A Buyer’s Guide For Choosing The Right Hardwood Flooring

Guide to Engineered Wood Flooring

Engineered Wood Flooring is the perfect choice if you desire a beautiful wooden floor but would like something which can withstand rapid changes in temperatures and is easy to install.

If you’re considering installing Engineered Wood Flooring then continue reading this guide to discover the pros and cons, the different types available and tips on keeping it looking its very best!

What is Engineered Wood Flooring?

Engineered Wood Flooring is made of a core of hardwood or plywood, with a layer of hardwood veneer on the top of the surface. It’s still made of genuine wood so it gives any space the same contemporary look and feel which solid wood offers.

Engineered Wood Flooring ranges in thickness, depending on the quality, but is typically between 7-22mm.

Underneath the top veneer are several more layers of thin wood all glued together. This makes them less prone to movement which humidity can cause.

What are the benefits of choosing Engineered Wood Flooring?

The main benefit of choosing Engineered Wood Flooring over Solid Wood is that due to the way it’s manufactured, with all the layers of wood, it’s less prone to movement and therefore can withstand rapid changes in temperatures and humidity.

Engineered wood is considered as hard-wearing, this is because the way the flooring has been constructed it makes it a lot tougher than solid wood. Therefore, if you have a big family or pets, engineered wood is built to withstand the footfall of your family.

Another huge advantage which many homeowners enjoy is that Engineered Wood Flooring is easy to install. With the option of a click system it means the flooring just clicks together, like laminate flooring.


Where To Lay?

Anywhere it won’t be exposed to water or humidity. Wooden stairs are very difficult to lay and fitting around places such as toilet pans is hard to achieve a good finish.


  • It is more resistant to moisture and heat compared to solid hardwood.
  • It’s construction method makes it more stable than a piece of solid wood; it is less likely to buckle or gap.
  • You can install engineered hardwood flooring at any level, including below ground. In contrast, solid hardwood floors cannot be installed in basements.
  • It is more attractive than laminate flooring and cheaper than comparable solid wood planks.
  • It is highly durable and long-lasting.


  • There are very few drawbacks, but tongue-and-groove is harder to install than click-lock.
  • It can be a lot more expensive than laminate.


Where to use engineered wood flooring

Hard wearing engineered wood flooring can be used in most areas of the home including dining and living rooms, hallways, kitchens and bedrooms. However, it’s important to remember that it’s still a natural product, so we do not recommend engineered wood flooring in bathrooms or any other high moisture environment where there is a potential for leaks such as utility rooms. If you are choosing your floor for the kitchen or hallway, we recommend a lacquer finish as it is easier to maintain and is better at resisting spills and marks than an oiled floor.

If your home has water or electric under floor heating, then engineered wood is completely safe and suitable for use as its stable enough to withstand temperatures of up to 27 degrees. However, when turning on the underfloor heating for the first time, or after a prolong period of being turned off, increase the temperature gradually over a period of days so that the floor can acclimatise to the change.


What are the different species of Engineered Wood Flooring?

There are many different species of engineered wood flooring to choose from, depending on your taste and budget.

Different wood species have varying degrees of hardness. However, this doesn’t necessarily affect their durability – a softer wood may still deal with wear and tear quite well. Different species of wood will also react differently to light and moisture. Maple for example, does not cope well with changing temperatures so Oak or Walnut would be better suited for underfloor heating.

It is important to consider the species of wood carefully when selecting a flooring.


Why Choose Engineered Hardwood Flooring?

