Is Real Flooring Better than Laminate Flooring ?

by : iwilliam99

I have had quite a bit of experience with flooring of all kinds, not through any professional capacity but by virtue of the fact that I have built a house and converted an old agricultural barn into a house.

In both cases I made extensive use of laminate flooring. My choice of laminate flooring was based on three main criteria :-

1) Expense - we were on a tight budget in both projects.

2) Wear - my wife in particular was concerned with the potential maintenance involved in keeping a "real" wood floor in tip top condition. This was particularly relevant as we had both a large area to cover and children to consider.

3) Ease of fitting - at the time of fitting the was very limited availability of the "click to fit" type flooring in real wood - this was almost entirely within the domain of laminate flooring.

4) Range of choice - put simply there was a far greater range of choice from a far wider range of (local) outlets.

At the time of installation (in both cases) I was delighted with the choice of laminate - easy to fit ( with the click to fit system), easy to work with and easy to clean after the installation ( and on an ongoing basis ). Indeed our first house was a very modern, open plan style house and the laminate flooring suited the style of the building and I was pleased with the choice throughout our occupancy of the building.

But in our second property, and indeed as the market for wood and laminate flooring has matured ( as can be seen from the wide range of options and subjects covered at various flooring sites ) I have been less happy with the choice of flooring in our "barn conversion". I think in this setting i.e. more historic the laminate was a poor choice and does not the mood of the building. The price differential between the laminate used and an entry level wood floor was only around 25% and in this case the saving seems to have been a false economy. In fact we are contemplating a project to remove many 10's of square meters of laminate and replace it with real wood.

So in the end the choice between laminate and real wood flooring can come down to much more than simple things such as price, ease of use etc - the contect in which it is to be used is an imporatnt factor and must be considered. Not bearing this in mind may lead to longer term costs and dissatisfaction - as in our case!