, usually cherry, maple, or oak flooring. Ash, walnut, and mahogany are also popular choices.

On the other hand, laminate floors are manufactured using wood byproducts. These boards are made with layers of fiberboard and finished with a hard, protective, clear coat.

Difference in Appearance

While both materials look like wood, in many cases, you can tell the difference between hardwood and laminate floors.

Sold wood floors are often considered more luxurious and sturdier. They are usually more natural-looking with variations in colour, wood grain pattern, and texture.

Technology has come a long way. Quality laminate floors can be like real hardwood from a distance. However, with close inspection, many people are able to tell the difference between laminate and hardwood.

Newer hardwoods incorporate more random patterns and textures to mimic natural wood floors. But they don't always capture the luxurious, natural beauty of solid wood floors.

How Durable Are These Materials?

For many homeowners, durability is at the top of the list. Families with busy lifestyles want to ensure their investment is worth it and is easy to maintain.

Solid hardwood floors are a durable option. If installed correctly, they can last a lifetime in your home. Periodically, you may want to recoat or refinish the floors.

In the case of damage, you can sand down the floors and refinish them. This is best done by a professional because most floors can only be sanded about three or four times.

Laminate floors are also durable with everyday life but may need to be replaced after ten years. These floors may dent or scratch. UV rays from the sun can fade the colour of your floors.

These floors cannot be sanded down. So in the case of major damage, replacement floors are the only option.

What's the Overall Cost?

Most homeowners also want to know the comparison of laminate vs hardwood cost. There are a few factors that can raise or lower the price of your flooring, like brand, material, and style.

In general, you'll find solid hardwoods ranging from $4 to $12, with an average cost of $8 per square foot. Common species such as ash, oak, and maple, can cost $4 or $5 per square foot. Unique species can have much higher prices.

Laminate flooring is generally the much less expensive option, with a range between $1 and $3 per square foot. However, thicker layers and designer options can cost as much as $10 to $12 per square foot.

Laminate vs Hardwood Showdown

You may be more excited about all of your new home furnishings or how you're going to decorate the walls. But you should put just as much—if not more—thought into your floors. This is one part of your home that will always be subject to wear.

Ready to transform your home? Start with the floors! Request a quote from Maple Leaf Flooring today!

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