Whether your home is traditional or modern, you may always want to make the most of its features. This implies that it may be time for you to renovate. Renovating your house could be an exciting experience if you do not have to deal with hassles along the way. One thing that makes this process more difficult is the choice of flooring.
Solid timber flooring vs laminate flooring, which one could you pick? There are many benefits of both types of floors, so it really depends on your personal preference. As a homeowner, you may determine what works best for your lifestyle and budget before making a final decision. Here are some guidelines that might help in choosing between solid timber and laminate flooring. Keep in mind that you can always get both types if your budget allows it.
Difference Between Solid Timber and Laminate Flooring
There are a few differences between hardwood flooring and laminate flooring. To begin with, solid timber flooring has natural wood grain. This allows it to better absorb sound and increase the value of your home while having great resale value. On the other hand, laminate is a manufactured product made from engineered wood that resembles hardwood floors in appearance but does not have its benefits. Laminate, like solid timber flooring, also absorbs sound and comes in many varieties such as high gloss or matte finish. It is available in very realistic-looking textures and colours, some can even imitate marble and granite.
The most apparent difference between these two types of floors is cost. Solid timber flooring is more expensive than laminate because it is made from real wood while laminate is mainly comprised of synthetic materials and veneer chips (of the appropriate type).
Laminate vs Solid Timber Flooring
Which one could you pick? There are many benefits of both types of floors, so it really depends on your personal preference. As a homeowner, you may determine what works best for your lifestyle and budget before making a final decision. Here are some guidelines that might help in choosing between solid timber and laminate flooring.
Cost Difference Between Laminate Flooring vs Solid Timber Flooring
The price gap is among the first things that any homeowner would consider when deciding whether to buy solid timber flooring or laminate wood flooring. Of course, most homeowners have a limited budget they want to spend for this purpose. If you’re looking to save up as much as possible, then choose laminate wood flooring because it is cheaper than solid timber flooring. Not only is it cheaper, but laminate flooring is also more durable and easier to maintain than solid timber flooring. However, if you’re looking for the best quality then solid timber flooring is definitely your choice since it has better sound absorption capabilities compared to laminate floors.
If you’re on a strict budget but want the highest quality floors within your price range, you could choose eco-friendly engineered timber like Ipé (a type of Brazilian hardwood). It comes in various grades depending on how much time and effort was spent manufacturing them. Engineered floors are usually manufactured through processes such as finger jointing to make sure that they are consistent in terms of stability, appearance, and tone. Laminate flooring does not have that quality nor durability compared to engineered timber floor options. However, they do come in a wide range of colours and styles that allow you to combine them with various pieces of furniture for your home.
Appearance Difference Between Solid Timber Flooring vs Laminate Flooring
When it comes to appearance, solid timber flooring has an edge over laminate. Solid wood floors can be sanded down and refinished multiple times before getting too thin with the wood showing through the top coat of finish. However, this is not possible with laminate flooring because it only has a few millimetres of veneer on top of engineered wood instead of real hardwood like solid flooring. This also means that you probably won’t find any custom sizing options for laminate flooring whereas solid timber is usually cut to size depending on your specifications.
Resale Value Difference Between Laminate Flooring vs Solid Timber Flooring
Resale value is an important factor to consider between laminate vs timber. Solid hardwood floors are more preferable as they can last a lifetime and are stronger. Laminate wood flooring does not offer longevity, but it is easier to maintain and clean compared to solid hardwood flooring.
Maintenance Difference Between Laminate Flooring vs Solid Timber Flooring
One of the most significant reasons why homeowners prefer solid timber to laminate is because it requires less maintenance. Laminate floors are made from synthetic materials that are very hard and durable, but this also makes them prone to scratches. Hardwood flooring might be more expensive, but they have better resale value when you decide to sell your home in the future.
Scratches in engineered woodland cannot be totally removed unlike in solid timber floors where minor scratches can easily be sanded away (unless there’s a deep gouge or groove) without compromising the structural integrity of the wood. Sanding might not be necessary if you maintain your engineered floors regularly by sweeping or vacuuming up any loose dirt on the surface.
How Long does Both Laminate Flooring and Solid Timber Flooring Last?
One of the most significant benefits of hardwood flooring is that it lasts a lifetime. Laminate wood floors can also last for a long time, but you might have to replace them if they get damaged or scratched badly in the future.
Choosing between solid timber and laminate flooring means that you need to weigh your options carefully. It really boils down to your lifestyle and budget, so ask yourself these questions before making a final decision.
Water and Heat Resistance Difference Between Solid Timber Flooring vs Laminate Flooring
Solid timber floors are resistant to water, but laminate wood flooring is not. Laminate floors cannot be installed near sources of heat like fireplaces, stoves, and radiators since they might get damaged by the heat or even catch on fire. Solid hardwood floors can withstand high temperatures that can easily damage laminate wood flooring.
