We have laminate in our house right now, I find it hard to clean (we have animals). We are about to re-do and add on to our house. We cannot decide if we should continue with the laminate or go to hardwood?
There are pros and cons to either, however I fully subscribe to hardwood, if cost is not the main issue in weighing the two options.
Some contractors swear by the longevity and 30 year finish on some laminates, but unfortunatly laminates have been grouped in with some of the "click" flooring, 6mm laminates 8, 10's, where the range in quality is very different.
Hardwoods on the other hand, cost, have many ranges in quality, shrink and stretch much more, need to climatize prior to install and have limited installation areas, swelling warping are also issues. then the finish.
The third option is engineered hardwoods, which blend the best of both, have many installation options and resist the swelling and warping, but maintain the quality and look of real hardwoods, at the expense of budget requirements.
In the end, choices should be weighed by location, budget, installation area useage, and longevity.
I could give you many examples of hardwood uses that still last the test of time and quality. Refinishes are possible on real hardwoods, years later, (to accent, update or change a look) laminates? No.
When it comes to flooring options, I'm a bit of an advocate for decorative concrete. That is what I do. Don't consider this to be a solicitation for business. I just thought I'd bring up another option. The benefits to decorative concrete flooring are huge and quickly gaining popularity.
I personally do not like laminate and never suggest it when working with clients. It appears that you are not happy with the laminate that you currently have so adding more does not seem to be the right choice for you. If your budget does not allow to replace the laminate that you currently have with something more desirable I suggest that you go with what you want right now in the newer spaces and replace the laminate when you can.
When dealing with animals I have used a saloon grade of oak hardwood that is easy on the budget and as it comes with it's own imperfections you don't notice the extra dents and scratches in the floor that comes from playing tag with the dog in the house......ok so not everyone does that but we do and our hardwood looks great. :)
Mary Dancey Interiors
laminate need not be hard to clean, go to home depot and try a product called Zep hardwood/laminate cleaner. All you have to do is vacuum the surface and spray and mop the cleaner. It polishes and cleans at the same time. As far as laminate/hardwood....I personally love hardwood....but in my own home I installed a quality laminate and it has been great with my dogs.
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