Often when prospective buyers research which new flooring they should buy, the two types of flooring that immediately spring to mind are of course, laminate and real wood floors.
The first type of floor is laminate flooring which is made from a multi-layer synthetic flooring product, fused together with a lamination process and coloured to resemble wood.
While the second is real wood floor which is made from 100% real wood (known as solid wood floor) or from a combination of real wood, plywood and hardwood veneer (known as engineered wood floor).
Although to the naked eye some types of laminate floors might look like real wood, the two are quite different when it comes to their characteristics. So question is, which is more suitable for you?
Main Differences Explained:
Quality laminate flooring which is designed to look and feel like real wood, also comes with a similar price tag, but not all its benefits. If you are on a tight budget, you are more likely to source cheaper laminate floors, compared to sourcing cheaper real wood floors, as wood is never cheap.
Both floors are suitable for DIY type of flooring installation and installinglaminate floors is considered easier. While laminate floors are better suited to cope with scratches, the overall life expectancy of real wood flooring is almost 4 times greater.
Ongoing cleaning and general maintenance is fairly easy for both types of floor, however certain types of wood floors could be refinished thereby extending their life expectancy even further.
And most importantly for many of us, while some types of higher endlaminate floors might look like real wood (and have a similar price tag), real hardwood floor will always look like the real thing.
Pros and Cons Of Each:
Laminate Floor Pros – Some types are available to buy on a tight budget and the material will cope better with scratching. Laminate floorsare also more suitable for damp conditions (such as a bathroom) due to the lamination process.
Laminate Floor Cons – Due to heavy foot traffic, the floor will last for less years compared with real wood and it cannot be repaired. Qualitylaminate floors, these which look very similar to real wood will cost the same.
Real Wood Floors Pros – Solid hardwood flooring due to its strong wood construction is able to add structural integrity to your home and has a greater life expectancy.
Certain types of wood floors such as solid wood floors which are made from 100% real wood will react well to re-coating giving you the option to change the wood shade from time to time.
Real Wood Floors Cons – Slightly pricier and under some types for installation methods, harder to DIY install. Different wood species and coatings will determine the price of the floor, whereas the appearance of different wood species in laminate will not.