Hardwood Vs Laminate
While confusing at first, differences between hardwood and laminate flooring become more obvious when inspected with a closer eye. While Flooring Installers have an abundance of both types in most cases solid or engineered hardwood flooring is a choice made by most builders and home owners that want to have a better resale value. In most cases engineered wood and real hardwoods are, healthier a more environmentally conscious choice than laminate.
But when looking for a floor covering for a commercial unit a laminate floor with a high AC rating might be better for ease of care and durability overall.
Durability of any flooring surface largely depends on the traffic the floor is going to with stand.
Outer layer of most laminate floors is manufactured by bounding melamine resins and aluminum oxide at high heat and extreme pressure. The resulting floor surface is often harder than that of natural wood. Most laminate floor surfaces are highly resistant to moisture damage, staining and fading. Most laminate flooring manufacturers offer a 25 year warranties on finish with an AC3 rating or better
When it comes to hardwood floors what you want to look for is the species of floor being used. All woods are not created equal. Hard woods can range in the density of the product. What can be done either at a factory with pre finished materials or after installation onsite will make a big difference on how the floor will react to the amount of traffic given to it? Most pre finished floors have a 6 to 15 layers of finish with Aluminium oxides built into the planks to help resist wear and tear. In fact the difference in coating and how many coating applied can make even the softest of hardwoods last for a very long time.
Although engineered hardwood floors have superior dimensional stability over true hardwood floors, most wood floor manufacturers do not recommend installing them in bathrooms or kitchens. Places where temperature and humidity fluctuate significantly it is better to use a laminated product with a high AC rating like AC4 or AC5. In warm and humid climates, such as Hawaii that is multilayer or engineered is preferable over solid as the binding process to the plywood surfaces have less movement and tend to with stand expansion and contraction like true hardwoods.
Laminate floors have high resistance to moisture and are often used for kitchens, bathrooms, and basements. It is important to carefully read the manufacturer warranty and recommendations in order to avoid costly mistakes. Make sure to use the proper underlayment that has a moisture barrier built in or used separately.
You can always contact the nearest Flooring Installer Organization member for what will be the best surface or product for the area you are setting out to complete. Our flooring experts will have inside knowledge of best practices no matter where in the world you are situated. Pick a Flooring Installer close to you for the best and most relevant information