Hardwood vs. Laminate Floors: Which Is Best For You?

Are you looking to update your flooring? A recent study found that 30 percent of homeowners dislike their flooring. If you are looking to update your floors, are you try to decide between laminate floors vs hardwood?

There are benefits to each type of flooring. Let’s take a look at each of these two options, so you can figure out which is best for you and your home.

What Are Laminate Floors?

Laminate is a synthetic floor that often mimics both the look and feel of hardwood. Manufacturers use embossing and texturizing on the surface of the laminate floor to make it look like natural wood. The laminate floor has the top layer of particleboard that sits above the stabilizing layer, and this is the piece that looks like wood.

Underneath, there is a base layer that stabilizes the floor and offers protection against moisture. Laminate floors are completely manmade, so they tend to be less expensive.


Hardwood flooring has a natural texture that is visually appealing for many homeowners. You can also choose between different types of wood, finishes, and stains for numerous options. However, hardwood floors can scratch easily if you don’t properly maintain them. The color of hardwood can also get discolored from sun exposure over a long period of time.

Laminate floors don’t scratch easily, and their appearance will not change over time. So, if you have pets and kids, you may want to consider this benefit.

However, the laminate floor is synthetic, so it tries to copy the look of wood. It is not genuine. This means you can tell if you look closely.

Water Resistance

Depending on what room you want to change the floor, you need to consider the floor materials and their water-resistance—especially for kitchens and bathrooms. Laminate flooring is often more moisture-resistant, so it is a better choice to prevent boards from warping, shrinking, and expanding in rooms with water use. However, you will still need to monitor the humidity and clean up spills quickly on laminate floors.


Laminate flooring is easier and cheaper to install. For laminate floor installation, the floors use a floating installation method that locks planks together in a tongue and groove system. There are no nails or glue, so it makes the process simpler and quicker.

Hardwood floors are much harder to install, so you may want to use a floor installation company.


When you go to the flooring store, be sure you consider the traffic and wear and tear on your floor. You want a more durable surface that is easy to maintain and looks great.

Hardwood can be a considerable value add to your home. However, it will show wear much easier and can also scratch.

Laminate is more durable and resists wear and tear, along with moisture. It is also easier to clean. Even though laminate is more durable, it may not have the same visual appeal, so you need to look at the different price points to make sure it looks visually appealing.

The Choice Is Yours

Now that you know a little bit about hardwood floors vs laminate floors, you can pick the floor that is right for you and your home. Hardwood floors are very beautiful and are best in low-traffic areas like dining rooms and bedrooms. If you have pets, you may want to consider laminate floors because it is more durable and withstands moisture in areas like the kitchen or bathrooms.

Looking for other home project ideas? Check out our Home Improvement section and keep exploring.


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