When looking for a new floor, either for residential or commercial purposes, it can be hard to decide what will work for your space.
Wood flooring has long been the classic choice but with recent technology and quality manufacturing, laminate flooring is seeing a rise in popularity due to the ability to mimic the finish of wood flooring without the expense.
Both have their advantages and disadvantages, so we have put together this guide to help you decide which would be the best option for your home or office.
Pros of wood flooring
Solid wood flooring consists of planks that are cut entirely from trees and are therefore just one single material; this has given them some unique properties and advantages over other types of flooring.
- Durability: Solid wood flooring can be expected to last a lifetime and both hardwood and engineered wood floors can stand up to the tests of daily life, especially if you choose a top-quality hardwood. As they can be sanded down and refinished due to any scratches or damage, this adds a longevity that laminate flooring does not have.
- Easy to clean: Wood flooring is simple to maintain and as most are sealed with a polyurethane varnish, this allows for easy sweeping, hoovering and damp mopping of any dirt or dust. They can be cleaned with wood cleaner products that are found from most good flooring and hardware shops, although we would not recommend using a lot of water or all-purpose cleaning solutions as this can cause damage to the wood planks.
- Appearance: The appearance of solid wood floors is a huge reason many choose this type of flooring. Wood planks will naturally age and mellow out over the years, with beautiful grain patterns giving a unique character to your home whilst staying timeless. Wood flooring has never gone out of style and is likely to stay a favourite no matter what the current trend.
- Variety: Wood floors are available in a wide variety of styles and colours, meaning that you no longer have to stick to the traditional feel and colour of oak planks. From dark, rich woods that give an opulent and sophisticated atmosphere to your home to the lighter, more modern, and contemporary styles of greys and vanilla, you are sure to find a wood finish that can match any home or office décor.
Cons of wood flooring
Although wood flooring is an excellent choice in so many ways, it does have its disadvantages.
- Cost: The cost of wood flooring, especially hardwood flooring, is the most common reason people choose other types. It can be expensive compared to different flooring options, including laminate flooring.
- Water resistance: A big disadvantage to wood flooring is its lack of resistance to water or wet areas. It is not recommended for either kitchens or bathrooms where there can be a lot of water and humidity as the planks can suffer permanent damage.
- Heat resistance: Solid wood flooring has poor heat resistance and shouldn’t be installed over heating systems. This is due to the wood planks expanding and contracting with the heat, causing them to move and warp. Engineered wood flooring offers a better solution to this problem, but it is still something to be aware of.
- Installation: If you are thinking of purchasing solid wood flooring, then the likelihood is you will need it professionally installed. Some flooring types, especially engineered wood flooring, come with a “click” system, which can make it easier to do it yourself, however we would recommend a professional, especially for larger areas.
Pros of laminate flooring
Laminate flooring is traditionally made with thin fibreboard or synthetic material, with a high-definition printed layer of the required style, usually a reproduction of wood or stone and finished with a clear protection layer. This has several advantages over wood flooring.
- Variety: Like wood flooring, laminate flooring comes in a variety of different colours, thicknesses, and grades, allowing you to find the perfect finish to fit your style.
- Price: One of the big advantages to laminate flooring is the cost. Cheaper per square metre on average than wood flooring, you can achieve the aesthetic you want at a smaller price. However, you should always check the quality of the laminate flooring you are planning on purchasing, as more premium laminate will be more expensive.
- Easy to clean: Like wood flooring, laminate is really easy to clean and maintain. Sweeping and hoovering up dirt is a straightforward process, and you can damp mop the floor. Just remember to not use too much water.
- Heat resistance: Compared to solid wood flooring, laminate has far better heat resistance. It can be installed over heating systems and is better in humid conditions.
- Installation: Laminate flooring is far easier than wood flooring to install yourself. It can be ‘clicked’ together using the pre-designed grooves, which makes it even cheaper and quicker to lay than having to pay for a professional.
Cons of laminate flooring
- Appearance: Although the appearance is similar to wood and manufacturing techniques have come a long way, you can tell when up close that laminate flooring is not real wood. It does not have the same depth or character as wood flooring.
- Water resistance: Similar to wood flooring, laminate is not suitable for wet rooms such as a bathroom, as water can cause the fibreboard to swell and parts of it to break off. It can be suitable for kitchens as long as you make sure to clean up any liquid spills immediately.
- Durability: If well looked after, laminate can be expected to last around ten years, however, with laminate flooring you are more at risk from tears, damage and gouging caused by furniture and pets. Because it cannot be sanded or fixed, the only solution to considerable damage is having your laminate floor replaced.
Need more help?
If you are still uncertain about what wood flooring you should choose, here at Direct Wood Flooring we stock solid wood and engineered wood flooring as well as laminate flooring, parquet flooring and wood floor tiles, so you are sure to find a product that works for you.
We offer a wide range of choice for both wood flooring and laminate in a variety of colours, finishes and styles, so no matter what you choose you are guaranteed a luxurious and authentic wood finish. We pride ourselves on building exclusive relationships with premier wood suppliers across the world to find the best in high quality wood, and then delivering it to you with unbeatable prices.
If you have decided laminate flooring is the floor for you, we provide quality constructed low-cost options to high end products. The advances in design and manufacturing techniques allow designs and styling to very closely mimic actual wood and natural products, so you get a beautiful wood effect – without the added cost.
We also offer a free sampling service to our customers, which allows a selection of up to four samples from our product ranges. Samples are a great way of helping you choose the right floor for you, not just to make sure that whatever style you select looks great, but to also ensure that your floor can fit your individual requirements for use.
If you need any help or advice on any of our wood or laminate flooring, then please get in touch with us today to discuss your next project, get a quote, or order your free samples.
Use our contact form on the website or call us on 03308 182 500.