8 August 2014

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When you’re looking to decorate a new home, or redecorate your existing home, your flooring will often be one of the first areas you look at. While some people may opt for simple carpet, others will want to give their home a feeling of class and elegance that only wooden flooring can provide.

If you are considering wooden flooring, one of the first questions you need to answer is whether you will go for traditional hardwood flooring or a laminate alternative. To help you make this decision, it is vital that you understand the differences between laminate and hardwood flooring, as well as the advantages and disadvantages to both options.

How is it made?

Laminate flooring is usually made from fibreboard planks which have been compressed at high temperatures, which are then covered with a photographic image to give the impression of a hardwood floor. Hardwood flooring on the other hand, is made from 100% real wood, taken from a variety of different tree species.

What is the price difference?

Traditionally, laminate flooring is considerably cheaper to buy and install than hardwood flooring – hardwood flooring can vary in price much more than laminate flooring however, due to the large variety of options available. Hardwood flooring will add much more value to your home when it comes to selling than laminate flooring will though, making it a worthwhile investment.

How durable is it?

Because laminate flooring is made from compressed wood, it is more resistant than hardwood flooring to moisture, scratches, and every day wear and tear. However, hardwood flooring has a much longer lifespan than laminate. While laminate flooring may only last 10 or 15 years, hardwood flooring will last a lifetime if properly looked after.

How easy is it to repair?

While laminate flooring may be durable, if it does become damaged it is much more difficult to repair. Your only real option is to replace the broken panel, but then you run the risk of the colour of your new panel not matching the rest of your floor, due to natural colouring. Hardwood flooring can be sanded and can undergo a number of different professional finishes, meaning that any damage is much easier to repair.