Hardwood or laminates?
When you want to update your home, or have another reason for changing the flooring in a house, it is often that you’re faced with the dilemma of picking between laminate or hardwood. There are many differences between the two types of flooring, and it can help to know the key ones when planning such a change.
Solid hardwood flooring is the closest to the trees you’ll get when it comes toflooring. The planks are produced from single, big piecesof wood and they come ina large variety, and can be found available even unfinished.
Engineered hardwood flooring is somewhere in between. Theplanks of this type offlooring consist of several layers made out of wood or plywood. There are differentengineering techniques, but many also have a special top layer,consisting of a sawn wood lamella. Engineered hardwood isprefinished when you buy it.
Laminate flooring is completely synthetic. Its design is meant to imitate actual wood.However, the core of this flooring is created from melamine resin or fiber boardmaterial. Laminate flooring usually has a top layer that is actually an impintedtexture, to make it look like real wood.
Solid hardwood, and engineered hardwood are both organic. Singlepieces of woodmake up the planks of these types of flooring–or several pieces, in the case of engineered floors. However, since they are natural, theyhave a larger impact on the planet’s forests. Since it takes up a lot more wood to producethese types of floors,you might want to reconsider if you want to place them in your home.
Laminate flooring is hardly organic. Of course, it’s still made out of wood, but theprocess of manufacturing this type of flooring consists of bonding compositematerials, along with the melamine resin. Along with this, consder the fact that manymanufacturers choose to use cheaper adhesives to cut back on the costs. These gluescan sometimes be harmful even after production has ended.
To conclude the ecological perspective – when buying flooring, no matter the type, try to strike a balance between going natural and being eco-friendly. The two are not interchangable, since natural wood can also have a detrimental impact on the environment. Research the manufacturer well before you commit to remodeling your home.
The main aesthetic difference between the two types is in the texture first and foremost. The wood grain in hardwood floors is characterized by uniqueness – no two hardwood planks (solid or engineered) will look the same, since the patterns and the look of it is not artificial. On the other hand, laminate flooring only imitates how wood looks, which makes it fall far behind in terms of how ‘real’ it feels. The texture of laminate flooring is smooth, while the appearance is an imprinted pattern to make it look wood-like. Since it’s imprinted, however, the patterns are designed, and therefore most laminate planks will end up looking almost identical. That’s not to say that laminate floors can’t be pretty – the latest developments in this type of flooring have reached a point where even experts can be fooled on a first glance.
To conclude, the differences between the two become obvious after you research a bit. Before committing to a choice, make sure you research the manufacturer, as well as the type of materials that make up your flooring.