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5 Reasons to Choose Hardwood Floors Over Laminate

With so many different options available for flooring for your home, it can be overwhelming when it comes time to make a choice. You may love the look of hardwood flooring, but are uncertain whether it is the right flooring for you. There are many reasons to choose hardwood over laminate flooring, but five reasons stand out in particular.

5 reasons to choose hardwood flooring over laminate

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You may think that laminate flooring has advantages over hardwood. While laminate does have its own great qualities, nothing beats the look and value of a hardwood floor. If your budget allows and your location is favorable to the qualities of hardwood, then it is the best choice over laminate flooring. However, if the room where you want to install hardwood flooring is prone to moisture, such as a bathroom, basement, or kitchen, it would be wise to avoid hardwood.

Nothing Beats the Look of Real Wood

Hardwood flooring is the real deal, made from the variety of wood that you wish to have. Laminate flooring is a manufactured project that is made primarily from fiberboard.

The layer that is made to look like wood is just a thin sheet of paper that is printed with a photo of wood. It is then coated with a clear UV resistant coating. At least two more layers are added underneath, with the bottommost layer providing resistance to moisture. The other layer or core layer provides stability for the floorboard.

5 reasons to choose hardwood over laminate floorsThere is nothing like the look of hardwood flooring in a home to complement your furnishings. Even though laminate floors do a very good job of imitating the look of wood, hardwood floors simply look better than laminate. If you have dark furnishings, a lighter wood floor will lighten up your room and offer a wonderful contrast to your design. A darker floor can make a dramatic statement to your home design scheme.

Hardwood offers natural grain patterns with unique characteristics, while laminate flooring offers little variation with the same photographic reproduction of a grain pattern.

Only real wood can offer the true characteristics, texture, and beauty that cannot be replicated in a photo.

While the price of hardwood is more expensive than laminate, it is often easy to find flooring that will meet your budget for just a few dollars more per square foot. With a little effort on your part, you can easily locate sales and deals on hardwood flooring that can provide huge savings.

Laminate Flooring Has a Shorter Lifespan

Some homeowners choose laminate over hardwood flooring because they believe that it will stand up to scratches or traffic from children and pets. However, what they may not take into account is that they will most likely need to replace that floor within ten to 15 years. Some warranties may go as long as twenty-five years, but this pales in comparison to the lifespan of hardwood.

5 reasons to choose hardwood over laminate flooringIf you need to replace your floor every ten years or so, you will find the costs adding up to more than the cost of one hardwood floor installation. No floor, regardless of whether it is hardwood or laminate, is impervious to damage under imperfect conditions, but once a piece of laminate flooring is damaged, it cannot be repaired.

Once the topmost layer of protection is gouged or worn through on a laminate floorboard, the paper layer is exposed and vulnerable to increased damage. These floorboards cannot be repaired or refinished as hardwood can be. You will need to replace the floorboard. If you have many boards in poor condition, you will need to rip up your floor and replace it entirely.

If your hardwood flooring has been damaged with scratches or minor dents, it can be easily sanded down and refinished repeatedly. If you have a small area, such as an entranceway, that has worn more than the rest of room, you will only need to sand and refinish that area. You will not need to rip up the floorboards to fix the damage.

Most floors can easily last a lifetime, if not longer, and some hardwoods will actually improve with age.

The trick with a hardwood floor is to be proactive and avoid potential damage through proper care and maintenance, which is really not all that difficult.

5 reasons to choose hardwood flooring over laminate flooringMany people avoid committing to a hardwood floor and instead choose a laminate because they are under the impression that hardwood floors are difficult to care for. In reality, both types of flooring have similar maintenance procedures, as both need regular sweeping and vacuuming and neither should be exposed to wet mopping.

So Many Varieties from which to Choose

Hardwood flooring is available in so many more varieties and shades than laminate flooring. From domestic species of wood to luxurious exotic woods from South America, the possibilities are endless. One of the best things about this type of flooring is that it comes in both unfinished and prefinished varieties.

5 reasons to choose hardwood floors over laminate floorsWith unfinished flooring, a talented do-it-yourselfer or contractor can create a one-of-a-kind look through the use of stains, varnishes, and sealers. This is an area where you can find yourself saving money by using a less-expensive wood to create a faux finish of a more expensive type of wood.

However, be forewarned, it can be very involved and it may be difficult to achieve consistency with your finish if you are not careful with your sanding techniques or if dust is present. This is best left to a professional.

For those who wish to forego the work involved with an unfinished floor, you will find many offerings that are prefinished at the factory. The advantage to this type is that the finish will be flawless, without imperfections that may occur with uneven sanding. Additionally, the environments where these floorboards are finished are dust-free, so you will avoid the appearance of dust bubbles in the finish.

Hardwood Floors Are the Green Choice

Many argue that hardwood floors are not a green choice because they come from harvested trees. With the move toward LEED-certification and sustainability, and marketing efforts on behalf of the laminate flooring industry, consumers can be easily confused with the facts surrounding flooring.

5 reasons to choose hardwood floors over laminateWhat they may not realize is that strict laws, such as the Lacey Act, are in place to ensure that forests are not stripped of wood without procedures in place for replenishment. This Act covers not only woods that are grown in the United States, but also wood from foreign lands such as the rainforests of South America. It also promotes sustainability of wood sources. Any wood that is imported into this country must meet the standards of the Lacey Act; otherwise, it is illegal to accept the shipment.

The belief used to be to avoid purchasing woods entirely from the rainforests to confront the problem of deforestation. It was quickly realized that, if the wood could not be sold through proper channels, then the forests would be burnt down in order to grow another crop that could provide income, such as bananas or coconuts.

Laminate flooring is manufactured from paper and fiberboard which are enhanced with resins and melamine made from chemical compounds.

While the fiberboard may come from recycled materials, the end product is not recyclable with the added resins and will eventually end up in a landfill.

Hardwood Adds Value to Your Home

Natural hardwood floors may also add more than just aesthetic value to your home. While there is no specific monetary value, realtors have reported that homes with real wood flooring spend less time on the market than those without it because the hardwood flooring is a strong selling point.

5 reasons to choose hardwood flooring over laminate floorsPotential home buyers feel more confident in purchasing a home with hardwood floors because they know they will not need to be ripping them up any time soon. Often, if a house is up for sale, the current owner will make an effort to make sure their floors look their best and may have recently refinished them professionally.

When someone purchases a home with carpeting or laminate flooring, they know they are going to need to replace either one in the near future. They also realize they may be in for a surprise once the carpeting is ripped up and they see what is underneath it.

Real wood floors can just be refinished to renew their beauty if they start to look scratched and dull. This can be done repeatedly and you may never need to replace your flooring during your lifetime. Laminate flooring can never be refinished and will need to be replaced when it becomes worn.

Hardwood floors are also recommended by doctors and health organizations as a way to help alleviate allergy and asthma symptoms. Carpeting can harbor many years’ worth of dust, dust mites, pollen, and dirt that can work their way under the layer of carpeting. Mold from spills or water damage can grow beneath the carpeting in the padding or the subfloor and present a health hazard to your family.

You may find that, even though hardwood flooring will require more of a monetary investment on your part than laminate flooring, it is well worth it. The end result will be that you have a floor that will last a lifetime and give you years of enjoyment with proper care and maintenance.

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