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Laminate Flooring vs. Real Wood

Two questions for those who may have done this type of thing before:

Question One: Cost
Is wood flooring - real wood - worth the cost over laminate flooring? We're looking at installing this in a bedroom.

Question Two: Ease
How easy is it to install wood or laminate flooring? Is one easier than the other? Do either require a lot of special tools? The room in question has carpet installed in it currently. I may have to rent (or buy) a saw of some kind, but I saw things about joint pullers for the last board in a row and undercutting flush saws and things like that in a quick Google search.

I'll google it later and watch some videos on YouTube, but I was looking for some other homeowner feedback in the meantime.

9 Responses to "Laminate Flooring vs. Real Wood"

  1. I like the feel of wood (3/4"+ hardwood) over laminate... it just *feels* different. I'm not certain if it's worth the cost differential.

  2. I prefer real wood over laminate. Feels a lot better. It does cost a bit more though.

    As for ease, I've never installed wood. My last house had it installed already. I did do a room in laminate in my condo though (didn't want to spend the money on wood since it's hopefully temp.) It was pretty easy to do. Only tool needed was a saw (used a table saw) to cut the planks. You just roll out the padding, cut the planks to the correct length. The slide together at an angle and then lock together as they lay flat.

  3. I would check out engineered flooring. They are wood flooring, glued together in sections, that can be installed like laminate.

  4. Would have said to definitely go for wood over laminate, but after buying a house that had laminate installed, the look doesn't bother me, and I really like the fact that it's much more durable than wood. I'd go crazy worrying about scratching hard wood.

  5. We have wood in the living room and laminate in the kitchen. More than the ease and cost of installation, I would look at the TCO. Heavy use areas will need to be updated as time goes on. I'm not sure how well laminate can be repaired, but real wood just requires a sanding and a new coat of polyurethane.

  6. We have laminate that we installed ourselves and is wasn't very difficult. We have 2 different brands and we think you get what you pay for with the quality and finish. You sometimes dent it or scratch it, but that will happen with wood also.
    We installed reclaimed hard wood in our bedroom and wish we could replace the laminate with it. It just goes with the old house better. We got it from Mountain Lumber, they have a clearance section on their website. We paid someone to install it for use, we don't have the tools and didn't want to screw it up. It came unfinished, which was easy to do.

  7. I installed laminate flooring in my living room/breakfast nook two years ago when I bought my condo. The install wasnt hard at all, in fact I did it twice. I decided I wanted to seal the concrete subfloor after I layed it down so I lifted it all, sealed my subfloor and reinstalled the laminate again. By some miracle all the pieces fit where they were supposed to second time around haha.

    If i could do it all over again, I'd spend the extra $$ for wood floors and have a professional do it (just because of the many many random angles my floor plan has). But I dont regret the laminate at all, it looks great and im proud of the work.


  8. [...] the little one is getting real wood flooring in her bedroom. After considering it earlier this year, we found out that some hardwood floors are actually not much more expensive than laminate [...]

  9. I would usually chose Wood over laminate, just for the quality. Some laminatesare very good nowadays and a very good alternative, but I haven't really seen one that has a better finish than real wood flooring.