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How to Choose Between Laminate and Solid Wood Flooring for Your Home

When you are designing your home or redecorating, it is important that you think carefully about the options that you have when it comes to flooring.

Many people choose solid wood flooring as they believe that it is much better to have the real thing, but many others are satisfied with laminate flooring which can look like real wood.

In this article, we are going to consider all of the different aspects of each of these types of flooring.

We’ll look at how long they last, the appearance of each option and the installation process for those of you who fancy a bit of DIY.

Keep reading if you’d like to find out more about the differences between laminate and solid wood flooring.

What Is Solid Wood Flooring?

Real wood flooring

Solid wood flooring is a popular option for homeowners who want to have a 100% real wood floor that will last a long time.

This type of floor tends to be made of planks of wood which have been milled from the same piece of timber.

Solid wood floors will usually be thicker than laminate flooring and you can be sure that they are entirely wood. People tend to choose this type of flooring option because of how authentic it tends to be.

What Is Laminate Flooring?

Sample of laminate flooring

Laminate flooring is another popular option for homeowners who want to get realistic look and feel of wooden flooring in their home.

Laminate flooring is a little more synthetic to solid wood flooring as it is made up of multiple layers which tend to simulate wood in their design.

The layers in this type of flooring have been fused together using the process of lamination and then are topped off with a photographic applique layer which tends to be placed below a clear protective layer.

Can You DIY?

Installing laminate flooring vs hardwood

For those of you who enjoy DIY, it is important to know which of these types of wooden floor might be best for your next big project.

When it comes to laminate flooring, you will find that it is very easy to install this sort of floor in your home by yourself.

This is because of how it is installed as a floating floor where you’ll click the pieces into place.

On the other hand, solid wood flooring is a lot harder to install yourself so you might have to skip this DIY project if you don’t have much experience in installing this type of floor in your home.

To install solid wood flooring, you should make sure to rent special tools for the job including a stapler and a floor nailer.

It is important to remember that even with these tools, you’ll need to have the right knowledge to ensure that you don’t damage the wood.

They’ll even have some accessories to help you install the floor once you have your materials.

Consider the Cost

The next important thing to compare when deciding between laminate and solid wood flooring is the overall cost of the project.

Because of the way in which solid wood flooring is made, you’ll find that this option tends to be a lot more expensive than others in terms of flooring.

Depending on the type of wood that you are using, you’ll find that the price of the planks will differ. Some of the cheaper options tend to be maple and oak while the less common wood will be more expensive.

When you are choosing laminate flooring for your home, you will find that the price tends to be a lot less expensive than with solid wood flooring.

It is important that you make sure not to just choose the cheapest option as low-quality laminate flooring can cause you problems in the future.

Think carefully about the price and you should be able to choose the right option for your home.

How Long Does Each Last?

Durable hardwood floor

Laminate flooring is an inexpensive and reliable flooring option, but it won’t always last as long as other types of flooring like solid wood.

You will find that a laminate floor will only last you around 10 years if you keep it in good condition.

This type of flooring can become damaged from a variety of different things and this can shorten the lifespan of your laminate floor by a lot.

When you choose solid wood flooring, you can be sure that it is going to last a very long time.

Although this type of flooring can become damaged by water and UV rays, you’ll find that as long as you are maintaining it and making sure that it stays intact – it should last a lifetime.

Solid wood flooring is the right choice for those who want their flooring to last as long as their home.

Comparing the Appearance

Although laminate flooring is not necessarily real wood, it can have the appearance of a wooden floor and from a distance it can be quite attractive to look at.

This is why many people choose this type of flooring over others because they like the appearance and how the wooden panels are all laminated together to create a sleek design.

Depending on the quality of the laminate flooring, you’ll find that the patterns tend to be less repetitive which can add a more realistic feel to this type of flooring.

When it comes to the appearance of solid wood flooring, you’ll find that this can be very attractive.

If you are going for an older, more traditional feel to your home then you will find that solid wood flooring might be the best possible option for you.

You will come across many different types of wood in a variety of colors which will give you the choice of how you want you floor to appear.

Are They Waterproof?

Which is waterproof, laminate or hardwood?

