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Comparing Hardwood Flooring versus Laminate Flooring

Overview of Hardwood Flooring

Hardwood Flooring vs Laminate Floors

Overview of Laminate Floors

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See the Hardwood Flooring Section on FloorFacts.com for more detailed information about hardwood floors.

Comparing Hardwood Flooring versus Laminate Flooring

This is a very general comparison between engineered hardwood flooring and laminate flooing to help you to better understand these floor groups. Please note, hardwood flooring comes in some many different species, finishes and construction types and that it is very difficult to place them all in one general category, so pre-finished engineered hardwood flooring is used for this comparison. See your local flooring store for additional advice and recommendations.

Special Note: This is a very general comparison and characteristics will vary depending on the manufacturer and consumer usage. Always read the manufacturer's written brochures for specific product details, recommendations and warranties.

  Prefinished Engineered
Hardwood Floor
Laminate Floor
Visual Appearance excellent good
Scratch Resistance good4 very good
Stain Resistance fair1 excellent
Fade Resistance fair2 excellent
Impact Resistance good excellent
Ease of Maintenance good very good
Moisture Resistance fair good
Ease of Repair good poor
Can floor be refinished? yes (not acrylic impregnated) no
Install over concrete slab if glue or float yes, floating
Manufacturer's Warranty good good
Installation Methods glue, staple, float some pre-glued
glueless, floating
Easy To Install (DIY) glueless floating - yes
staple-down - maybe
glue-down - messy
Life expectancy of floor (in years) 25+3 < 20
  1. some hardwood flooring factory finishes have very good stain resistance
  2. some wood stains when exposed to direct UV sunlight may change color more than others
  3. Quality hardwood floors can last for a lifetime with proper care & refinishing
  4. Some UV-cured urethane finishes have aluminum oxide crystals embedded in the finish and are extremely durable