Laminate or Solid Wood?
When considering wooden flooring the type of flooring you require very much depends on your budget and also the location of the flooring.
Laminate flooring most often simulates a wood effect, it consists of a textured photographic layer under a clear protective layer that are together glued on top of a rough wood base. Laminate is known for it’s ease of installation and value for money, and it has grown in popularity within the last decade as the hard flooring choice for hallways and living rooms. However the quality of laminates varies massively and it is worth being wary of deals that appear to be too good to be true as a cheaper laminate is likely to have a far shorter shelf life, warp and have a less natural finish.
Laminate flooring is not suitable for wet areas such as shower rooms, water and steam will eventually permeate the laminated wood affecting the glue that bonds the laminate from the board causing separation. In the same way a laminate floor should not be soaked in water and mopped, it is recommended to maintain your laminate floor that you brush dirt off and use a damp cloth, with specialist laminate cleaner, to preserve your flooring.
Laminate flooring is however extremely hard wearing and is less likely to show scratches, dents and furniture marks, it also requires the least ongoing maintenance.
Solid wood is exactly as it suggests, flooring where each plank is made entirely from the hardwood of your choice. Even though engineered flooring and even LVT flooring is getting close, there really is no finish like a solid wood floor. Installation is similar to that of laminate, but that is where the similarities end. A solid wood floor will show wear and tear, including heel-marks and scratches and in high traffic areas it will lose its laquer sheen quickly. Grit and dirt are easily trodden into the grain of the wood affecting its overall appearance. However unlike a laminate floor, which when it starts to look worse for wear you have to replace it, a solid wood floor can be sanded and re-laquered multiple times (please note that the thickness of your solid wood floor will dictate how many times your floor may be resurfaced).
Solid wood flooring is also not recommended for wet-rooms, bathrooms etc due to being natural wood it will swell, expand, warp and discolour if left in prolonged contact with water.
What is Engineered flooring and what is the difference between laminate, solid wood and engineered flooring?
Engineered flooring is a hybrid of laminate and solid wood. A hardwood veneer is glued on top of a, usually plywood, core. The result is a more natural finish that closer resembles a hardwood floor with the durability and ease of maintenance of a laminate.
Still have questions? Our team would be happy to discuss your requirements and recommend the perfect floor for your needs – call us on 01442 263723.
By Zoe Sanders
Back to Herts Flooring blog
Navigate back to view our other flooring blog posts
Herts Flooring Limited,
16 Mark Road,
Hertfordshire HP2 7BN
Tel: 01442 263723
Monday to Friday: 9am - 4pm and Saturday: 10am - 3pm
Sunday and Evenings are by appointment only.