Solid hardwood vs laminate flooring by National Floors Direct

Solid Hardwood Flooring vs. Laminate: Which Should You Choose?

The U.S. is in the midst of a home renovation craze. The year 2020 saw more people than ever sprucing up their homes, and surveys indicate that more will partake in the trend this year.

It makes sense, considering all of us are spending so much time at home. Perhaps you're one of the homeowners who want to make a change to your home. Specifically, you want to update the floors in your abode.

But before you do anything, you need to decide between two materials: solid hardwood flooring and laminate flooring. What are the pros and cons of each one? Here's everything you need to know.

Solid Hardwood Flooring

When it comes to updating your home's flooring, solid hardwood is a top-of-the-line choice. You probably already know a bit about the beauty of hardwood floors. But let's dive in with the advantages of choosing this material.

Pros of Solid Hardwood Flooring

For starters, hardwood floors look beautiful, no matter what shade or style of planks you choose. You probably already know this — this is often a top reason for people to choose hardwood over laminate.

Modern finishings make it easy to maintain your hardwood floors, too. A top coat of polyurethane means you only have to sweep or vacuum your floors, then wipe them with a damp cloth or mop. There's no need to wax or polish them to keep them shiny.

On top of that, solid hardwood floors are incredibly durable. They can last you a lifetime — or even longer than that. Some century-old homes come with their original planks, and that's a testament to the quality of the investment you're making when you install hardwoods.

Speaking of investment, keep in mind that hardwood floors have a higher resale value than other flooring materials. Again, that's thanks to the fact that they look beautiful and last a long time. The fact that they're simple to clean doesn't hurt, either.

Cons of Solid Hardwood Flooring

Although there are some great benefits of wood floors, there are a few downsides to choosing this material. For starters — and perhaps you already know this — hardwood flooring is expensive. Not all budgets will be able to accommodate the cost.

If you're installing your flooring yourself, you might want to skip hardwood, too. It's notoriously difficult to install. In fact, novice DIYers shouldn't try their hand at laying hardwoods; there are lots of other materials that click into place with ease.

Finally, you may want to consider the way hardwood floors will feel on your feet. Some people find them a little uncomfortable because, well, they're so solid. You might want to consider noise, too, as footsteps and pet paws can be loud or scratchy across wood floors.

Pros and Cons: Laminate Flooring

Another option you may be weighing up is laminate flooring. This material is popular for a reason, too, but there are a few cons to consider before choosing laminate for your home.

Pros of Laminate Flooring

Many of laminate's pros are hardwood flooring's cons. For starters, it's much cheaper to install laminate, and that's true if you hire someone to do it or if you install it yourself. Of course, DIY-ing a laminate installation will save you big bucks and make the project extremely budget-friendly.

Unlike hardwoods, laminate flooring is easy to install by yourself, too. They are often made with DIYers in mind, and they click into place. Even without experience in this arena, you may find it easy to install laminate flooring.

You don't have to sacrifice on style when it comes to laminate, either. It comes in just as many styles and colors as hardwood. Whether you want thin or thick planks in a light or dark hue, you'll find what you want in a laminate.

It's all personal opinion, but some homeowners prefer the feel of laminate underfoot. It can be slightly softer and more forgiving than hardwood. It's just as easy to clean and care for laminate as it is hardwood, though.

Finally, we said that hardwood can last for decades. But laminate proves to be more heat- and water-resistant than hardwood. Neither one is great in a room that tends to get wet, such as a bathroom, but laminate stands up better in a humid space than its all-natural counterpart.

Cons of Laminate Flooring

The lifespan of laminate flooring isn't as good as hardwood, which is a consideration if you live in your forever home. If you want your flooring to last for the rest of your time in your abode, then laminae might not be the right choice for you.

Perhaps the biggest con of all is the look of laminate flooring. It does look a lot like hardwood, but it's not an exact match. And, once you've seen a hardwood floor, you know how much better it looks than laminate — it's something with which a manmade material simply cannot compete.

Which Type of Flooring is Right For You?

In the end, you're the only one who can decide which type of flooring is right for you and your home. And, whether that's solid hardwood flooring or laminate — or any other flooring material — we've got you covered.

At National Floors Direct, we specialize in hardwood and laminate, as well as carpet, tile, and vinyl floors. Click here to get your free in-home estimate and get started on designing the space of your dreams.