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Hardwood & Laminate Floors: Finding the Right Flooring for You

Deciding on the perfect flooring for your home or business can be quite the dilemma. Floors are a fundamental aspect of every room that you want to be used and appreciated for years to come. You undoubtedly want something with lasting aesthetic appeal, but you also want something sturdy that won’t be easily damaged over time. Read the following for more information on two of the most popular flooring solutions and the characteristics that set them apart.

Laminate Flooring

With laminate flooring, there is a top layer that contains your desired pattern that is covered with a protective film. Below this are a few synthetic layers that make up the core and add stability. The bottom layer helps balance the floor and thereby reduces the likelihood that the material will warp. Since the decorative layer on top is like a large photograph, laminate flooring can replicate the appearance of any surface; this means that laminate can appear as a variety of wood and stone textures despite the fact that the flooring’s texture will lack the authenticity of whatever texture it imitates.

Hardwood Flooring

Any floors made from genuine wood are technically hardwood flooring; however, you will want to be able to distinguish between the two different types of hardwood flooring. Solid hardwood refers to floorboards that are one genuine piece of wood whereas engineered hardwood refers to floorboards that contain a small surface layer of hardwood but have underlying layers of composite wood that may be made of plywood, more hardwood, or high-density fiberboard.

How Important Is Cost?

If you are budgeting for the cheapest possible alternative you will want to go with laminate flooring. It will still have an aesthetic and sturdiness somewhat comparable to wood, just without the exact texture. If you want the luxuriant appearance of hardwood, engineered hardwood flooring will be less expensive than solid hardwood in the long run; however, solid hardwood is the more genuine product for purists and can be refinished several times whereas engineered hardwood can usually only be refinished a handful of times. Also keep in mind that solid hardwood is the least moisture-resistant floor and can be prone to warping.

The Benefit of Refinishing

All solid hardwood and most engineered hardwood flooring can be refinished to rejuvenate the look of your home. This is especially useful for when you tire of the wood’s current look or simply for when you want to polish off any blemishes and wear that the flooring has engendered over time. With laminate flooring, what you see is what you get, and unfortunately you cannot refinish it.

Where Will You Put It?

Depending on where you want to put the new flooring, laminate and some engineered hardwood flooring might be preferable. These options are better than solid hardwood if you are installing the flooring in an area with high humidity or in an area that is below grade.

Unique Styles

Hardwood floors tend to be more versatile when it comes to offering different grain patterns or a more rustic and authentic hand-scraped texture. If you need further aid with your decision, your local flooring company can show you popular styles and recommend the ideal flooring for you.

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