How does laminate stack up to natural hardwood?
Typically, laminate flooring will be made up of a combination of multiple layers of wood-based materials, configured into individual planks or tiles. The following four layers are common:
- At the bottom is a backing layer to balance the floor and keep planks or tiles straight, while also sealing out moisture. It can be a built-in substitute for underlayment.
- Next, a core layer makes up the majority of the tile or plank. This high-density core provides strength and stability for the floor.
- A high-quality decorative layer with a hyper-photorealistic printed design, typically of hardwood, stone or ceramic tile flooring.
- Finally, the top wear layer on each plank or tile adds luster, texture, and protection from wear, staining, UV rays and scratches.
Laminate vs. Hardwood Comparison
Highly sought after for its natural character and beauty, as well as for the resale value it can add to a home, hardwood has long been a popular choice for flooring. However, newer homes are being built and sold at much lower price points thanks to the beauty captured by laminate flooring, which mimics the warmth and charm of hardwood.
These two types of flooring can be hard to tell apart – but how do they compare in quality?
- Manufactured using solid wood from trees, lasting for decades
- Scratch and wear easily over time, which can be a plus – wear gives real wood its character
- Imperfections can be sanded out in refinishing, which can be done repeatedly
- Manufactured using composite wood, which is cheaper to use and install
- Resistant to scratches, moisture and wear – and available in worn-looking styles out-of-box
- Easy to clean, requiring little maintenance time – but more difficult to repair than real wood
- Very easy to install and replace planks thanks to click-and-lock technology
Laminate Flooring Styles
Laminate reliably and affordably mimics many popular wood species and types of tile or stone, in a variety of stylish colors and patterns. Some of these looks would be hard to find and difficult to afford were it not for laminate flooring technology.
At H & R Carpets and Flooring, we provide the Waunakee, WI community with access to both smooth and hand-scraped laminate textures, available in many sizes and shapes to suit any home. You’ll also find laminate floors designed for several different types of installation, including glue-less, glued-down, pre-glued and with underlayment attached.
If you want to make a statement in your home or business, the wood, tile and stone laminate styles from Shaw Floors that we have available in the H & R Carpets showroom are a great place to start. For more information, our in-house and online flooring experts are always happy to chat!