beauty to your home, there is no substitute for genuine hardwood flooring. Whereas both engineered and solid hardwood floors are both made from 100% real wood, there are significant differences in their overall construction. These aforementioned differences give rise to two very different products with very different appeals. Engineered hardwood flooring construction has several benefits over solid hardwood. Firstly, engineered hardwood reacts favourably to temperature and humidity. With solid hardwood flooring, any changes in either temperature or relative humidity can cause the boards to warp, gap or buckle. Engineered wood flooring, on the other hand, is more dimensionally stable, due to its multi-layer construction. The dimensional stability of engineered wood means it can be used with underfloor heating and in areas where humidity fluctuates, such as kitchens, conservatories, rooms with log burners and rooms with large amounts of glazing. Engineered wood floors offer an advantage in their installation method. Solid hardwood must usually be nailed down to a plywood subfloor. Engineered wood can be either stapled or glued down over a wood or concrete subfloor. Furthermore, some engineered wood floors can be installed using a ‘floating’ system, where the planks are fastened to one another, and are simply ‘floated’ over padding or underlayment. There is little difference in cost between solid hardwood flooring and engineered hardwood flooring. In fact, engineered wood flooring will generally cost you less than solid wood for the same look, because less of the ‘species’ tree is used to create engineered wood. Plus, freight costs are lower with engineered wood, because it is lighter in weight, and therefore less costly to transport; this also means that the product is more environmentally friendly, as it uses less CO2 to transport it in the long run.

Wide Plank Hardwood Flooring For Your Home

Steps to Save on Hardwood Flooring Costs

You’ve got the walls painted the perfect shade and the lighting is to your liking. Now you need the right floor to tie the room together. If you want a new hardwood floor, tread prudently: You have a forest of options at a wide range of prices.

It costs an average of $2,400 to $4,000 to buy and install 200 square feet of hardwood floor, according to national survey. That’s a wide range of $12 to $20 a square foot. How much you spend depends on:

The species of wood.

The grade and cut, which describe qualities such as color variation, whether knots are visible and the direction of the grain.

Whether the wood is solid or engineered (multiple layers of wood veneers).

The amount of preparation and cleanup work the contractor must do.

How much does it cost to install hardwood floors?

When a hardwood floor contractor prepares an estimate, the costs are usually divided between materials and labor. There might be another section of the estimate that itemizes other costs.

The cost of flooring is calculated by the square foot. The contractor usually adds between 5% and 12% to the square footage as a “cut allowance” or “waste factor” to account for scraps that will be left over. For example, a 100-square-foot room might require the purchase of 105 to 112 square feet of flooring because the planks will have to be cut to size. The leftover material is the cut allowance.

Less-expensive species of solid hardwood, such as oak and American cherry, cost $5 to $10 a square foot, according to HomeAdvisor, a referral service for home improvement professionals. Pricier species, such as Brazilian walnut and mahogany, cost $8 to $14 a square foot.



Solid wood flooring is made of one piece of wood from top to bottom and can be used in any room that is on or above ground. One of the many benefits of solid wood flooring is it can be sanded and refinished many times.

Engineered wood floors are also made of real wood, but include multiple layers, with the top layer made of high-quality wood. Because engineered wood floors expand and contract less than solid wood flooring, they are ideal for basement installations. While this type of flooring can be sanded and refinished, it cannot be done as many times as solid wood flooring.

OPTIONS Wood floors are manufactured in almost any width. Some of the most popular styles are strip, plank, and parquet. Each style is available in a variety of species, colors, and widths, so choosing the right one is a matter of preference. Strip flooring is less than 3” wide and often makes a room appear larger. Plank flooring is equal to or greater than 3” wide and often creates a more casual look. Parquet flooring varies in size and generates a geometric, non-linear look.

SPECIESWood flooring is made from hardwoods, softwoods, domestic lumber, and a variety of imported lumber. Each wood species has unique visual characteristics and maintenance needs.

APPEARANCEMany factors impact the appearance of wood flooring, including its grade and saw cut. Wood grades are determined based on the physical characteristics of the wood. All grades are equally strong and serviceable, but each looks different. Additionally, the angle at which a board is cut determines how the finished product looks and performs as well.


Best Mops for Hardwood Floors

The best type of mop for hardwood floors won’t scratch the surface. It picks up fine debris that broom bristles miss. Then, the best-wet mops for hardwood floors won’t saturate the wood with water.

Best Dry Mops for Wood Floors

Dry-mopping is a gentle but efficient way to keep your floor clean. A quick spin around the house should only take a few minutes if you haven’t let the dirt build-up.

The Freedom dust mop from Libman is best for small rooms and tight spaces. It’s just under a foot wide, but it holds a lot of hair and dust. The secret to its high capacity is the long fingers on the washable microfiber pad. It’s handy for knocking down cobwebs, too.

