Summer is in the air! Have you gotten the remodeling bug yet? With summer, often comes a great opportunity for new flooring. A lot of people out there find themselves confused when choosing wood vs laminate flooring. Truthfully, it just depends on what area you are installing your new flooring in and the traffic to that specific area.
Solid wood – Invest in real wood when you are trying to add value to your home. Real hardwood flooring also lasts the lifetime of your home. Avoid using in overly wet areas like kids bathrooms because real wood is not water-resistant like vinyl and laminate. As real wood ages (like with reclaimed wood flooring), it enhances the beauty of the floor itself. Beware if you have large dogs or kids that are hard on your flooring.
Certain woods resist scratches and dents more than others. South American woods (like Brazilian Cherry) are generally a harder wood than the easily available American Oak. But it depends on the quality and how rough you are on your floors. One thing I like to do to any potential flooring is to try the key test. It’s simple: place said potential hardwood flooring on ground, hold keys at arm level above it and drop. Pick up the flooring and look at the damage. This will give you an idea of how well it will hold up in your home.
Laminate – Use for a wood look in wetter areas, or in other areas of your home where durability is number one. Laminate won’t increase the value of your home as automatically as wood flooring. But it might increase the its attractiveness to a potential buyer. Laminate is a great alternative to real wood if you have large dogs or pets. If you get a good rated laminate it will resist most scratches and dents. Just make sure to pick one out with a good coating. Stick an AC rating of 3 or higher if you have pets or children. Laminate is also great in areas where you can’t glue-down or nail into your subfloor. It simply click locks together and rests on a pad. Unlike most vinyls which have to be glued down or the majority of real wood floors that have to be nailed, stapled or glued to the subfloor. The simple fact that it doesn’t need to be nailed or glued makes laminate a good do it yourselfer project.
Whether you are adding value to your home or just looking for something scratch resistant, think of your needs before you go head first into either type of flooring.