Laminate Flooring or Solid Wood Flooring

A Closer Look at Wear And Tear

How hard wearing is a solid wooden floor compared to a laminate floor? How will it cope with a mechanic with oily boots, felt tips and crayons, football boots, roller skates, teenage tantrums, toy cars, high-heels, make-up, furniture re-arranging or furniture dragging (when no one else will help), a dog, two cats and a goldfish? Well…

Strictly speaking, a solid wooden floor will wear extremely well over a long period of time.  In the past all public buildings, like town halls and church halls etc. were fitted with high quality solid wood for one reason, you couldn’t wear the stuff out! We have all been in old buildings with beautiful original floor boards, which tell tales from by-gone times.   If installed correctly by an experienced fitter a real wood floor will easily outlive you.

Retailers who specialise in solid wood will be delighted to share this information with you, and they are correct. However, this is often not what customer mean when they enquiry about the hard wearing capabilities of solid wood.  What they usually mean is; will it show scrapes and scores with everyday use?  Now the answer to that can be very different.  The flooring in your local town hall or leisure centre is a top quality solid wood product, which is much heavier than any products sold for domestic installations. It has been properly cared for over the years. The area is ‘out of use’ for two weeks every year or two, so that it can be sanded down and properly re-lacquered by professionals at significant cost each time. So it always looks great year after year.  

Most solid wood floors sold today are not nearly as good quality as they used to be, because the industry has had to respond to customer calls for cheaper and cheaper prices. So quality and wear have suffered in many cases. So, as with most things, don’t expect a quality, hard wearing solid wooden floor unless you are prepared to pay for it, and then maintain it properly.

So how hard wearing is Laminate flooring? Laminate flooring has been designed and manufactured for the specific purpose of being used as a floor covering. The objects we place on it, as well as the footwear we use and durability issues are all considered. So that laminate flooring can be declared fit for purpose. It is robust and durable enough to cope with home and business uses. Certainly all EU manufactured products will be of sufficient quality to meet the demands of family life. All laminate flooring which is produced in the EU has what is called an AC Rating. This rating system tests the laminate floors overall quality, with durability and wear playing a bit part in the tests.

So customers can rest assured that laminate flooring is pretty resilient to the stresses and strains of your family’s activities. Also worth noting, if you were to have a problem at some point you should be able to lift the floor back and replace any badly damaged boards. Providing that you have a few boards left over from when you purchased the floor, and that it has a click system where no glue was used during the installation.

Having worked in the industry over the past 15 years, selling both products and taking on board the views of customers both before and after purchase. In my experience, many more customers have been satisfied with their purchase of laminate flooring than solid wood. This is largely down to the wear issues. With laminate coping easily with almost anything you throw at it, and solid wood which can be so easily surface damaged even with general everyday use. Often retailers hadn’t explained the downside with solid wood, and customers end up unhappy when they discovered the issues when that first high-heel hit their floor.

Laminate Flooring or Solid Wood Flooring– A closer look at flooring colour

Wood Floor Colour

Choosing the perfect colour is usually the first consideration for many people when looking for a new floor covering.   This is no different when it comes to wooden flooring, it has to compliment the fireplace, skirting and doors, curtains or bedding etc.  So for most, at least initially, what the product is made from is usually not as important as the colour, tone and style it creates in your room.  So how do laminate and real wood flooring compare in regards to colours and tones.

With solid wood being a natural product you will have some really beautiful and always unique tones throughout an entire floor. So if you purchase a good quality solid wooden floor you should have a striking floor covering. However there is a limited number of species when it comes to solid wood products and this can greatly limit your choice of colour. In fact, if you were to remove the oak samples from any retailer’s selection of real wood flooring you wouldn’t be left with much you choose from. Another point is that the colour of the sample pieces may vary to some degree from what’s in the packs, due to the nature of a natural product. This can be a big issue for customers if this hasn’t been explained to them, as it should.

Laminate flooring comes in an almost infinite range of colours and tones. It can be produced in any shade you can imagine. Although, oak shades of laminate flooring have always proved the most popular. This is due to the timeless quality of an oak coloured floor, which doesn’t date with trends, in the same way as light or dark flooring can. Alternatively, if you consider yourself to be a home furnishing trendsetter then laminate flooring will definitely be something which will appeal to you.  With many looking for something a little more quirky or just plain different when it comes to flooring.  Unusual products such as white, grey or black laminate flooring are currently proving very popular, allowing you to put your stamp on a space and can offer a real wow factor. So whatever look you’re after there will be a laminate floor to suit you.

So whether you set out with a preference to purchase either a laminate floor or a solid wood floor, your view may change when you take a closer look into colours. You will find there are enough products out there to confuse most people.  Happy hunting!

Laminate Flooring or Solid Wood Flooring – What’s the difference?

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Which is best, a solid wood floor or a laminate floor?

This is often the first question customers ask when they are considering which type of flooring to lay for their next project. As always, the correct answer will depend on lots of variables. However, there are three factors that most customers should consider when looking for a new floor. Colour, Wear and Price.

 

Floor Colour

Getting the right shade is very often the first thing people think about when they go looking for new flooring. Laminate flooring is available in many different colours and shades.  From your traditional oak floor to dark Walnut Laminate Flooring, or even Black Laminate Flooring or grey laminate flooring shades are proving really popular at the minute. These alternatives coloured floors, like white laminate flooring, can make a real statement in any space.

Solid wood flooring is available in fewer shades due to the fact it’s a natural product. There is a more limited choice when it comes to colours, walnut is walnut, oak is oak etc. However the natural tones throughout a real wooden floor can be striking.

Floor Wear

Real wood is a natural product which is inherently soft, even so -called ‘hard woods’ are soft when you consider their use as floor coverings. Things like moving furniture, pets and high heels can often damage your solid wooden floor.

Laminate flooring is a product designed for the specific use as a floor covering.  Therefore it can cope easily with everyday wear in both residential and commercial settings. Admittedly it will need replacing long before a good quality real wood floor, but it should certainly cope better with every day use over the first 10-20 years.

Floor Price

Laminate flooring is much cheaper to buy, mainly because of the nature of the product and the fact that quantities available for manufacture are pretty much unlimited. Solid wood on the other hand takes much longer to produce. This is because you must wait for the trees to grow before you can turn it into a floor covering. This difference in supply means that real wood flooring will always be a more expensive, and time consuming product to produce, than laminate flooring.

So once you have taken time to consider, the colour you are after, the area being floored and how much wear and tear it might take, and checked your piggy bank, you will hopefully be in a better position to make the correct choice for you and your lifestyle.