This dust mop has cut ends, not loops, so it’s less likely to snag. It’s made from natural cotton yarn and hand-sewn in the USA. The handle adjusts from 42 to 72 inches long when you twist to unlock it.

Sladust’s wool mop is impregnated with natural lanolin that draws dust like a magnet. It stays put until you give it a shake. On the downside, you can’t toss this dry mop head into the washing machine—it’s hand wash only. Hand-washing ensures that it retains its natural ability to dust well.


Prolong the Life of Your Hardwood Floors

Hardwood floors have long been a coveted house feature because they positively radiate a sense of classic warmth and tradition. Because hardwood flooring has literally been around for centuries and many of the floors found in historic homes are still the originals, it is easy to think of them as being impervious to damage.

But like any house element, hardwood floors are prone to damage from accumulated wear and tear as well as unexpected events such as flooding. The potential for damage is magnified by the fact that, unlike ceramic or vinyl flooring, hardwood is an organic material. Wood’s cellular structure will break down more easily than ceramic’s minerals or vinyl’s polymers, especially when subjected to moisture

Overview of Hardwood Floors

Lines tend to blur when it comes to categorizing hardwood flooring. With technological innovations in floor manufacturing in the last couple of decades, these lines have become even blurrier. Basically, though, it comes down to three areas

Solid Hardwood

Solid hardwood flooring is 100 percent natural wood from top to bottom, no additives or changes except in the case of prefinished flooring, which comes with a factory-applied urethane-based top coating. Even so, this is just a surface coating, and all material below the coating is natural wood sawn directly from hardwoods such as ash, cherry, maple, or oak

Engineered Wood

Compared to solid hardwood’s deep history, engineered wood is a baby. In the mid-20th century, flooring manufacturers began to laminate thin veneers of real hardwood on top of thicker layers of plywood. Thus, well over 95 percent of this flooring is plywood. However, the top – the part that is visible – is 100 percent real wood


Realtor Q&A: Carpet or hardwoods … which is better when selling?

“Hardwood for sure, as everyone loves that. Carpets, colors, texture can vary and not everyone likes the same thing. Tile would be preferred in the lower level and maybe the kitchen area.”

“Hardwood is preferred over carpet on the main level any day. When you get upstairs, if there is a preference, having hardwood in the hallways is important. It’s all price-sensitive.”

“Hardwood is generally preferred over carpet. Buyers can always add a rug over top the hardwood. We had heard buyers say that because of allergies they prefer hardwood over carpet. Tile can be good too in certain areas of the home.”

“Today’s home buyers are certainly attuned to the specific amenities a home has to offer and as such, hardwood floors are seen as an upgrade relative to homes with carpet (in similar price points). Sellers are aware of these competitive differences and try to position their homes in the best light possible, and often times, offering hardwood floors, over carpeting, can help justify a pricing strategy or help a seller in direct competition with other active homes in a similar pricing category.”

Homes in our area with carpeting are a tough sell. Carpeting is one of those features that buyers often cannot see past (like bold paint colors). Although hardwoods can always be installed after the sale, buyers will not pay top dollar for a home with carpeting – especially if on the main level – and it will surely affect the price for the sellers.”

Advice On Tile Flooring Choices For Your Next Home Remodel

How Marble Flooring Can Make a Small Space Appear Larger

Many older homes feature rooms that are a little on the small side, and even a brand new house can have a kitchen or bathroom that feels claustrophobic. Before you put an addition on your home, consider making some decorative changes.

Sometimes the smallest adjustment can have a powerful impact and effectively make a small room feel large and luxurious. Here are a few of the ways that adding marble to tight spaces will make them look more spacious and welcoming.

Monochromatic Colors Fool the Eye

Choose a single color of marble with minimal veining to trick the eye and visually enlarge the space.

Light colors like Bianco Dolomiti are generally a smart choice because they naturally make areas feel larger. However, the consistent shading in Adalia Cappuccino will also work nicely.

