Laminate flooring is an attractive and cost-effective way to add the look of hardwood floors to your home. That being said, there are advantages and disadvantages to consider before you decide between laminate and real hardwood.
Advantages of Laminate Flooring
- Affordability – Because laminate is made up of composite woods, it’s considerably less expensive than solid hardwood.
- Resilience – The top layer of laminate flooring is very scratch resistant as compared to hardwood. It also has UV resistance to prevent fading.
- Appearance – High quality laminate flooring offers nearly a perfect resemblance to hardwood.
- Ease of Maintenance – Laminate is extremely easy to take care of. Regular sweeping and mopping with a damp mop are usually all you’ll need to do for it. However, you’ll need to refrain from using detergent based cleaners that could leave a film or too much water which could damage the flooring.
- Ease of Installation – Laminate is a floating floor, which means it doesn’t have to be nailed or glued to the subfloor. It uses a simple locking technique to hold the planks together, so it can be installed as a do-it-yourself job.
- Softer feel – Laminate flooring is somewhat soft underfoot because it’s installed over a thin layer of foam.
- Noise reduction – The surface of laminate flooring may be quieter than hardwood, and the foam underlayment of laminate can help absorb some of the foot traffic noise.
Disadvantages of Laminate Flooring
- Laminate flooring can’t be refinished – If your solid hardwood floor is damaged or worn out, you can have it refinished. This is not the case with laminate. Laminate flooring has hard top layers designed to protect against wear and tear, but they cannot be sanded and refinished.
- Resale Value – Although laminate flooring can add value to your home over carpet or linoleum, the added value is much less than you’d realize with real hardwood flooring.
- Lifespan – Whereas a real hardwood floor can last for decades with proper care, the expected lifespan of laminate flooring is 15-20 years.
The decision to go with laminate flooring or real hardwood flooring is often a matter of budget. Hardwood requires a more complicated installation method and costs much more than laminate. Laminate flooring will have to be replaced when it’s worn out, but hardwood can be refinished time and again.
For over 20 years, Floor Advisor has sold and installed various types of flooring, including laminate, carpet, waterproof floors, engineered hardwood, and solid hardwood. We proudly serve customers in several communities throughout Northern Virginia, including Gainesville, Alexandria, and Leesburg. Combining our flooring installation services with a comprehensive selection of materials in countless colors and designs has made us a leading service provider to homeowners. Our team will work with you to find a perfect flooring option for every room, including bathrooms, kitchens, living rooms, basements, and bedrooms.