Stability Difference Between Solid Timber Flooring vs Laminate Flooring
You could also consider the stability of your floors when making this decision because it has great implications in terms of safety and comfort. Solid hardwood is more stable than laminate woods which makes them more preferable for people who have rambunctious pets at home.
Comfort and Soundproofing Difference Between Solid Timber Flooring vs Laminate Flooring
Solid hardwood floors are naturally slightly harder than laminate flooring which can make them more preferable for people who like to walk barefoot. Laminate wood flooring is easier to install, but it cannot be nailed directly to the subfloor, unlike solid timber floors that can be nailed or glued down. Solid hardwood floors make less noise compared to laminate wood floorings which makes them suitable for rooms with high ceilings where sound carries easily.
Difference Between Laminate and Solid Timber Flooring
People who have pets may find laminate floors more attractive as it is easier to clean compared to hardwood flooring. When a pet urinates or spills food on a solid timber floor, the whole section can potentially be sanded and polished again before refinishing the entire area. On the other hand, with laminate wooden floors, you can just wipe it off immediately especially if it’s from an overspill from feeding your dog or cat or his/her urine accident on the floor surface.
Wood species for homeowners who want a floor that comes from natural wood, solid timber floors are the best option. Hardwood flooring is derived from naturally grown trees like oak and maple. This gives homeowners who prefer natural wooden floors more options depending on their personal preference. Laminate floors do not come from naturally grown trees, they are manufactured through methods such as laminating distinct layers of materials to get the desired appearance and texture of real hardwood floors.
Solid Timber vs Laminate
When it comes to the lifespan of solid timber and laminate floors, both can last a long time depending on how they are maintained. Solid timber boards at times give off an acrid odour for several days if new coatings have just been applied. Laminate floors made from synthetic materials are more durable compared to solid hardwood flooring.
Since laminate floors are made from synthetic materials, it is easier to maintain and clean them compared to solid hardwood flooring. Laminate wood floors also have a wide range of colours and patterns which allows people who have pets or small children to choose the most appropriate style for their home décor. Hardwood flooring holds up better as compared to laminate as scratches can be sanded away or completely removed with the help of a professional flooring expert.
Laminate vs Solid Timber
While solid hardwood floors are great because they last a lifetime and come from natural trees, laminate floors do not require much maintenance so they can be suitable for people who don’t have time or want to spend hours cleaning their floors. Laminate wood floors can be found in a wide range of colours and patterns to suit people who have pets or small children. Solid hardwood floors are superior to laminate wood floors because they can last a lifetime, but laminate flooring is easier to maintain and clean.
The benefits of hardwood flooring over other types of wood include its strength, durability, ability to enhance the value of your home and last a lifetime. Solid timber flooring is also easier to maintain and clean as compared to laminate floors. While solid hardwood flooring has its strengths, laminate wood floors are easy to care for and maintain so they can be suitable for people who don’t want to spend hours cleaning their floors.
Solid Timber Flooring vs Laminate Flooring
Laminate flooring is cheaper compared to solid timber flooring. Laminate floors are easier to maintain and clean, they do not require much maintenance so you can spend more time doing other things besides cleaning your home.
Solid timber floors are superior to laminate floors because they last a lifetime while laminate wood can get damaged easily if scratched or scuffed. Solid hardwood flooring holds up better as it is more durable compared to laminate floors.
Solid Timber Flooring
- Beautiful grain patterns
- More affordable
- Easier to maintain and clean
- Can be installed over existing flooring
Downsides of Hardwood Flooring
- Can be expensive ( as high as $150 per square metre )
- Not as durable as other flooring options
- Takes time to install and settle into your home
- Can make creeky noises
- Require more maintenance compared to laminate flooring
Downsides of Laminate Flooring
- Gets damaged easily when scratched or scuffed
- Less durable compared to solid hardwood flooring
- Prone to fading and swelling
Laminate Flooring vs Solid Timber Flooring
Laminate flooring wins in affordability and ease of maintenance. A hardwood floor offers a lifetime warranty, solid wood is more durable, stronger and natural-looking.
The Cost of Laminate Flooring, Hardwood Flooring and Installation
The cost may play a big role in your final decision. Solid timber floors are harder to maintain, more expensive and can be damaged easily if not handled correctly. Laminate wood floors are easier to clean but they are less durable compared to solid hardwood flooring.
In Australia, the costs of hardwood flooring for installation for high-quality solid wood can be as high as AUD$150 per square metre for the materials alone. For laminate flooring, the costs can vary between $20 and $50 per square metre.
What is better? Laminate Flooring or Solid Timber Flooring
Whether you choose laminate flooring or solid timber flooring, both can last a long time depending on how they are maintained.
You have to consider the cost of installing a hardwood floor and whether you want a more affordable option that is easy to maintain, or a longer-lasting harder to maintain the product for your home décor. The vote goes to solid hardwood flooring. Laminate flooring may be easier to maintain and clean, but a hardwood floor may last a lifetime.
Ultimately, it may be up to you to make the final decision. But if we were in your shoes, we would go for laminate wood floors simply because they offer everything that hardwood does without all its downsides.