Choosing the right kind of flooring in your home, whether you’re looking to sell or simply enjoy the floor beneath your feet, can be difficult. There’s a seemingly endless list of factors to consider when deciding between laminate and hardwood flooring like whether you have pets, what your budget’s like and even whether you prefer to Do-It-Yourself. Below are some pros and cons to weigh if you’re in the middle of this decision.
Laminate floors are multi-layered synthetic floors fused via lamination. These floors typically simulate wood or stone with a photographic applique layer under a transparent protective one. They’ve been becoming more and more popular as DIY-ing has become more and more popular.
- Easy DIY install
- More affordable
- Best for pets and radiant heating
- Doesn’t need to be refinished
- Thin fiberboard
- Only lasts about 10 years
- Damaged finish cannot be fixed
- Lower resale value
Hardwood floors are manufactured from timber and typically have a thick wear surface and are installed perpendicular to wooden support beams. These kinds of floors are commonly found in older homes in New England, Eastern Canada and Europe.
- 100% solid wood
- Can last a lifetime
- Good resale value
- More resilient than laminate floors, can be repaired
- Natural insulating characteristics
- Excellent impact resistance
- Difficult installation for non-professionals
- Always more expensive than laminate flooring
- Wood may contract, leaving gaps between boards
Overall, laminate flooring is best for kitchens, bathrooms, older homes, homes with pets and homeowners who prefer DIY.
On the other hand, hardwood flooring is better for colonial-style homes, repairs and maintenance, longevity and resale value.