It is time to renovate and you are considering refinishing your floors. Friends have given you their advice
on why they think hard wood or laminate flooring is the way to go. Now you are confused and need to
make a big decision. After all, what you decide you will have to live with for many years to come.
Now let's take a look at the two choices:
Laminate floor covering is made of pressed wood. The actual floor is a photograph of wood covered with
a hard transparent layer. The realistic look is because it is a surface layer of two thin sheets of paper
infused with melamine. Under the wood grain photograph there is approximately half inch of wood chip
composite. It does not attach to the sub floor, it is a “floating” floor. Meaning that a foam underlay is
first installed and the laminate is attached board to board, locking into each board, to provide a very
Laminate flooring does look similar to real hardwood flooring but can easily be identified that it is in fact
an imitation wood. Even though it looks like wood, it is not.
Laminate is hard wearing, resisting scratching and dents. Therefore is good for families with children and
pets in high traffic areas.
Laminate is inexpensive compared to real hard wood. But can easily chip, especially the typical tongue
and groove sections. Also if water gets between the seams, the floor will swell as it is pressed board.
The best hardwood floors are made with wood species that are readily available, and also very hard.
While there are many species and most popular are oak, maple, birch and cherry. Other species include
bamboo, ash and mahogany.
There are many finishes, from a matt finish to a satin finish, it all depends on personal preference. Also
they can be nailed down to a sub floor or glued. Also you may want to know whether you should buy a
prefinished floor or one that is sanded and finished on site. Hardwood floors that are already stained and
finished with a coating is much stronger than most site-applied finishes. This makes it one of the most
durable flooring options.
Solid wood floors can be sanded and repaired over and over again. It lasts for decades, also can improve
its looks over time, developing its own character with small nicks and dents. Realtors state that houses
with wooden floors sell much faster compared to houses with other floor finishes.
The bottom line is that hardwood flooring has many benefits over laminate but it really comes to personal
preference. The choice is yours.