When it comes to choosing the flooring for your home, two of the most popular options are hardwood and laminate. Both can look great and provide a stunning appearance to your home. However, there are some key differences you need to know to help you choose the best flooring.

Difference #1: Installation

The first major difference is how the flooring is installed in your home. Hardwood floors have to be glued or nailed to subflooring. When installing hardwood floors in a basement or over concrete slaps, you have to take additional precautions to keep the hardwood safe from moisture and changes in floor temperatures.

Laminate flooring does not require any glue or nails to keep it in place. Laminate floors are commonly referred to as “floating floors” because they are held in place around the border of the room with baseboards and moldings. Another key difference is an underlayment is used over the subflooring.

Difference #2: Sound

Hardwood floors absorb sound much better than laminate floors. This is because hardwood floors are thicker. You still do get some sound, but it is not going to be as loud as laminate. One way to reduce the sound of laminate is to use a cork underlayment since cork helps absorb sound.

Difference #3: Durability

Hardwood floors tend to be less durable than laminate. The wood can be scratched, dented, and chipped. Laminate, on the other hand, is designed to be scratch-, water-, and wear-resistant. This is not to say you cannot damage laminate, it is just slightly more difficult to do.

Difference #4: Repairs

If you need to repair hardwood floors, the job is easier. You just sand away scratches, fill deep gouges with wood filler, and then apply a matching stain. With laminate, the job is more difficult and time-consuming.

You could try to cut out the damaged plank and replace it, which will require gluing a precision cut plant in the same spot as the one you removed. Your other option is to carefully and painstakingly remove the flooring to get to the damaged area and replace the plank.

Difference #5: General Cleaning and Maintenance

You have to be careful about the cleaning products and solutions you use on hardwood and laminate floors. Hardwood can be cleaned using different wood-oils and waxes to maintain its appearance. Laminate also has specific cleaners for keeping the floor clean.

One major difference is if you use everyday floor cleaners, laminate will start to develop a white film that cannot be removed without replacing the entire floor. Hardwood can also develop this white film, but you can always sand it off and refinish the floor to restore its appearance.

As evident, these differences can influence which type of flooring you use in your home. It ultimately comes down to your own tastes and preferences.

If you are looking for an easy way to bring wood outdoors to your deck, patio or walkways, we invite you to explore our outdoor tiles and flooring products feature on our website,  or contact us directly if you have further questions at 1.800.398.9263 today!