Friday, March 23, 2012

Choosing Between Laminate and Hardwood Floors

Lots of people love the look of a wood floor. It has warmth about it that you just can't get in any other way. But if you are considering this type of flooring you have to think about whether you want the real thing or something that looks like the real thing.
We're talking about the difference between a real hardwood floor and one that has had wood effect laminate flooring installed. Each has its pros and cons and you need to think carefully about them before you consider which solution you are going to choose for your home.
Laminate flooring
There are broadly two kinds of laminate flooring you can buy today. The first type is cheap and looks like laminate flooring. It may have a wood effect design on each plank, but you can tell even with just a casual glance that you're looking at laminate and not real wood. The second type is a more expensive laminate that is harder to tell apart from real wood. If you are going to opt for laminate flooring it is wise to get the most expensive and best quality one you can.
However it is popular in many homes and this has made it a popular purchase for many. It also has other advantages. You can drop things and spill things on it and it will stand up fairly well to shrugging them off. You shouldn't soak it or delay in wiping up any spills though otherwise they could blow the boards, i.e. make the planks rise up at the edges.
Hardwood flooring
This is the real deal. If you want the look and feel of real wood you have to go for hardwood flooring. It looks sensational and while it requires a little more care than laminate flooring you can still get the most out of it if you take care of it on a regular basis. Normally this means sweeping it and buffing it every now and then. You may have to apply a protective coating every once in a while, but this is worth doing for the end result you'll get.
Of course the main reason why many people opt for laminate over hardwood is the cost. If you want real wood you can expect to pay for it. However it exudes character and age in a way that laminate never will.
Which type will you go for?
Clearly you have to think about your budget before you do anything else. If you cannot afford hardwood you might decide to opt for a more expensive laminate flooring to get a better look. Conversely if you are doing up a property in order to sell it, laminate flooring would be the best one to choose.
Whatever you decide to go for you can see that each type of flooring has its pros and cons. Which one will do the trick for you, and give you the home you really want?

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