Laminate and hardwood by National Floors Direct

Laminate Flooring vs Hardwood: Which Is Right for You?

Are you trying to choose between laminate and hardwood flooring?

Your home is one of your most important assets, so it's only natural to want it to look its best. When you're investing a lot of money into your floor, it's important to get the right material for you. But with so many options on the market, it can be hard to know what to choose.

Don't worry, we have you covered! Read on for this guide to laminate flooring vs hardwood to help you make the right choice.


When it comes to tying in the decor of your rooms, the types of flooring you choose make a big difference.

Hardwood Flooring

The texture of hardwood flooring is natural and unique, which appeals to a lot of homeowners. There are a variety of woods, finishes, and stains you can choose for the perfect, opulent look.

On the other hand, hardwood flooring is easy to scratch if you don't look after it. If exposed to sunlight over a long time it can cause discoloration to some types of hardwood.

Laminate Flooring

A huge advantage laminate flooring has over hardwood is the fact it doesn't scratch as easily. This means you won't see a significant change in its appearance over time. If you're moving furniture a lot or have an area with a lot of footfall, this makes it a good choice.

But, laminate flooring isn't a natural material, it's synthetic. Technology has advanced, and there are different types of laminate flooring now. But, its appearance only mimics real wood, and won't look as real.

Verdict: If appearance is important to you, then hardwood comes out on top.


Your budget and what different types of floors cost might be the polar opposite. If your budget is on the lower end consider cost-effectiveness.


Including installation, you could be looking at between $5-$10 per square foot for hardwood. But this can vary between wood types.

Hardwood flooring requires trees that need harvesting, and rarer types of hardwood will cost more. In general, hardwood is often the more expensive option.


Laminate flooring comes from composite wood that's pressed together at heated temperatures. Over the top of that wood, the image of hardwood gets stamped.

In comparison, you're looking at $3-$7 per square foot including installation. Prices will vary for both types of flooring depending on the material and size of your house. But laminate can cost up to 50% less.

Verdict: If money is tight, the laminate is the most cost-effective.


When looking at types of flooring, work out the traffic load for each room. The higher the usage, the more wear, and tear there will be on your floors. Having a more durable surface will be easier to take care of and keep looking good well into the future.


Hardwood flooring is definitely sought after. It's stunning, unique and depending on the wood, it can add value to your home. Not only is that more money in your pocket if you come to sell, but they're also a real talking point too.

But, nothing is perfect and as we saw earlier, scratching is an issue for hardwood floors. It can dent, chip, and splinter with ease. It doesn't do well with excessive moisture either and is prone to warping as it contracts and expands.


The way laminate flooring gets made makes it resistant to denting and scratching. It can also withstand moisture and general wear and tear a lot better than hardwood. Spills, for example, don't need cleaning right away and the floor is easier to clean when you have the right technique.

To get a high-quality, luxurious look you need to have top-of-the-range laminate. Anything lower quality can have a very artificial look to it and could detract from how your rooms look.

Verdict: If you want a floor that can stand up to high-traffic areas of your home, laminate is best.


Over time you'll likely need to make some repairs to your flooring. This could be excessive wear and tear or due to an accident. Either way, you need flooring that's easy to repair.


While it might be more prone to damage, hardwood flooring is easy to repair. You can sand down any imperfections and revarnish. Over time, this adds a more unique, well-loved feel to the flooring that boosts its charm.


It isn't as easy to repair laminate flooring. The pieces snap together, so it's advisable you buy an extra box. This is because if a board gets damaged, you'll need to replace it. Depending on age and sun exposure, a new board might stand out from the rest, disrupting the look.

Verdict: When it comes to repairing a damaged board, hardwood is the front runner.

Rooms That Suit Laminate or Hardwood

To help your decision, also consider the rooms of your house. The characteristics above should give you an idea of what each flooring is good at. To get the best results, you want to match the flooring, to the room's function.


The beauty of hardwood flooring is without question. In low-traffic rooms, it's quite durable too. It's a good choice for bedrooms, dining rooms, and low-traffic living rooms to make a statement.

If you have pets though, or lots of foot traffic in a room those scratches will start to show. You should also avoid using it in high-moisture areas like bathrooms and basements.


Due to its more durable nature, laminate flooring can withstand high traffic areas. It copes with pet traffic too, making it a good choice for hallways, kitchens, and main living rooms.

Though it can handle more moisture than hardwood, you shouldn't use it in an area that's always wet. While the sunlight will fade hardwood, the laminate can withstand it for longer. If a room has a lot of natural light, it's better to go with laminate.

Laminate Flooring vs Hardwood: Know Your Needs

So, there you have it! Now you know the pros and cons of laminate flooring vs hardwood, you'll know what's right for you.

Consider the traffic of your home and which rooms get used the most. There, you'll want durable flooring materials to keep your home looking its best. They're often easier to clean too, great if the kids or pets are tracking mud through the front door.

For rooms with less traffic, make a statement with unique, high-quality hardwood. Let your creative side be free for a more luxurious room design.

If you're looking for quality flooring, get a free home estimate today. At National Floors Direct, we've got hardwood and laminate flooring to suit all your needs.