Looking for Regional Information?

Flooring - Is Laminate or Real Wood Best?

By Charles Hopkins Published 04/24/2006 | Home Improvement
Whether you have just built a new home, or are considering a change to your current flooring, perhaps you are intrigued by the addition of wood. There is nothing more classic than hardwood floors. It is found in the most expensive of homes and lends a certain charm to every room. Real wood flooring, while beautiful, is also expensive. It may or may not be the right choice for you. This article will explore the terms laminate and wood flooring and why you should be familiar with their individual meanings.

Laminate flooring is a material that is manufactured to give the appearance of real wood without the hefty price tag. The most economical choice for homeowners on a budget, laminate flooring features synthetic materials that are accompanied by a number of benefits. Laminate flooring is generally water resistant and features several layers of material to provide protection to the structure of your floor. There are many brands of laminate flooring and most quality products offer generous warranty. Being prone to chipping and the inability to be repaired are among the disadvantages of laminate flooring. Generally if laminate flooring becomes damaged then the entire board must be replaced.

Real wood flooring, on the other hand, uses authentic wood to act as the home's floor. Genuine hardwood floors are much more expensive than their laminate competitors, but offer several advantages if you can afford their higher price tag. Solid wood flooring, for example, offers the ability to sand the material numerous times. This allows for the easy removal and repair of surface problems or cosmetic imperfections. Wood flooring can be repaired multiple times without the need for replacement. At the same time, wood flooring is very susceptible to cracks and may easily react to the environment. If damp, wood tends to swell and may even suffer from rotting if not properly treated. Wood flooring can be difficult to keep in good condition, but there are products to help maintain its beauty. These types of wood flooring restoration products can easily be found online or at a local home improvement center.

The decision to purchase either laminate or authentic wood floors ultimately comes down to a simple case of economics. Solid wood floors can add significant value to a home but come with a hefty cost themselves. Laminate flooring, on the other hand, gives you the look of authentic wood flooring without the price. Not necessarily increasing the value of a home in the same way as a real wood floor does, laminate flooring lends beauty and affordability to every room of the house.