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Laminate vs Hardwood Flooring

How Does Laminate Flooring Compare to Solid Hardwood Flooring?


Laminate vs Hardwood Flooring
Laminate and hardwood floors are like night and day. While laminate is often touted as a reasonable substitute for hardwood flooring, it's not even close.

My personal opinion: If you can at all, purchase solid hardwood flooring. While it has a higher up-front cost, it will serve you better in the long-run. But laminate flooring does have its own strong points.

Laminate FlooringSolid Hardwood Flooring
DIY Install?Very easy. Many types of laminate flooring even snap together--no glue.Difficult for non-professionals to install.
CostLaminate wins. You can buy laminate flooring for as little as a dollar or two per square foot.It's difficult to find any solid hardwood flooring for under $3-4 per sq. ft.
DurabilityExpect 10-15 years of use.Hardwood flooring will last a lifetime and more.
Refinish?Laminate flooring cannot be refinished.Solid hardwood can be refinished dozens of times.
Resale Value?Some premium laminate flooring has moderate resale value.A well-maintained hardwood floor has better resale value than laminate.
Appearance?For a distance, quality laminate flooring is indistinguishable from the real product.Solid hardwood floor is attractive--even cheaper types like red or white oak.
Below-Grade Installation?Laminate flooring can be installed below-grade.It is not recommended to install solid hardwood flooring below-grade
Moist Environment?Similar to the question above. Laminate behaves moderately well in moist areas such as bathrooms.Not recommended in moist areas.

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