Carried to the Vertical Surfaces

Another trick used by designers is to carry the flooring materials up onto vertical surfaces. The goal is to use it in small ways that will make a great impact, including on bathtub aprons and as baseboards.

When these materials match each other perfectly, the mind automatically assumes that the vertical surface is part of the floor. While people will logically realize that matching tiles have been used, that initial impression of spaciousness remains the same.

This method works beautifully with tiles in light to medium tones. It’s commonly used with white or cream tiles, but you can create a stunning effect using light beige and even gray.

Larger Tiles, Fewer Grout Lines, More Spacious Effect

The tiles you choose are important, but how you space them is also a vital element of the room. When tiles are set a distance apart, the gap must be filled with grout.

Even when you choose a matching shade, grout lines will show across the floor.

When developing an intricate pattern, you want those lines to stand out to make the pattern more visible. Yet when you’re trying to enlarge the room and make it feel more luxurious, you’ll want those lines to be virtually invisible.

Light Colors Work Well in Small Areas

A general rule of thumb is that dark colors make a space feel cozy while light colors open it up. This is partly because shades of white and cream reflect more light to make any area feel larger and more welcoming.


Marble Look Porcelain Tile

There is a big market for porcelain tile that looks like Carrara marble. Carrara look porcelain tile is a popular option because of how good of a job it does resembling the real thing. This is also one of the most highly recommended porcelain marble look tiles by many professional interior designers and decorators, as it encapsulates the smoothness, durability, and natural veining of the familiar Carrara tile.

As with natural marble, there are many different types of porcelain tile that looks like Carrara marble. Depending on the location of the marble, and the kind of impact you want to have, you will find a variety of colors and styles to match the look you prefer for your home.

Some popular Carrara marble-look porcelain tile brands include:

  • Tierra Sol
  • Olympia Tile
  • Ames Roccia Series Bianco Carrara
  • Julian Tile


Marble tiles smaller than 2 feet across are most common in home installations.

Marble flooring comes in tiles of differing sizes, ranging from small, 2-inch by 2-inch squares, to large, 6-foot by 8-foot slabs. For residential purposes, marble tiles are rarely larger than 2-foot by 2-foot, because larger slabs, which are very heavy, require specialized installation. Large slabs are usually found only in commercial and public buildings. Tile thickness ranges from ¼-inch to ¾-inch for residential tiles, while commercial marble slabs can be up to 2 inches thick.

Quality also varies by surface design and density. While no industry standard exists, a few factors can tip you off to the tile’s quality.

  • Mesh-backed tiles are mounted on a backing of fiberglass resin. These are typically lower-end marble tiles, which are often less dense and more prone to scratching or breaking. Mesh-backed tiles are suitable for low-traffic rooms, such as bathrooms, but they are less desirable in high-traffic areas where they may show signs of wear more quickly.
  • Lower quality tiles may feature filled areas. When you look at the tile straight on, you might not notice any difference, but if you turn the tile at a 45-degree angle, you might spot irregular dull patches, which indicate holes in the tile’s surface have been filled with a resin compound. Over time, the filled areas may work loose, leaving holes in the surface that require patching.
  • Marble tiles with deep fissures are at a greater risk of breaking under the pressure of heavy furniture or appliances. When trying to determine the quality of a marble tile, turn it over and check the backside—if a fissure is noticeable on both the front and the back, the tile may crack is something heavy is placed on it.


Floor Tile Designs So Good, They’ll Make You Lose Your Footing

Modern and Architectural

Play with the classic grid pattern by giving it a more modern, architecturally inspired twist. The abstract bench cushions and wall-too-wall windows in this breakfast nook reflect the grid pattern in an interesting way, too.

Colorful Alfresco

Bring some oomph to your outdoor space with colorful tiles. These cheerful blue Mediterranean-inspired tiles make a small outdoor patio feel special.

Bold and Non-Repeating

Use a larger, non-repeating pattern in a bold and cheerful color to create a unique aesthetic in the bathroom. We love how the tiles extend from the shower throughout the rest of the space in this Arent & Pyke bathroom, ensuring visual flow.


