March 4th, 2015
It used to be you’d just talk hardwood versus wood laminate. But now, we have bamboo as an option. What do you need to know to make a decision?
First you need to know your budget, and evaluate your home. If your home has custom hardwood floors, but the neighborhood doesn’t, you will not regain your investment when you sell. That may be OK since you want Cherry floors in your kitchen, and if you have the budget, go for it. However, if you are looking with an eye to resell in the near to mid future, consider the value of the homes in the neighborhood.
Secondly, you’ll want to think about the foot traffic and wear and tear.
Hardwood floors have a beautiful and warm feeling. The natural grains reflect the light in a certain way. However, it is considerably more expensive to purchase and to install. Some people are concerned with cutting down trees to get the hardwood. However, there is a new market selling reclaimed wood for flooring. The wood may look a little more weathered, but it’s a hardwood and can give your home an antique look.
Unfortunately, hardwood floors can scratch easily or get gouges if something is dropped on it. You can repair it by sanding and refinishing, but that’s an additional cost. And you need to put pads on the feet of your furniture. You can’t drag things across the floor.
The good news is that a hardwood floor will pretty much last as long as you are in your home. You should never need to replace it if you’re taking good care of the wood. And the wood is solidly installed onto your floor.
Laminate flooring is made by pressing composite wood together at high temperature. An image of hardwood is then put on top of the composite to form the laminate and make it look like a hardwood. The cost to install is much less than hardwood.
Laminate is more durable than hardwood and better at resisting scratches, moisture, and scuffs. It’s also easier to clean on a regular basis. But, laminate does age and will need to be replaced. If you purchased the flooring that comes in individual pieces that are snapped together, you could replace a section. However, it will not match the older pieces that have faded from sunlight and foot traffic. And you cannot resurface or refinish laminate.
Laminate flooring floats above your floor, and some people feel that it sounds hollow when you walk over it. But you can push your couch from one side to the other without worrying about scratching the floor.
So, is the newcomer more like hardwood or more like laminate?
Bamboo floors are created by taking a mature bamboo club, splitting and flattening lengthwise into strips of equal dimensions that are processed and pressed together in high heat and pressure, and then glued together into planks. And it’s affordably priced and installation tends to be in panels. So it’s similar to laminate.
Bamboo flooring is very durable and actually harder than oak. Many companies offer a 25 year warranty. So it’s a bit like hardwood.
Bamboo is a very renewable resource that grows quickly. So this could be a great possibility for having durable wood flooring in your home without the investment of hardwood.
Are you looking into remodeling with wood flooring?