Hardwood vs. Laminate Flooring

When it comes to hardwood flooring, do you want the real thing or an imitation? The answer may seem obvious, but before you answer, take a moment and check out the hardwood vs. laminate comparison we’ve compiled below. Hardwood is beautiful, pricey, and coveted, yes, but laminate isn’t just a shoddy copy of its more luxurious older brother. It has its own merits, as you’ll see below. To help you understand these two flooring options, today we’ll be listing out the pros and cons of each. Scroll down to learn more and decide for yourself who is the victor in this hardwood vs. laminate battle.

hardwood vs. laminate

Hardwood vs. Laminate Flooring


If this were a beauty contest, hardwood would win by a landslide. Straight from the forest to your home, hardwood flooring captures the beauty of nature with its rich colors, texture variation, and alluring imperfections. Because of its beauty and longevity, hardwood can add a lot of value to your home, making it a worthwhile investment. Hardwood’s beauty won’t significantly decay over time either, so long as it’s taken care of properly. Plus, due to its solid construction, it can easily be repaired through sanding and refinishing.

Because it is higher in quality, hardwood is significantly more expensive than laminate flooring. The cost will depend greatly on what type of tree your wood is harvested from. If the tree is rare or exotic, the price of your flooring will obviously escalate. That high price extends to installation as well. Plus, hardwood is more susceptible to scratching than laminate and will more easily be damaged by moisture or heavy foot traffic. If it is installed in a very sunlit area, it will lose its color and luster over time as well. Lastly, hardwood will require more maintenance.


Before we delve into laminate’s pros and cons, let’s start this half of the hardwood vs. laminate battle by examining laminate’s composition. Laminate flooring is made from composite wood, which is pressed together at very high temperatures. An image or photo of hardwood (or in some cases, a veneer) is pressed onto the top, creating the appearance of hardwood at a much cheaper price.

That drastically lowered price is laminate’s main appeal. However, it is also more durable than hardwood and can more ably resist scratches, moisture, and the general wear-and-tear that happens to a floor over time. Laminate also resists sunlight, making it a good choice for very sunny homes. Finally, laminate is easier to clean.

As for the cons, to put it quite simply, laminate isn’t as beautiful as hardwood. Although it’s a fine imitation, it isn’t the real deal. Because of the way it is formed, laminate is also difficult to repair. If it was glued down, you’ll have very few options. If it was snapped together, be sure to ask for spare pieces that you can use for repair jobs. Laminate also won’t last as long as hardwood (20-30 years as opposed to 40-80 years).

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Hardwood vs. Laminate: Who Is the Winner?

So who is the winner of the hardwood vs. laminate battle? That depends on what you’re looking for in a floor. If you want beauty, value, longevity, and easy repairs, wood is the clear champion. However, if you’re on a limited budget and are concerned about maintenance, scratches, and fading color, laminate is the better choice.

If you’re remodeling your floors or building a new home and you live in the southwest Missouri area, please give Adam Cowherd Construction a call at 417-877-7548 or click here for a free quote. We would love to help you build the home of your dreams, whether that home contains hardwood, laminate, or both!