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Choosing Between Laminate and Hardwood Flooring

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Hardwood/laminate dilemma has existed for years, but a lot has changed in the last decade. In the past, the decision was rather simple: get hardwood if you want authenticity, or get laminate if you are willing to sacrifice the looks for affordability. The difference in looks and quality used to be drastic, making laminate an inexpensive choice for offices and commercial spaces. Both hardwood and laminate flooring products have changed since then, and our Maryland flooring experts feel like it’s time to revisit this subject.

Why Choose Hardwood

Needless to say, hardwood flooring is beautiful and timeless. It brings natural warmth and elegance to every room. There are many varieties of hardwood that differ in color, grain, hardness and many other qualities. This makes it easy to find the perfect match for your interior design. Hardwood is also one of the most sought-after flooring materials when it comes to home buyers. Wall-to-wall carpeting is a thing of the past, and more and more people are looking for hardwood flowing throughout the main floor. Some of the key benefits of choosing hardwood include:

  • Can last a lifetime with proper care
  • Can be refinished for a fresh, new look
  • Unique look and grain pattern
  • Can be implemented with different texture: smooth, distressed or hand-scraped
  • Engineered hardwood is more stable in regard to humidity
  • Adds more value to your home

Why Choose Laminate

Laminate flooring has come a long way since its invention. Modern laminate doesn’t look cheap, plastic-y or second-grade. In fact in some cases, it’s hard to tell whether you are looking at the real hardwood or its laminated imitation. Just like hardwood, laminate comes in a variety colors and styles. But unlike hardwood, laminate is made of mostly synthetic materials, which makes it much more affordable and eco-friendly in a sense that no trees are harmed. Of course, laminate will have a different feel under your feet than hardwood, but when it comes to the appearance, the difference is not as drastic as it used to be. The key benefits of laminate include:

  • Better sound absorption
  • No risk of shrinking, warping or swelling in response to humidity
  • Better resistance to wear, scratching, fading and stains
  • Easier to install and maintain
  • Can be installed anywhere, including below-grade space
  • Costs less than hardwood

The Bottom Line

If you are looking to add value to your home with your flooring replacement, you can never go wrong with hardwood. It will always be in style and will remain a hit with home buyers for years to come. If you are not worried about selling your home and just want a great-looking, low-maintenance flooring, laminate will meet your needs. Also keep in mind that you can always choose both. If your basement tends to have humidity issues, laminate may be a better choice than hardwood for below-grade areas.

To help your decision, visit our Sykesville, Maryland flooring showroom and speak with one of our Maryland flooring consultants to get your questions answered.


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Visit the Genesis Showroom

Stop by our Design Center Showroom and see thousands of samples and get expert flooring advice. We showcase a huge selection of the best brands, colors, and styles. Our expert staff will consult with you to advise which flooring options will work best for your living space, type of room, lifestyle, and budget. Call or stop by our Sykesville, MD Flooring Showroom.We are open Monday 9am-6pm, Tuesday - Friday 9am-8pm, and Saturday 9am-4pm. We are closed on Sunday.


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