Thursday, December 2, 2010

Real wood vs. Laminate - the great flooring debate!

While in the process of building or renovating your home, the debate of authentic wood versus laminate flooring is likely to arise. What few things are most important to consider?

Cost – this is the first consideration on many people’s mind. Across the board, hardwood is a more expensive option. Costing approximately 30-50% more. On the other hand authentic wood floors add a perceived aesthetic value to a home buyer which manufactured floors simply do not. & Some of the newer wood options (bamboo, white pine) are lower cost than traditional oak, ash and maple.

Durability - certain areas of the home get more heavy use. For example, how often is your family in the kitchen versus the dining room? While hardwood flooring is more visually pleasing, it can be more difficult to maintain. Sunlight can be problem for dark hardwood floors. Water damage is a concern for many hardwoods and even softer woods such as bamboo. While laminate flooring is more resistant to stains, scratches, and moisture, if damaged, it is not easy to repair compared to most hardwoods.

Appearance – this for many is the prime factor compared to installation difficulty, durability, or even cost. The beauty of authentic wood flooring is that no two strips of wood are identical. This adds a natural beauty to the floors. Because laminates are machine-produced, the “wood pattern” is fixed and the color does not naturally alter as it does in hardwood flooring. Using real wood flooring can result in creating a more visually exciting space.

All of these various factors are important to consider before beginning the design process. If there are any doubts or inquiries, approach your interior designer for professional advice. Designers will also have the latest information on new wood types and finishes for a contemporary or classic look.