Marble Ceramic tile Floor For Tiny Houses

Since marble floor tiles are actually being marketed by means of square foot, therefore you have to understand the dimension needed to have before you head out and also buy marble tiles. If you do not have sealant, start by carefully cleaning your flooring along with a strong detergent or astringent and also water. Laninate floor covering is designed of a level of plastic peak and bottom along with a hardwood sustance in between. Glazed floor tiles from distinct shades and forms are made use of extensively for bathrooms as it is actually immune to water spots.

Why Tile Flooring Surpassed Linoleum In American Homes

How to choose floor tiles

Choosing floor tiles? A great flooring choice for hallways, kitchen diners, bathrooms, contemporary living spaces and even outdoors, floor tiles come in ever more varied design choices. Pick from natural stone, such as terracotta, limestone or marble, or from manmade materials, such as porcelain, ceramic or concrete. Find out everything you need to know about floor tile materials, installing floor tiles, and tips for floor tile maintenance.


Natural stone tiles have unique textures and tones, but are more likely to crack or scratch than a manmade materials, and may need sealing once laid – and resealing in future. Manmade materials are usually more affordable and come in a wide range of designs, but tend not to have natural stone’s character.


Natural stone tiles typically come in natural, honed or polished finishes. Natural surfaces tend to be matt with texture and pitting; honed tiles are smooth but matt; polished tiles have a smooth sheen. The higher the polish, the more water-resistant, but also the more slippery the tile will be

Granite is very hard, available in many colours, and if sealed and polished, resists scratching. However, it can crack. Ideal for kitchens, living and hallways.

Marble is porous so choose honed or polished finishes, particularly in a kitchen. Available in a range of colours, it’s a good choice for bathrooms

Limestone comes in earthy shades and both textured and polished finishes. It can stain and scratch, so avoid putting it in high traffic areas, such as kitchens.


How to Choose Floor Tiles

Tiles are a great flooring option that can work for any room. They’re easy to clean, long-lasting, and stylish, but choosing the right floor tiles for your home can feel challenging. Luckily, it’s easy to choose floor tiles if you consider your needs and personal style. You can then select a material, incorporate your own style, and shop for the tiles you want.

Selecting a Material for Your Tiles

Choose ceramic tiles for an inexpensive, classic option. Ceramic tiles are popular options because they are inexpensive and fit with any decor. You can choose large tiles or small tiles, depending on your preference. They are easy to install on your own, but you’ll need to work harder at keeping them clean, as they are porous and absorb liquids

Select porcelain tiles for a durable option that’s still budget friendly. Porcelain tiles are one of the most durable on the market, and they’re also water resistant. Another perk is that they’re easy to clean. Porcelain tiles have a classic look that is easy to fit into any style

Opt for cork tiles if you want soft, quiet floors. Cork is a recent trend that can be a nice addition to any room, if you like the look. It’s great for people who want a floor that absorbs impact, and it’s also resistant to water and germs, making it a good choice for kitchens and bathrooms

Select bamboo floor tiles for a durable, sustainable option. Bamboo is becoming a popular choice for people who want to use environmentally-friendly materials in their homes. Bamboo tiles look similar to wood flooring, but they’re made of the fast-growing grass. You can find bamboo tiles in strips or planks


important things you should consider when you’re choosing tiles

Before you start

Think about the style of your home. Have a look through magazines and online for images of tiles you like. Try and not go against the style of your home – instead, work with it.

Tile size

Small-sized tiles are usually suited to small residential areas such as kitchens, bathrooms and toilets.

Room size

Large tiles make a room feel larger and airier. Using floor tiles on the walls will make the space seem more cohesive, but you can’t use wall tiles on the floor. A floor tile will have a harder glaze and will be made of harder materials to withstand traffic. In a small room, light-coloured tiles will make the space feel bigger. If you have a large room you have more options; you can chose from light to dark tiles


Consider the general feel you want to achieve in the room you are tiling – serene and relaxing or moody and atmospheric? Unless you have a feature area such as a splashback, tiles aren’t normally the focus of a room, but they can complement other design features of a room. In a bathroom you might want a restful relaxing setting, so go for colours that blend well together. In a kitchen you might want a more vibrant option, so choose colours that contrast.


