Many people desire to have wood flooring in their homes for its beautiful natural appearance and timeless warmth underfoot. If you feel this same way and wish to install it in your own home, you have two primary choices: hardwood flooring or laminate wood flooring.

The pros and cons of each are discussed in greater detail below. Remember that when it comes to wood flooring, there isn’t one right choice for everyone. The type best for you depends on your lifestyle, budget, preferences, and the characteristics of your home.

1. Price

Your budget is the first thing to consider when comparing hardwood and laminate flooring. The cost of laminate versus hardwood flooring could make or break what you eventually decide to use in your own home.

Laminate: As far as price goes, laminate wood flooring comes out on top. It is actually made from composite wood pressed together at high temperatures. The composite wood is often covered with an image of actual hardwood to create the look that is desired. Laminate wood is, therefore, much cheaper both to purchase and to install. In fact, it costs an average of 50% less to install than hardwood.

Hardwood: As mentioned above, hardwood flooring is the more expensive option. It is made directly from harvested trees. The exact price of hardwood flooring depends on the type of tree the wood is harvested from.

2. Durability

Another important thing to consider before making a decision on laminate or hardwood flooring is durability. There is a big difference in wear and tear between the two.

Laminate: Once again, laminate wood flooring comes out on top. Because it is made from temperature-treated pressed wood, it is much more durable and is resistant to scratches and moisture damage. It is also easier to clean.

Hardwood: Unfortunately, hardwood is much more easily scratched and is also susceptible to moisture damage. Heavily trafficked areas of your home are almost guaranteed to show some wear and tear in time.

3. Looks

Sure, looks might not be the most important things when it comes to wood flooring, but they do matter.

Laminate: Laminate wood flooring is getting better and better looking. However, it still doesn’t match the real deal. Oftentimes, the wood grains in laminate flooring look somewhat “fake.”

Hardwood: You simply cannot beat hardwood flooring in terms of looks. Though it is prone to scratching, it is truly the real deal. It is the most gorgeous and beautiful option. It can also add considerable value to your home.

4. Repair

Flooring gets a lot of use. Perhaps, the most use of any one component in your house. Whether it’s from an accident or excessive wear and tear, you are going to have to do some repair or maintenance on your flooring at some point in the future.

Laminate: Most types of laminate flooring are hard to repair. You often need to replace the entire floor to do so. If you bought the type that comes in pieces and snaps together, you might have an easier time at replacing individual sections, although, sunlight and age can cause new pieces not to match properly.

Hardwood: Hardwood flooring is a much better long-term investment in terms of ease of repair. It can be easily maintained by sanding and refinishing out imperfections.