Wood as a flooring material is currently widely chosen and used in upper middle class houses. The use of wooden floors can give an artistic impression, a mix of modern and classic, luxurious and unique. For those of you who are renovating your house and considering using hardwood floors, here are the types and differences between hard or solid wood floors and laminate floors.
Hardwood and laminate manufacture
Although both are made of wood, laminated wood has fundamental difference in its manufacture. Laminated wood is composite wood made of processed wood with hardwood motif applied on it but formed laminate. Simply put, laminated wood consists of thin layers of wood that pressed or stacked and glued together. Usually the thickness of the laminate is a quarter to one and a half inches. Meanwhile, hardwood flooring is a natural product made from real wood, cut into planks by the manufacturer to a typical thickness of three quarters of an inch. Hardwood or solid wood is very easy to identify because it is real wood without going through the gluing process.
Basically both have advantages and disadvantages, one of which is hard wood because it is 100 percent made of real wood so it is much more interesting and artistic. Meanwhile, laminated wood sometimes looks cheaper, but this laminated wood is versatile with variety of patterns.
The cost of hardwood is more expensive
One of the biggest drawbacks of using hardwood or solid wood flooring is its expensive price to install. It also depends on what kind of wood is used. For example, mahogany or more expensive teak wood. To bring in large quantities of hardwood is also quite expensive. Because usually this hardwood is imported from rural areas. In contrast, the price of laminated wood is much cheaper even half of the price of hardwood.
In terms of installation, the price of laminated wood can be much cheaper and you can also install it yourself. Because the material is not too thick and the right size makes it easy to install. This is in contrast to hardwood which is generally very heavy and requires more effort to install. This hardwood usually has to go through some process of cutting, and refining again before installed. Therefore, the installation of hardwood is usually done by professionals. Even hardwood floors are usually allowed to settle in the room for a minimum of three days. While laminated wood can be installed in one day.
Hardwood can last a lifetime
Given its thickness, hardwood is more durable and if properly cared for, can last a lifetime. While laminated wood has durability of about 10 years. But this wood can add up 4 to 6 years if it is in air-conditioned room or in cold temperatures. However, both types of wood are prone to fading from sun exposure, as well as scratches because you moving furniture and foot traffic of course. In general, hardwood is more suitable for families with children, as it has excellent impact resistance. On the other hand, dropping heavy items on laminate floor will cause the top surface to crack.
However, laminate flooring usually offers more resistance to dog and cat paws. Another consideration with both types of flooring is the fact that the wood will shrink as it dries.
Laminate is more versatile
Hardwood doesn’t do well with a lot of foot traffic. In addition, every scratch on the hardwood can indeed be repaired, but of course it will cost a lot of money. If you are considering using underfloor heating, laminate is the best choice because its thickness allows heat to spread easily throughout the room.
Also, installing floating floor will make things easier to install. Hardwood can used with underfloor heating, but you will need to get a special grade engineered wood for this purpose. It should be noted that neither hardwood nor laminate performs well when exposed to moisture, which is why wood is not ideal for kitchens or bathrooms. Laminate is water and stain resistant, but constant moisture exposure will cause the top layer to swell and crack.
The care and maintenance of hardwood and laminate floors is actually quite easy and simple. If the boards or laminated wood in your home are damaged, you can easily remove them and replace them.
Meanwhile, if the hardwood is damaged such as scratches, dents, and fading, you can repair it by sanding and refinishing. When cleaning, avoid using a wet cloth or mop on any type of floor because water can absorb into the wood, and can shorten the life of the wood or damage it more quickly. Use a soap or floor cleaning product recommended by the manufacturer, but avoid using wax, grease, or oil remover on laminated wood, as these can damage the resin finish.