A common question occurs when looking at which type of flooring to install and this is whether you should choose solid wood flooring or laminate. There are pros and cons to each option and this article will help you decide which is best for your application.
Solid wood flooring is highly desirable, full of character, and adds a touch of elegance to any style of room, whether traditional, contemporary, rustic, or even art deco. It has certainly been around for a long time and really does add a ‘touch of class’.
Laminate flooring, on the other hand, is a very strong alternative to solid wood and not only is it cheaper, but it also comes in a huge range of colours and styles. Laminate flooring has become an increasingly strong alternative to solid wooden flooring.
So, what are the main differences? We have outlined a selection here!
Solid flooring is comprised of boards that are solid, hardwood material usually around ¾ of an inch thick and generally have tongue & groove interlocking edges that hold them together. Installation required blind-nailing them to the subfloor through the tongues along the edges of the boards and if they are unfinished, the floor is stained & varnished once completed.
Laminate flooring is manufactured with a core layer of fiberboard and a later designed to resemble wood or another material is printed on top of this. Boards are relatively thin at ¼ – ½ inches thick and have click-lock edges that snap together to secure the boards. No nailing or gluing is required.
The cost difference between solid wood flooring and laminate can be quite significant and may, therefore, have a big influence on your choice of product.
Solid wood flowing is made up of harvested trees and the price can vary depending on the type of wood, width of the plank, and thickness of the planks themselves. In addition to this, the cost of installation tends to be higher than a laminate floor.
When it comes to laminate flooring, because of the manufacturing process, cheaper materials, and ease of installation, laminate flooring does tend to be a cheaper option.
This is an important factor to consider when choosing which option is right for your application as solid wood is relatively scratch resistant, however, things such as sharp stones, moving of furniture or heavy traffic can show wear and tear. Regardless of this, however, as solid wood can be sanded and re-finished means that it can last a lifetime and maintain its look year after year.
Laminate flooring does tend to be more durable and scratch-resistant than wood flooring, however it is advisable to use foam pads underneath furniture. However, once laminate flooring begins to show wear and tear it will need to be replaced.
A huge difference between laminate and solid wood flooring is that nothing can match the charm of a real wooden floor (however, laminate has become increasingly natural in appearance). In addition, a beautifully installed wooden floor can add significant value to your home.
Solid hardwood flooring is an extremely attractive and premium looking material that has significant strong and natural quality. Whilst laminate flooring can look much like real wood from a distance, at closer inspection you can tell it is not the “real deal.”
A big advantage of solid wood is its adaptability for re-finishing. It only needs sanding every 10 years or so and when you have sanded it you can even stain it a different colour should you wish. Taking all these things into consideration, although more durable laminate is not as visually appealing.
There is a big difference between solid wood and laminate flooring. Solid wood can be repaired by sanding and refinishing (usually every 10 years or so) whereas laminate flooring will need to be replaced; you could replace a single board, however, it may not match the rest of the floor if there has been any fading meaning that the whole floor needs to be replaced.
In terms of day-to-day maintenance, solid flooring can be cleaned by sweeping or vacuuming and damp mopping with a wood cleaner. They should not really be polished or waxed, however. When it comes to laminate flooring, you should vacuum or sweep them. Excessive water should be avoided as well as cleaning with a steam cleaner because this may damage the boards.
Which should I choose?
The question you should be asking yourself here is whether you want to sacrifice the premium look and feel of a solid wooden floor for the cheaper laminate alternative.
You should also consider your circumstances as if you are likely to change the floor again then we would suggest thinking about laminate, however, if you are wanting to improve aesthetic look and add value to your home we would suggest that solid wood is the perfect option!
Do You Need Help Choosing Your Next Floor?
Whether for commercial or domestic use, Ajax Flooring is here to help you find the best flooring option for your specific requirements. If you’d like to discuss your ideas and discover the options available, get in touch with our team of flooring experts for your free consultation and quote.