Don’t forget the importance of choosing the right grout colour. A contrasting grout will emphasise lines and the design, while a grout in a complementary colour as the tile will give a subtle effect. Ensure your grouted areas are sealed to prevent staining


How To Choose A Tile Floor

Choosing a tile floor for your home can be intimidating. The combinations of color, size, style, and texture are impressive, but once you find tiles you like, how do you know they’re going to fit your home décor style?

Finding tile floors that will match your personal style and complement your home décor takes some thinking about location, color, size, shape, layout, surface pattern, and spacing. Find out how these elements combine to create a flooring surface that best complements your living space.


Tile is durable, water-resistant, and easy to clean, making this material a good choice for your kitchen, bathroom, and entryway. However, not all tile suits every room in your house. Your first choice for tile should be one that is safe and practical for your floors.


Color influences the overall attitude of your room, which makes choosing the color of your tiles important. Dark tiles add warmth, but make sure you have an open area and light to keep the tile color from overwhelming the palette of your living area. Consider chocolate brown, navy, or burnt-colored floor tiles in a large kitchen space


With today’s technology, flooring tiles are available in many affordable patterns to complement your home’s interior design.


tips for choosing tiles


Choose light colours to make a small/dark room feel bigger and brighter


However, don’t be afraid of colour, which can also create some unique effects and environments in your home. Personal preference is the key.


See tiles as an investment, not a cost; never compromise on quality, which can still be picked up at great prices


Always purchase an additional 5-10% more tiles than you actually need. This allows you (or the tiler) to compensate for cuts and breakages and ensures you have the same batch/shade should you have needed additional tiles. Most companies will offer a refund on unused boxes of tiles


Choose a tile grout colour that compliments your tiles to help blend in grout lines.

Laminate Flooring Suite To Exclusive House

Hardwood vs. Laminate Wood Flooring

When deciding between hardwood vs. laminate flooring, there are several pros and cons to consider. Sure, when comparing laminate vs hardwood cost, laminate is usually the more affordable option. But you also must look at durability, resale value, cleaning, installation and more. This article will compare some of the factors between hardwood vs laminate flooring and help you decide which is best for your home.

Laminate vs. hardwood cost

The reality of flooring costs and what you can afford may be miles apart. Take into consideration the cost of laminate and hardwood flooring to determine what is best for you.

Hardwood: CONS – Hardwood flooring is made of harvested trees; pricing depends on the type of wood you choose. In general, hardwood is considerably higher to buy and to install.

Laminate: PROS – Laminate wood flooring is made from composite wood pressed together at high temperatures. The image of hardwood is then placed over the composite wood, covering it to form the laminate. Not only are the materials themselves cheaper, but laminate wood installation cost is, on average, 50 percent less than hardwood installation.

Laminate flooring can cost $3-$7 per square foot, including installation. Solid wood flooring can cost $5-$10 per square foot, including installation. Again, the exact prices will vary depending on the types of materials used and the size of your home.

Laminate vs. hardwood durability

Assess the traffic load and wear and tear on flooring in your home. A more durable surface is easier to maintain and will look great for years to come.

Hardwood: CONS – Hardwood is susceptible to scratching, can get damaged from excessive moisture and will show wear, especially in heavily trafficked areas. PROS – Hardwood is the real deal; it is gorgeous and, depending on the type of wood, can add considerable value to your home.

Laminate: PROS – Since laminate is made from pressed wood, it is more durable and resists scratches, moisture and wear and tear. Laminate flooring is also easier to clean. CONS – Even though laminate is more durable, it is not as visually appealing. Lower qualities of laminate may have artificial-looking wood grain textures.

Laminate vs. hardwood repair

Your home’s flooring will typically need repairs at some point. From minor accidents to excessive wear and tear, laminate and hardwood have advantages and disadvantages.

Hardwood: PROS – Hardwood can be repaired by sanding imperfections and refinishing. This gives it the edge over laminate, in that it will last for years.

Laminate: CONS – Laminate flooring doesn’t repair easily. If you buy flooring that comes in individual pieces and snaps together, you may be able to replace individual boards — although, depending on sunlight and age, the new piece may not match properly.

