Hardwood and laminate are two the leading types of floors in U.S. homes. When compared to carpet, they offer a cleaner and more modern appearance while also lasting longer than carpet. While they look similar, however, hardwood and laminate are two different types of floors with their own unique advantages and disadvantages.
Laminate floors are actually more resistant to moisture than hardwood floors. This is because hardwood floors are made of genuine wood, which is a porous material that absorbs and holds moisture. In comparison, laminate floors are made of multiple layers of resin and fiberboard, which is not porous.
If you choose laminate floors for your home, you won't be able to refinish them. Again, this is due to their multi-layered construction. Attempting to sand and buff down laminate floors will strip away the top layer, leaving behind an unsightly bottom layer. Hardwood floors, on the other hand, can be refinished. If you want to give your hardwood floors a fresh new look, simply sand and stain them.
Installing hardwood floors will increase your home's resale value more than laminate floors. Genuine hardwood floors have become a key selling feature of modern homes. And with more Americans looking to purchase homes with hardwood floors, installing them will naturally increase your home's resale value.
Let's face it, hardwood floors look better than laminate floors. With their natural grain and neutral colors, hardwood floors offer a superior level of aesthetics.
Laminate floors are typically easier to install than hardwood. They feature an interlocking design in which the planks snap together. To install hardwood floors, you'll need to use spacers and tools to carefully arrange the non-interlocking planks. You can always hire a professional to install hardwood floors, but this is just one more expense that can possibly be avoided by choosing laminate floors for your home.
Hardwood floors generally last longer than laminate floors. The average lifespan of laminate floors is about 15 years, but hardwood floors last about 40 to 70 years. Hardwood floors can even last a lifetime when properly cleaned and maintained.
Not surprisingly, hardwood floors cost more than laminate. Statistics show that hardwood floors sold in the United States cost an average of $9 to $15 per square foot, whereas laminate floors cost an average of $3 to $11 per square foot. Because of its high price, many budget-conscious homeowners choose laminate floors.