Should You Install Laminate or Hardwood Flooring?

How do you choose between laminate or hardwood flooring? It mainly depends on two things:
– What kind of traffic your floor needs to endure and
– How much time you will have to devote to care for the flooring.


The main appeal of a true hardwood floor, natural or engineered, is it’s aesthetic. Laminate can come close, but it can not truly mimic the charm and beauty of a hardwood floor.

It’s also appealing because it can be repaired and maintained to last a lifetime. The pieces are made of solid wood. Serious scratches can be sanded down and refinished. Discolorations can be stained. Hardwood is known for lasting a lifetime. This means—after being properly installed—a properly maintained hardwood floor can last at least 80 years.

The negative aspect of installing hardwood floor to your home is it does come with a bigger price tag. It also needs special maintenance. Unfortunately the true nature of the wood makes it easier to scratch and more susceptible to water damage. Over time a hardwood floor will wear to match the workings of your home.


As an imitation, laminate has a hard time competing with hardwood flooring. However, in recent years, the competition seems to be evening out. Laminate wood flooring looks as authentic as ever. It is more durable when it comes to scratches, spills and sunlight. It’s more affordable and much easier to install.

However, most flooring professionals can still note a drastic difference between the aesthetic of a hardwood floor and a laminate one. Laminate flooring is also nearly impossible to repair. If damage is sustained, the pieces must be replaced, not fixed. In this situation you would also have to deal with discoloration of the new pieces.

Here are a few questions you can consider for yourself and the home’s other occupants before deciding which floor is the right choice.

What kind of traffic will this floor endure?

The location of the flooring is important. Is it right at the front of the house where all your guests and members of the household will walk every day? Or are you putting it in a dining room that is normally used on special occasions and big dinners.

Do you have time to designate to cleaning?

It’s difficult to tell what your life will look like over the next 80 years. Hardwood flooring has a tendency to last at least that long. Instead of looking at your schedule, look at your priorities. Does your personality find comfort in taking care of simple things?

Where do you want to put it?

Don’t install laminate or hardwood flooring in a bathroom or kitchen. The humidity and water spills will cause damage over time.

Don’t hide your gorgeous hardwood flooring in your closet—unless you really want it somewhere and the walk-in closet of the master bedroom is the only safe place you can think of. If you are going to put gorgeous hardwood flooring in your home, it’s best not to hide it.

Take full advantage of it’s value and use it in a room where it will look best and still be protected.

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