Best places for hardwood vs. laminate flooring

In addition to price, durability and repair, you should also consider the best (and worst) places in the home for both types of flooring.

Hardwood: Hardwood flooring is both beautiful and fairly durable, especially in lower-traffic rooms like bedrooms and dining rooms. But, if you have pets or a lot of foot traffic, your hardwood floors might show the scratches and wear overtime. Basements and bathrooms with a lot of moisture are also not good places for hardwood flooring. On the other hand, continuous sunlight can fade your hardwood flooring overtime as well.

Laminate: Because laminate flooring is so durable, it’s less susceptible to wear and tear from pets and foot traffic. While it withstands moisture better than hardwood, it should not be in a regularly wet area of the home. Because of its top coat, laminate flooring typically does not fade from sunlight as quickly and noticeably as hardwood flooring and can be used safely in rooms with large windows.

Your home will benefit from the look of wood flooring; deciding between hardwood vs. laminate flooring is up to you. Review the pros and cons, and be realistic about your lifestyle; if you have pets, young kids or high traffic, that may influence your decision.

If you have a lot of sunlight in your home, hardwood can fade because it is a natural product, while laminate wood flooring has UV protection integrated into the surface. Consider all the factors — and enjoy how the warmth of wood will improve your home’s aesthetic appeal and value.


Durability Vinyl Plank vs Laminate Flooring

Consumers often turn to vinyl plank or laminate flooring to get the look of hardwoods without the risk of scratches, dings, and other flaws that can be time-consuming (and expensive) to repair. One of the primary benefits touted by both vinyl plank and laminate flooring is durability. How do these two types of flooring hold up when put to the test?

Vinyl plank (LVP) holds up well under pressure. Unlike hardwoods, it isn’t prone to scratching from animal claws or active children running through the house. It’s very durable, even with the heaviest traffic.

However, because vinyl plank is softer than hardwoods or laminate, it isn’t completely immune to damage. There is a risk of ripping the plank. For example, if you’re dragging furniture across the floor, planks can be torn.

Vinyl flooring is prone to damage that harder floors can withstand. It can dent over time, particularly in areas under heavy furniture. While it is quite durable, it’s important for anyone planning to purchase this type of flooring to know it’s not completely immune to damage and is vulnerable to the same flaws as traditional vinyl flooring.

Laminate flooring, like vinyl plank, is also extremely durable and is a good choice for homes with children and pets. It is extremely resistant to damage and will not have to be refinished over time like traditional hardwoods.

However, it is possible to scratch or chip laminate flooring. Very heavy wear over the years can result in minor scratches on the flooring. Luckily, laminate repair kits are available online and at home improvement stores to improve the appearance of chips and scratches.

Laminate flooring is superior in terms of fading. While laminate can fade when exposed to sunlight over long periods of time, it is more resistant than vinyl flooring. With both types of flooring, shades or blinds should be used in rooms with a lot of sunlight, and area rugs can also be used in brighter spots that may be more apt to fade.


How Long Will Laminate Flooring Last?

When choosing laminate flooring, you need to consider wear ratings along with price and style. In laminate flooring, a wear rating is an indicator of how well the floor will stand up to daily wear and tear. Modern laminate floors are attractive, versatile and durable, but they can be scratched or gouged. All laminate flooring has a wear rating denoted by an AC, “Abrasion Class,” followed by a number. There are five AC ratings for laminate floors, ranging from AC1 for low-traffic areas to AC5, meant for commercial use.

AC Ratings

Abrasion Class (AC) Ratings are broken down into five levels, labeled AC1 through AC5. Levels AC4 and AC5 are appropriate for commercial use, while AC1 through AC3 are residential. The AC Ratings are as follows: AC1 is for home use with minimal traffic, like bedrooms or closets. AC2 is suitable for moderate-traffic home use like living rooms and dining rooms. AC3 is best for higher traffic and heavy-use residential areas like kitchens or laundry rooms, and can be used in light commercial applications like small offices or hotel rooms. AC4 is designed for light commercial use like small shops, and AC5 is the heaviest rating, used in larger commercial settings.

