As a homeowner, the prospect of installing hardwood floors is definitely going to be enticing. They’re beautiful, they’re natural, and hardwood ages much better than carpet. One thing you are probably quite aware of however, is that many people go for laminate over hardwood due to the price difference and the ease of installation. So here’s the question, when you’re installing your Chicago floors, should you go with the cheaper option? Does the aesthetic match the quality? One thing that we want to make abundantly clear is that while laminate was once always considered to be the cheaper option, things have changed significantly.
The lines between expensive and inexpensive are being blurred a bit, and with the advancements we’ve made in technology, that really shouldn’t’ be a surprise to anyone. We’re going to take a quick look at the major difference between Chicago hardwood floors and laminate floors in Chicago. Before we’re done, you should be able to make a decision for your own home or office.
The Making of Chicago Floors
The first thing you need to know is that the major difference here is the material. Wood can be very sensitive, especially if you encounter great amounts of moisture in your home. In spite of that, hardwood flooring is often highly preferred, especially if you’re looking for something a bit more natural. In hardwood flooring, the planks are all made from single pieces of wood which can be purchased in two forms: finished or unfinished.
If you want to take it up a notch you might consider engineered hardwood flooring where the planks are pre-manufactured. So what does all this mean exactly? In the long run, it means that you’re going to get the natural look of hardwood that you’ve always wanted and for many people that makes it well worth it.
Should you choose to go the laminate route, however, you’re going to get a synthesized material designed to look like natural wood. Laminate flooring planks are designed from a fiber and melamine material, and the top is imprinted to look like wood. For most people, it looks perfectly natural but there are quite a few who have the ability to spot a laminate floor from a mile away, making it very difficult for you to settle for laminate flooring if you are such a person.
Durability – An Important Factor
So how long do either of these floor types last? Unfortunately it is very difficult for us to give you an exact number for a few reasons. First of all, it all depends on how the floor is being used. A well trafficked floor is going to see a lot of wear and tear, meaning it won’t last quite as long unless a more durable material is used. Secondly, it depends on the manufacturer and finish. Natural wood can be damaged very easily, but if you have laminate flooring, you typically have a more durable flooring assuming that it is designed for heavy traffic. There are actually several different types of laminate flooring, all designed for different levels of traffic, but we’re going to get to that in another blog.
The one thing we will say is that hardwood floors may be easily damaged but they are also easily repaired; you see, with a hardwood floor you can simply remove the damaged plant and snap the new one into place; something you could never dream of with laminate flooring. More often than not, laminate flooring is glued down, and you’re going to run into a bit of a struggle getting just one of the planks up.
So how long does it last exactly? Well, laminate flooring needs to be replaced after about twenty years because the surface cannot be sanded, and it cannot be refinished once the wear and tear have set in. Hardwood floors in Chicago on the other hand can be sanded and refinished, which almost makes them preferable to laminate flooring. Laminate, however, is a bit cheaper to replace, usually about 50% cheaper than the hardwood counterpart.
What it all comes down to is preference. Both floors have their pros and cons, and both floors last for a while. If you want something slightly less expensive but still beautiful, laminate flooring is going to be what you need. If, on the other hand, you want to get back to nature, well, hardwood flooring is probably your best choice.