We could talk this up as a battle of the heavy weights, but if we are being frank, this matchup is really about two contenders that both you and I can literally walk all over.
That being said, a lot of people still ask the question; which is better, hardwood or laminate flooring?
So, if you’re in research mode and not sure which way you want to go, allow us to use our 29 years’ experience to enlighten you with an easy to read article that will answer some questions you are bound to have.
Here’s what we cover:
- Which is more durable – laminate or hardwood flooring?
- Which adds more resale value to your home – laminate or hardwood flooring?
- Which is more expensive – laminate or hardwood flooring?
- What is the easiest wooden flooring to install?
- Which looks better?
Which is more durable – laminate or hardwood flooring?
For everyday wear and tear in a high traffic area, laminate flooring is more practical and durable. It has a scratch resistant surface, is resistant to fading and has water resistant qualities.
But, let’s say you drop the iron or a hammer on your flooring. Regardless of whether you have laminate or hardwood, it’s going to leave a dent. In this situation, it is harder to repair laminate flooring than it is hardwood, especially for the DIY-ers out there.
Another thing to consider is how much sunlight your flooring is exposed to as direct sunlight can cause your flooring to fade over time and leave things a bit bleached out and patchy looking. On this front, laminate flooring is less likely to fade as it has a protective layer to make it more resistant to UV damage.
So, which is more durable?
Winner: Laminate. With its scratch resistant, moisture resistant and UV resistant qualities, laminate flooring is a more durable option than hardwood flooring.
But does it add that real deal resale value to your space? Let’s take a look.
Which adds more resale value to your home – laminate or hardwood flooring?
Flooring is one of those things that can make or break the décor and attractiveness of a home.
For instance, scungy, smelly carpets can drive buyers away, but a rich, warm wooden floor can really elevate a place to that next level.
The good news is, quality wooden floors, whether they are laminate or hardwood can both add resale value to your home.
Getting them installed by experts to perfection, even better.
Aesthetically, laminate flooring has come a long way in recent years with some very trendy design options that present well and capture people’s attention.
But when it comes to adding true resale value, it’s no surprise that hardwood flooring reigns supreme.
The authentic, naturally beautiful and timeless elegance of hardwood flooring gives a lasting impression of value and luxury that is too hard to imitate.
Winner: Hardwood. It’s’ one of those cases where you just can’t beat the real thing.
Which is more expensive, laminate or hardwood flooring?
Hardwood flooring costs more than laminate flooring. End of story.
We’ve broken down the different costs of wooden flooring in another post, but to answer the question, laminate flooring is usually more affordable than hardwood flooring. This does depend on the type of wood you choose for your wooden flooring, but generally speaking, hardwood is a more expensive option than laminate.
Remembering of course that hardwood flooring does offer a more luxurious finish and provide better resale value than laminate flooring.
Winner: Laminate. Laminate flooring is a more affordable alternative to hardwood but does lack the finish and overall value of hardwood flooring.
Which is easier to install, laminate or hardwood flooring?
Both Laminate and some engineered timber flooring can be floated (over a 2mm thick underlay), which is by far the easier and faster installation method. Some engineered timber flooring options offer either a floated or glued down installation.
Other timber flooring, such as solid timber flooring and our Euro-Pro engineered timber flooring, has to be glued down as it has a tongue and groove profile.
If you are doing it yourself then laminate flooring is usually the easiest option to install. But never neglect the added value and high quality finishing that a professional installer can bring.
Winner: Laminate with prefinished engineered timber floor with a “Click” locking system coming a very close second.
Which looks better, laminate or hardwood flooring?
Laminate flooring has been designed to look like hardwood flooring.
And these days it does a pretty good job of capturing the style and feel in a sophisticated and energised fashion.
From a distance, it can be pretty hard to tell whether it’s a laminate or hardwood.
But when you get up close and personal, laminate flooring lacks the true essence and depth of hardwood flooring. And it is that true essence which exudes real quality.
Aesthetically, hardwood flooring provides that high end finish that you just can’t imitate.
And as a texture, the warmth of hardwood is one that just invites you to reach out and touch.
Winner: Hardwood. Laminate flooring can look fantastic but lacks the authentic essence and depth of hardwood. Especially up close.
We said we weren’t going to sit on the fence. So here’s the verdict.
Our personal choice:
Hardwood. All. The. Way.
We built our business on solid timber flooring, so of course that is our preferred product choice. There is nothing like a real wood timber floor. Nothing else has the depth of colour, colour variance between the boards or the feel of real wood. Whether it is a solid timber floor or an engineered timber floor, we don’t think you can beat it.
But ultimately it’s not about what we like, it’s about what is best for you – and we are here to help you figure that out. Our aim is always to find out what your lifestyle, budget and preferences are.
We have clients come into our showroom determined to have solid timber or engineered wood flooring, and they end up walking away with Laminate.
“Why” you ask?
Because if there are dogs, kids, pools, and busy lifestyles, a solid timber floor or an engineered timber floor are not going to perform the same way as a Laminate floor is going to.
It’s as simple as that.
We would rather our customers have the floor that is best suited to their needs rather than the most expensive. That way they are more likely to be happy with the performance of their floor, rather than disappointed in the scratches, dents and marks that are part and parcel to having a real wood floor.