Layers of Laminate

Wear ratings denote the durability of the wear layer. Laminate floors are made in layers, and the wear layer is typically filled with aluminum oxide, or sometimes melamine, and it’s what helps the floor stand up to daily use. The wear layer is also what prevents fading and makes the floor easy to clean and stain resistant. The decor layer is the printed image that recreates the look of natural stone, wood or tile. The core layer is really the foundation, creating structure and dent resistance, while the backer layer adds additional support and stability.

The Wear Layer

The wear layer is the top layer of the laminate floor; it’s what chairs get dragged over and people walk on and drop things on. It’s what takes the “wear” of life. Higher wear ratings translate to a longer life for your laminate floor and a higher price tag than lower wear ratings. Each rating number represents a 60% increase in wear over the previous one: AC2 is 60% heavier wear than AC1, for example, while AC3 is 120% heavier wear than AC1. Higher wear ratings can cause a slightly cloudy look from a thicker layer of aluminum oxide, which can dull the appearance of the decor layer.

Choose Your Rating

Lower AC ratings may be less expensive, but it’s a good idea to look at lifetime use. How long a floor will last depends on many factors, including level and type of traffic and how it’s maintained. In a household with pets or small children, a higher AC rating will provide longer floor life, while a room that gets little use would be fine with a lower rating. Manufacturer’s warranties start at 10 to 15 years, and many go as high as 25 or 30 years for higher wear ratings. When choosing the right wear rating, look at budget as well as lifestyle and budget for repairs and replacement down the road before deciding what’s right for you.

Expected Lifespan

The average lifespan for laminate flooring is between 15 and 25 years, but it can vary from as short as 10 years to as long as 30 years. The difference in life expectancy depends on the quality of the flooring, whether it was properly installed and the amount of traffic it receives. Improper maintenance, such as using harsh cleaners or failing to wipe up spills, can reduce the floor’s longevity. Laminate flooring does not last as long as hardwood flooring, which can have a lifespan of around 75 years if properly maintained. It also cannot be sanded and refinished like wood. Once the top layer wears away, it must be replaced.


Is Thick Laminate Flooring Better Compared to Thinner Laminate Flooring?

Benefits of Thick Laminate Flooring

One of the benefits of thicker laminate is its higher sound dampening performance. This is simply because it contains more of the high density fiber (HDF) core and provides less sound transference through the plank. Thicker laminate will definitely offer more stability and strength, so if a little extra cost is not an issue, thicker laminate is definitely worth it. It’s also the better option if your subfloor isn’t as sturdy, such as an old creaking wood subfloor. The 12mm laminate flooring will provide you with a more sturdy feel when walking upon it.

Benefits of Thin Laminate Flooring

6mm thick floors are ideal for a budget projects, however we suggest to install 6mm laminate flooring over flat cement floors. This way you don’t have to worry about the stability of the locking system since the subfloor provides stable support to allow the laminate to float.

A good quality, flat and smooth subfloor is a key when installing thinner laminate flooring. You need a very stable subfloor in order to allow your thinner laminate floor to perform as expected. The price of the thinner laminate flooring is a definitive advantage since it is normally priced lower compared to thicker laminate.


Tips to determine the quality of laminate floors

  • Inquire about the grade of the product: Quality wise laminate floorings are graded in good, better and the best, three categories. The cost of these floorings rises with the rise in grade. But if you have a restricted budget then you should consider some other factors to find good flooring for you.
  • Check the finish of the floor: The alignment of the floor should be even. There should be no gaps or unevenness while installing at your floor. The laminate floorings of good quality should provide a seamlessly flat surface.
  • Check the patterns: If the patterns on the laminate floor do not give a smooth and natural look then it is a low quality floor. The repetition of patterns degrades the quality of the flooring.
  • Ask about the making process of the flooring: Laminate floorings are made by direct as well as high pressure methods. Though both the methods provide good laminate floorings but the floorings made from the latest technique of high pressure have higher quality than others.
  • Confirm about ISO rating and UV compatibility of the product: ISO ratings and UV compatibility are the mark of good quality and durability of the laminate floor. It will last for long time without losing its sheen.