Learn the Difference: Laminate vs. Solid Hardwood Flooring

If you’re feeling stuck about deciding which flooring is right for you, then you’ve clicked to the right blog post. We’ll be discussing whether laminate flooring or solid hardwood is right for you and your home or commercial renovation needs.

Read on as we make a direct comparison and contrast over both styles and how they can impact your daily lifestyle. After all, it’s key to accessorize and style in a way that fits YOU! Now let’s dig in.

Let’s Look At Materials

Solid hardwood is derived from specific trees of the species chosen. This type of wood flooring is made into planks from single pieces of wood.

Laminate is a type of flooring that is generally manufactured with several layers of synthetic materials that are made to look and feel like real hardwood. The core itself, though, is actually made of flat board and melamine resin.

Both of these materials are meant to have the look and feel of hardwood; however, it boils down to the fact that one is simply the real material and the other is not. Ask yourself what you think you prefer and why. If one aligns more with your preferences, then you know you’ve made the right choice.

What’s the Appearance?

People love solid hardwood for its gorgeous aesthetic appeal. The appearance actually all depends on the gain of the wood, and you have control over the look when you narrow down the species you enjoy most. 

This could range from either oak or even mahogany. It’s important to note that no two planks of wood will ever look the same.

If you are interested in a more controlled look paired with affordability, you might like laminate floors. Believe it or not, laminate flooring patterns are repeated after about every five boards. This is the big giveaway in telling it may be artificial. However, the overall appearance is made to match the look of real wood quite well.

The big takeaway from this section is to know that solid wood will have the most originality over its competitor.

Let’s Talk Durability

In terms of durability, solid hardwood’s properties will actually depend on the type of tree species you choose. For example, oak is extremely durable, whereas pine is much softer and can be more easily scratched. 

Since laminate is artificial, it’s made with melamine resins and aluminum oxides that are much harder than some of the solid wood options available.

Durability is a huge factor in someone’s life, so it’s important to determine how much is needed in order to better decide which option is more valuable to you.

Affordability Is Important

Solid hardwood is known to be more expensive, but it’s worth it to know that it’s more of a long-term investment. This means that, unlike laminate, solid wood is known to last for many more years down the line.

For those who may have a tighter budget,  laminate typically costs 30-70% less than solid wood floors. This is a great option for those who are looking to save more money upfront.

For affordability, it’s most vital to know what you can afford now and save for later. Both flooring options are an investment in different ways. One is more immediate, and the other is more long-term. If you only desire to stay in a home for only a few years, laminate may be the way to go.

Cons of Laminate Flooring

Now that we’ve made a formal comparison of laminate and hardwood floors, it’s time to take a look at both of their independent cons. Follow along to first read about the cons of laminate flooring.

  • Laminate floors are more prone to moisture damage. Kitchens and bathrooms may not be the most suitable rooms for this type of flooring.
  • Since laminate floors are man-made, they may have more of an artificial appearance than real hardwood floors.
  • Laminate floors are known to sound a bit noisier when walking across the room. This may not be good in a building that calls for a more quiet nature.
  •  Like any artificial material, chemicals may be present and so this choice is not the most natural when compared to something like regular hardwood.

If there are any cons that have persuaded your final decision in which flooring you're choosing, we’re all ears. Knowing the information above will help you make a more formal and confident decision.

Cons of Hardwood Flooring

On the other hand, let’s take a look at the cons of hardwood floors. It’s good to know the cons of each for the sole fact that one could potentially be a deal-breaker, and it’s vital when attempting to make the right decision for your lifestyle. Take a look below!

  • Wood often has a slow growth rate, so not every option may be readily available due to limited quantities. This is especially true for more rare wood types. Hardwood may be a renewable resource, but trees themselves can take years to fully grow. Some floors are more sustainable than others. 
  • The workability is much more difficult when compared with other options. The sole reason is due to the fact that hardwood is generally a stronger/tougher material.
  • The cost can be higher than most other options.
  • Refinishing wood can be expensive down the line when compared to other flooring options.

Let us know if any of these are a deal-breaker for you! At the end of the day, you need to make sure you’re choosing what’s best for you. If hardwood isn’t for you, then laminate very well be the best choice.

Our Final Thoughts

Now that we’ve directly compared both laminate and solid hardwood floors together, we are confident that an easier and more informed decision may be made. Both options have their pros and cons, but what is key to remember is that each one has the opportunity to fit your overall lifestyle better than the others. 

Always make sure to think about daily life ventures, your family needs, and your total budget. Remember that taking care of your floors is a great way to help them last as long as possible, supporting you and your family for years to come.   


Laminate Flooring Pros and Cons | The Spruce

Laminate vs. Solid Hardwood Flooring: Which Is Better? | The Spruce

 Earth-Friendly Flooring | This Old House

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