What Type Of Wood Flooring Is Best For Me?

What type of wood flooring should I buy?… What type of wood flooring is right for my home?… What type of wood flooring is the best value for money?..

These are all questions that we hear all too often from customers who are struggling with the choice between laminate, solid wood and engineered wood flooring. There’s nothing wrong with this though, after all, everybody wants to know they are making the right choice when it comes to their home.

To try and cut down this confusion, we thought we’d take a closer look at the main types of wood flooring and some of their benefits to try and help make your decision an easier one to make.

Laminate flooring

Pros:

  • Easy to install – usually a simple click-lock design for quick and easy installation.
  • Consistent quality – since laminate flooring is not a natural product, there are no defect or imperfect pieces which need to be re-engineered before installation.
  • Durability – because laminate flooring is not really wood, it has been designed to be much more durable than wood surfaces and harder to scratch or dent.
  • Easy to maintain – laminate flooring doesn’t take a lot of cleaning or maintaining (read our Cleaning & Maintaining Wood Floor guide to find out more).

Cons:

  • Not refinishable – unlike solid wood flooring, laminate flooring cannot be modified with new finishes.
  • Low resale value – it does not add value to your house, unlike good quality solid wood or engineered wood flooring.
  • It’s not real wood – an obvious one yes, and one that won’t bother some, but laminate flooring isn’t actually real wood (it just contains a thin layer of wood).

Solid wood flooring

Pros:

  • Looks – one of the main selling points for solid wood, or hardwood, flooring is the natural beauty of wood. Each type of wood offers different grains and patterns which you match to your home décor.
  • Refinishable – Unlike laminate, solid wood flooring can be refinished or varnished many times to give it a new lease of life. And this leads us nicely onto our next point…
  • Durability – because solid wood flooring is refinishable it is extremely durable in the long run as it can be refinished to bring it back to a like-new aesthetic.
  • Easy to maintain– cleaning hardwood flooring is simple, it just needs to be done frequently (see cons below)

Cons:

  • Frequent cleaning – as mentioned above, solid wood flooring needs to be cleaned regularly to ensure it keeps its beautiful looks. Luckily, it’s not that hard to clean (read our Cleaning & Maintaining Wood Floor guide to find out more).
  • Price – one of the main things that puts people off real wood flooring is the price, but you must remember, you get what you pay for and that is a high quality, beautiful looking, natural floor in your home.

Engineered wood flooring

Pros:

  • Price – this point can go either way. Compared to solid wood flooring, engineered wood flooring is cheaper. (See cons for further discussion of price)
  • Easy to install – designed for simple installation, engineered wood flooring can be installed by almost anybody regardless of experience.
  • Durability – for the price you pay, engineered wood flooring is both durable and stable and should last you a long time. (You may notice this has been the same for all types of wood flooring!)

Cons:

  • Price – compared to laminate flooring, engineered wood flooring can be quite expensive if you go for a good quality product.
  • Distortion – if you do go for a low quality engineered wood floor with thin veneer layers or poor core layers, then the chances of wood distortion are relatively high.

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