The next thing that you should think about when choosing between laminate and solid wood flooring is how waterproof each option is.

With solid wood flooring, you will find that they it is not very waterproof, and it can be damaged by floods and pools of water.

Of course, solid wood flooring can be repaired when it is damaged by water and so it is a popular choice for those adding a new floor to their kitchen.

Laminate flooring is much more waterproof overall in comparison to solid wood flooring as you can easily get waterproof covers that help to keep this type of flooring intact.

The only thing that you need to consider is watering getting in between the plants which can cause it to warp.

As long as you make sure to keep pools of water away from your waterproof laminate flooring, you should find that it copes quite well in a bathroom or kitchen.

What About Pets?

Pets on hardwood flooring

If you have pets, then you might want to consider this when you are making your choice between solid wood and laminate flooring.

When you choose solid wood flooring, you will find that this can easily be gouged, and this can be a problem when you have dogs or cats running about all of the time.

Of course, if you make sure to lay down some mats, you should be able to avoid too much damage to your flooring.

For those with pets, laminate flooring can often be the best possible option as it can stay strong against any sort of claws and won’t get damaged.

Your pets will love sliding around on your laminate flooring and they won’t be able to do too much damage.

Refinishing and Sanding

If you are looking for a flooring option that can be refinished and sanded down over time, then you might find that solid wood flooring might be the best possible option for you.

You can easily apply treatment to your solid wood floor and fix it if any damage appears.

One of the biggest problems with laminate flooring is that it cannot be refinished should anything happen to it over time.

When your laminate flooring becomes damaged, you need to think about replacing it as sanding it down won’t have any sort of positive effect on the floor.

Floating Floors

The next thing that you need to consider when choosing between solid wood and laminate flooring is the idea of floating floors.

If you are looking for a floating floor, then you will find that laminate flooring is always installed in this way.

For solid wood flooring, you’ll find that this type of floor is never installed on a floating floor basis.

You might come across certain types of engineered floors that can be installed like this, but this is not always easy. Make sure to consider this when choosing your next flooring option.

Are They Resistant to Impact?

Laminate floors tend to be quite resistant to impact although you cannot guarantee that there won’t be any sort of damage.

With laminate flooring, a large object landing on the floor at full force can cause gouging right through the floor to the fibreboard base.

On the other hand, you’ll notice that solid wood flooring is extremely resistant to impact.

The impact resistance of a solid wood floor can vary depending on the type of wood that the floor is made of so make sure to think about this when choosing between the different species.

Other Things to Consider

On top of all of the other topics that we have covered, it is important that you know what to expect when you choose either a solid wood or laminate floor for your home.

With laminate flooring, you might find that static can build up which can cause you some issues further down the line.

To prevent this, you should remember to clean your laminate flooring regularly.

With solid wood flooring, you might find that the floor will shrink over time which can start to leave gaps between the board.

This is likely to happen over a long period of time, so you won’t need to worry about this happening too soon after you have installed the floor.

When to Choose Laminate Flooring

If you like what you’ve heard about laminate flooring, then you should think about investing in this flooring for your home.

If you are looking for a relatively cheap and simple project, then this might the one for you.

Laminate flooring is easy to maintain and so all you will need to worry about is cleaning it until the day that it needs to be replaced.

When to Choose Solid Wood Flooring

If you are looking for a much higher-quality flooring option, then you might want to think about choosing solid wood flooring for your home.

This type of flooring can have an impact on the value of your home so if you are planning on selling it sometime in the future then you will want to install a solid wood floor.

This can be a great investment and you will love how the solid wood floor looks in your home while you are living there.

Final Verdict

When it comes time to redecorate your home, it can be difficult to choose between the different flooring options that are available to you.

Many people automatically go for solid wood flooring before looking at the price and the maintenance that is going to come along with this option.

This is why you need to make sure that you are considering all of the different aspects of each flooring option.

Remember that each of these flooring options will vary in quality depending on the supplier and the type of wood that has been used.

Sometimes, it might be better to go for a high-quality laminate floor rather than a low-quality solid wood floor.

Make sure to consider everything that we have discussed in this article and you should be able to make the right decision.

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