Re: Laminate vs. Hardwood Flooring
It also bears to note that there's a huge difference between a solid wood flooring, a wood laminate flooring, and a man-made laminate flooring.
1 - Solid wood, of course, is a single solid plank.
2 - Wood laminate is alternating layers of wood, the core and base are usually pine with the surface being whatever premium grade real wood you're looking for.
3 - Man-made laminate is an mdf or melamine core with a photo finish surface. Photo finish is basically a "picture" that is glued to the surface.
Solid wood will wear the best and can be refinished more times than you'll likely be around to see. They are usually nailed down as the preferred method of installation.
Wood laminates, depending on the brand and thickness of the surface wood layer can usually be refinished from 1 to 3 or 4 times. Bruce and most of the inexpensive brands would be onece or twice if you're lucky. Kahrs (pronounced cares ) brand can be refinished 3 to 4 times before you've worn through the surface layer.
Man-made laminates, IMHO, look cheap and you'll be lucky to get 3 to 5 years out of it before replacing. It is not refinishable, and as jkirk mentioned, any damaged marks will stand out far more.
When weighing the costs of each type of flooring, also consider the installation price, longevity, and replacement cost. Cheap today means spending more later to fix, repair, or replace.
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