Deciding Between Hardwood and Laminate Flooring

Laminate Flooring

One of the main factors for choosing laminate flooring over hardwood is the cost. Laminate is considerably cheaper than hardwood. Laminate is an engineered alternative to real wood; it is constructed by laminating a facsimile of wood onto a background and then covered with a hard and clear coating. The price will depend on the thickness and visual representation of real wood.

Another factor in laminate’s favor is ease of installation. Requiring no nails, the tongue and groove design of the laminate boards makes installation easy for a novice. The boards typically come in either 4 inch or 8 inch widths; the 8 inch boards are typically easier to install than the 4 inch version. No matter which board width you choose, you must first lay down a foam pad to reduce squeaks and to even out the floor surface.

Despite laminate’s apparent ease of installation, the boards all come in one length so the installer will need to cut boards in order to achieve the staggered look of a real hardwood floor.

A final consideration about laminate flooring is its lifespan. It will have a shorter lifespan than solid wood and your warranty will reflect this. It can also wear in high traffic areas and once through the laminate layer you will see the particle board below. The weather is also a factor when considering laminate flooring, Calgary winters and summers can cause warping of the laminate boards.

Hardwood Flooring

Solid wood flooring has a look of timeless elegance that will add to the value of any home. The planks come in a variety of widths, usually between 3 inches and 6 inches wide. They come already stained and finished, and are cut in various lengths to help you easily achieve the staggered look. With a variety of shades and finishes for your wood floor, Calgary homes can increase in value with the installation of solid wood flooring.

Installation of hardwood flooring is not recommended for the inexperienced. Laying this kind of floor involves using specialized techniques to achieve a seamless installation, as well as specialized tools. Depending on the area you wish to cover, installation can be time consuming and expensive. Added to the already higher cost of the flooring and your new hardwood floor quickly becomes quite an investment.

Hardwood floors require special cleaning and are easier to damage than laminate. However, repairing a scratched or gouged section of hardwood flooring is as simple as sanding it down and refinishing it. This cannot be done with a laminate floor product. Solid wood flooring is durable and will last a lifetime under normal wear. Manufacturers offer great warranties to cover what is considered to be a permanent floor.