The type of flooring material you choose for your home’s flooring is critical. That decision can often be a pivotal moment for any home design or renovation project. And in that moment, it can be sure to answer a number of important questions.
Is your newly renovated space going to feature high traffic areas? Do you own pets, thus requiring a material that offers resistance to scratching? Are you worried about wear and tear? Factors such as style, traffic flow, and more can affect which floor material is the better choice for your project.
Two of the most popular flooring options for renovation projects are laminate and hardwood. But these two materials are not alike, offering specific benefits and drawbacks. In this blog post, we’ll explore the basics of the two materials. We’ll also note key differences to help you make the right choice for your flooring project.
Laminate vs Hardwood: The Basics
While both laminate flooring and hardwood flooring look similar, they actually differ right down to what they are made of.
Laminate flooring is a synthetic flooring material that is made to look like hardwood, stone, or tile. It is composed of four layers, including a wear layer, a design layer, a core layer, and a backing layer. Laminate is typically water resistant and its wood veneer can often be confused for the real thing.
Hardwood flooring is made from solid wood planks that are milled from a single piece of timber. Solid hardwood flooring is available in a wide variety of species, each with its own unique grain pattern and color.
Laminate vs Hardwood Floor: The Differences
Each material is perfect for different kinds of flooring projects. Here, we will explore the differences between laminate vs hardwood flooring materials.
When installing hardwood flooring, it is important to install it onto a real wood subfloor. Engineered hardwood flooring, on the other hand, can be installed onto either a wood subfloor or concrete. If your project requires flexibility, install laminate flooring to save yourself from a headache.
The installation process is more flexible with engineered or laminate flooring, too. This type of material can be nailed to the subfloor, glued down, or floated via a seam glue. Hardwood materials, on the other hand, can only be nailed down.
The cost of your flooring is another major difference between laminate vs hardwood floor materials. Laminate flooring vs hardwood cost can often decide a material for the homeowner or renovator.
When it comes to cost, laminate flooring is generally less expensive than hardwood flooring. And remember, at WWW you are always getting the best pricing on our wholesale woodfloor product lines.
For example, when you shop with another supplier laminate flooring typically costs between $3 and $8 per square foot. At WWW our pricing is $2 to $4 per square foot depending on the brand and quality.
Hardwood flooring, on the other hand, can cost anywhere from $6 to $25 per square foot when shopping retail. Our team offers $5 to $8 per square foot for hardwood flooring. Yea, we know that is a huge discount! (Hardwood pricing has a wide range due to the species and quality of wood.)
If you’re looking for something specific, reach out to us for a quote or information!
Stability is a flooring term that refers specifically to hardwood and how it reacts to fluctuations in humidity. If you’re not a contractor you just need to know that the higher the stability means the less the wood shrinks or expands.
Solid wood is a natural product and less stable. You should expect expansion gaps and it has to be nailed down over the wood subfloor. (Real wood tends to expand and contract on the X axis and Y axis.)
Laminate and engineered flooring can go directly onto solid concrete flooring and can be installed anywhere. (Laminate floors tend to expand less, with shifting only occurring on the Z axis.)
If you prefer wider planks on your floor, choose an engineered flooring material for better stability.
When installing a new floor (of any material), factoring in an acclimation period is important. This is required so that the flooring material can balance its moisture level with the subfloor beneath it. However, laminate flooring and hardwood flooring are not one in the same when it comes to acclimation.
On the whole, laminate flooring acclimates much faster to a subfloor. Hardwood flooring often requires days or weeks to acclimate to its subfloor. Laminate, in contrast, often requires only a fraction of that time.
Ultimately, neither hardwood nor laminate is “better” than the other. Which material you choose is largely dependent on the style of the project, the needs of your space, and your budget.
Available Where You Need It:
Give us a call at 855-356-6786 for more information on your specific woodfloor needs:
Local California Woodfloor Showrooms: There is nothing quite like the feel of fresh hardwood in your hands. When you are searching for the right wood floor option, you’ll often know it the second you touch it. We encourage you to visit one of our showrooms to experience our quality wholesale flooring supply for yourself.
Nationwide Shipping for Wholesale Wood Floors: If you aren’t local to northern or southern California, we also ship our wholesale hardwood flooring nationwide. We are quite possibly the only wholesale hardwood flooring supplier in the country who will ship from east coast to west coast, Hawaii, Alaska, Canada, and more.
Wholesale Woodfloor Warehouse offers a wide range of both laminate and hardwood flooring materials. Explore our collection of high-quality flooring brands or place a custom order for your flooring needs today!