In essence, while solid or engineered hardwood flooring is manufactured from real wood and preserves the unique textured grain and appearance of natural wood, laminate flooring is only an imitation.
Hardwood flooring is made of 100% wood, whereas laminate is made of fiberboard with a photographic pattern placed on top. The layers are fused together under a clear protective layer that adds durability and moisture protection.
Laminate has no solid wood. Solid hardwood is thick and can be sanded and re-sanded many times. Laminate is thin and can never be sanded. Solid hardwood and laminate flooring can look remarkably alike, especially from a distance.
Laminate flooring is tough material but it can chip, especially along exposed edges. Installation or other issues that result in gaps make the flooring vulnerable to chipping.
Look at the Sides
The simplest way to tell the difference between the two types of wood is to pick up a loose plank. Look at the side of the plank. If it is one solid piece of wood with a continuous grain, it's solid hardwood. If you see different layers of wood, it's engineered hardwood.
Laminate flooring is more durable and scratch resistant than wood flooring - although we do still recommend the use of foam pads underneath furniture legs.
To keep your laminate floors fresh, mop them every two months. Damp mops (a.k.a. microfiber mops) are gentle enough to use on laminate floors. If you're going to use a regular mop, just wring it out until it's almost completely dry.
They look anything but cheap, and instead, present the look of wood or stone at a fraction of the price of the real thing. With the proper cleaning techniques and care in place, the laminate flooring options at Greatmats will long outlive traditional, cheaper laminate floors purchased elsewhere.
How long does laminate flooring last? Depending on the quality of the flooring, laminate flooring can last between 15 to 25 years on average, or longer. Choosing the right flooring for your home is about more than just aesthetics, it's also about durability and strength.
Laminate flooring is a great choice if you want a high end hardwood look but need something more durable for pets and kids. Laminate is a much better choice against scratches and dents. It is also much more affordable than hardwood.
Vinyl stands up the best against excess moisture and spills, and it can be less expensive than laminate. However, laminate gives a more realistic wood look to enhance the design aesthetic in your home.
The short answer is that there isn't any laminate flooring on the market that's totally scratch proof. It's just a fact that any flooring material, from natural wood to engineered timber or hybrid flooring, can be damaged.
Whereas laminates are hard and inflexible, most vinyls are soft and flexible. So, vinyl flooring can tolerate floors that are sloped or have humps in it. The vinyl will just go right on top of it.
Both materials are composites. They are made of multiple layers compressed and adhered to one another. Due to their construction, engineered wood is closer in size and density to solid hardwood, while laminate is much thinner, with an average thickness of around 12 mm or 0.47 inches.
Laminate, on the other hand, is made out of recycled hardwood, so it is not waterproof. Due to its melamine wear layer, it has a tough finish which resists against scratches and may have minor protection against minor water (quick spills).
1. Hardwood Continues to Dominate. Hardwood has remained at the top of the podium for decades now and continues to dominate the home flooring industry.
Generally, laminate floors can't handle excessive moisture and the planks can warp because of it. Traditional mop, spray mop, spin mop, sponge mop, or wet mop — these items are usually used to clean laminate floors. You can still use steam mops, but special care is needed.
Well, Laminate Flooring can be a lot colder than carpet and that might be an issue for you if you're living in a colder country on those bleak winter mornings. Also, you have to consider the noise insulation that carpet provides and that fact that Laminate Flooring can be very loud.
It's also one of the most durable types of flooring making it ideal for households and commercial spaces. But there is one problem that laminate floors usually have — they tend to be slippery, causing accidents and injuries to happen.
In high-traffic areas it can show wear and tear, and laminate can't be sanded or refinished for an updated appearance. Because of its lower price point, laminate also won't do much for your home's resale value.
Laminate flooring has a wear layer that protects the photographic layer underneath and makes it somewhat resistant to scratches and dents, and very resistant to stains. Some manufacturers even issue very generous 10+ year warranties on the wear layer itself. If you do get a stain, it is usually easy to clean off.
Not only are the materials themselves cheaper, but laminate wood installation cost is, on average, 50 percent less than hardwood installation. Laminate flooring can cost $3-$7 per square foot, including installation. Again, the exact prices will vary depending on the types of materials used and the size of your home.