Hardwood Floors vs. Laminate Floors

One of our clients wanted to replace the carpeting in theirstaging, great after, living & dining room, Mugford living room & dining room and wasn’t sure if they should use hardwood or laminate flooring.

What would you choose – hardwood or laminate.  Leave your comments and I will answer the question tomorrow.  Thanks for checking in.


So what did you answer ?  Hardwood or Laminate ?

Great question !  We actually hear that one a lot.

Hardwood flooring is an investment that will last you a life time and add more value to your home.  It is seen as being more luxurious than laminate.  Hardwood is one of the most sought after amenities people want when buying a home.  It ranks very high on their list. 

There are many types of hardwood flooring out there now that will not only suit your budget, but more importantly, it will suit your home.  What do I mean by that ?  There are many factors to take into consideration when you are renovating or upgrading a feature in your home.  One of the main points to consider with any upgrade is where do you live?  What kind of home to you life in?  You don’t want to put a high end hardwood in a starter home or visa versa a low end hardwood in a designer home or highly sought after neighbourhood where house prices stand their ground.  The type and cost of 011hardwood flooring needs to reflect the style of your home and your type of neighbourhood.  For example, our home is in a mature area of single family homes in a sought after neighbourhood.  The first renovation we did when we moved in was to remove the dated parquet flooring in the living dining and family rooms and installed hardwood flooring.  Our next two flooring projects in our fixer upper will be the upstairs and the basement .  Again because of our location and the type of house we have, I will install hardwood flooring upstairs.  Now for the basement, that might be another matter. 

I was going to install hardwood for the basement as well, because I know we will get the return on our dollar for the money spent.  BUT I made the mistake of mentioning this to our two boys who love hanging out there in their retreat with their friends.  They really love laying on the carpet.  So check back later to see who won that battle. But that is a good point.  There are other factors to consider when we are making these decisions.  If you have kids, pets or high traffic areas, laminate might be a better option for some of your spaces.  Laminate does have some great features.  It is less expensive than hardwood and it doesn’t scratch as easy either.  Laminate can fit well in a basement or rental unit.

So what did I advise our client?  Hardwood !!!  Even though it was going to cost them more money, and it meant that they would have to wait a year before they could afford it, they definitely would get more money for their home when they sold it  than if they had installed laminate.

Flooring Trends

A few years ago the hottest trend in hardwood flooring was the dark brown espresso flooring. If you didn’t have expresso floors, you kind of felt left out. But as with any industry, be it fashion, cars or home decorating, trends come and go.

What are the hot trends for hardwood flooring for 2015 ? Come back Thursday for my “Trendy Thursdays” post on Hardwood Flooring Trends 2015 to find out !!!


Some fun facts about hardwood and laminate flooring.

What’s the difference?

Solid hardwood flooring planks are produced from single pieces of real wood, and can be purchased unfinished or prefinished. Engineered hardwood flooring is a type of wood floor that consists of several wood or plywood layers. Bottom and middle layers are manufactured from cross-laid solid wood or plywood planks. The top layer consists of a solid sawn wood lamella, often stained and prefinished in the factory. Hardwood is real wood, and has lots of texture.  No two planks look the same.

Laminate is a multi-layer manufactured product designed to look like real wood. The core layer of laminate flooring is made from melamine resin and fiber board. The top layer has an imprinted textured image made to look like real wood. High quality laminate is made to look like wood but patterns are repeated about every 5 boards.

Hardwood or Laminate? Quick Comparison Chart

Feature Solid Hardwood Engineered Hardwood Laminate Flooring
Installation Type Glue-down, Nail-down Glue-down, nail-down, floating Glue-down, Floating
Can Be Repaired? Yes Yes No
Scratch Resistance Very good, depending on species and finish Very good, depending on species and finish Excellent
Floor life expectancy Lifetime Lifetime Up to 20 years
Care and Maintenance Easy Easy Easy
Can be refinished? Yes Yes No
Spot-repairs? Yes, depending on finish Yes, depending on finish No
Can be easily recycled? Yes Yes, in most cases No
Eco-friendly and non-toxic? 100% organic product Formaldehyde-free, depending on manufacturer Highly varies, depending on manufacturer
Structural warranty Yes, depending on manufacturer Yes, depending on manufacturer Yes, depending on manufacturer
Finish warranty Yes, depending on manufacturer and finish Yes, depending on manufacturer and finish Sometimes, depending on manufacturer
Floor look and feel Real wood, unique grain pattern Real wood, unique grain pattern Imitation of wood, repetitive pattern

Source for chart: Coswick Hardwood Inc.

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