A common exercise when considering a new floor is comparing laminate and wood flooring. It’s not an easy decision for many homeowners to make. For a start, laminate flooring is generally cheaper while simulating a look similar to hardwood. It’s also easy to install too compared to other floor types.
Now the ever popular hardwood flooring finally has a worthy competitor as laminated flooring grabs the attention of homeowners for a variety of reasons. For homeowners considering a floor installation, ease of maintenance, durability, appearance and cost are all very persuasive factors:
- Ease of Maintenance: Care and maintenance for laminated flooring is as easy as wiping with a damp cloth or dry mopping.
- Durability: laminate flooring is manufactured using aluminum oxide and melamine resins then bonded under extreme pressure and high heat. Theresult of this process is a finished surface that is durable and much harder than actual hardwood. Laminated flooring is highly resistant to staining, moisture and fading and the same cannot be said of hardwood.
- Appearance: Laminated flooring is available in anextensiverange of simulated wood types and colorsjust like hardwood flooring options. But new technology has allowed for laminated wood that rivals or exceeds real hardwood when it comes to appearance and attractiveness.
- Costs: While laminated wood flooring costs range between $7 and $11 per square foot when installed, the basic hardwood floor fetches between $10 and $13 per square foot. Hardwood costs are more for exotic styles and choices.
Laminate Flooring or Hardwood Flooring
There are other deciding factors which come into play when homeowners are choosing between laminate flooring and hardwoodflooring:
- Installation: Installing traditional hardwood flooring is a labor-intensive and complicated process, as you must nail it into place using special nailing tools. Installing the starter run properly can be tricky since nails must be driven at an angle into the groove side. Additionally, some substrates like particle boards or concrete may not be suited for hardwood. Laminate flooring, on the other hand, floats on the substrate. Assembling the traditional laminate flooring is through snapping tongue and groove strips together using small amounts of glue. Newer innovations are glueless as they are simply strips that are snapped together.
- Finish: Unfinished hardwood flooring will needstaining,sanding as well as 5 to 7 other procedures of finish, for instance; polyurethane. Laminated flooring is pre-finished and ready for installation.
- Re-finishing: Hardwood floor re-finishing is critical so as to periodicallyrestore shine and luster due to the volume of traffic. This isusually a time-consuming and lengthy process that’s further complicated by hardwood staining that needs sanding to remove the stain. The same cannot be said of laminate flooring.
- Maintenance: Hardwood floor cleaning or maintenance requires extra care in order to preserve the finish. On the other hand, laminate flooring simply involves wiping with a damp cloth.
New Laminate/Hardwood Blends
Latest innovations in laminate/hardwood flooring have integrated a top layer of actual hardwood onto a laminate core which can be installed as a glueless snap-together or a glued floating installation. But because the top layer is actual hardwood, the finish is not quite as durable as the aluminum oxide/melamine resin laminate flooring types.
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