Comparing Laminate and hardwood flooring

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Old 12-04-09, 05:13 PM
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Comparing Laminate and hardwood flooring

We have pulled up all the carpet already. We are doing some repairs of wood rot in a couple rooms currently. We were planning to put in click lock hardwood floors to replace the carpeting. We have two dogs. We have read a few posts suggesting that the hardwood floors might be easily scratched by the dogs.

My brother installed laminate flooring in his hallway because his dog had ruined the carpet that had been there. This little dog is not properly house broken. We do not have that problem with our dogs. We would be concerned that the toenails of our dogs might scratch the finish of the hardwood more easily than the laminate.

Can anyone knowledgeable about both types of flooring offer information regarding the durability and maintenance requirements for each type? I have looked up specific brands of flooring to see what the manufacturers have to say but did not find definitive information.
 
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Old 12-07-09, 09:16 AM
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Hardwood will most definitely scratch, but it's inevitable. Most new owners baby it like buying a new car. Do we often park far away from other cars when it's new? I know I do until the newness wears off and I don't want a long walk to buy a loaf of bread.

There are lot's of discussions on the web regarding hardwood vs laminate. In fact several on this message board

Durability? Taken care of properly engineered can last well into twenty years. I feel the same about laminate, but the latter is prone to more moisture related issues that would require replacement in my opinion. Actually both would have problems should there be heavy moisture problems.

Disadvantages with laminate are ease of repairs compared to engineered hardwood. Actually both are difficult if they're floaters. I'm not helping here am I?

Maintenance? Probably a common laminate that is not textured (wood scraped appearance and feel) would be the easiest. Most engineered hardwoods are beveled that can cause dirt concerns if you're the super clean type and worry about it.

One that may fare better is an Acrylic engineered floor, but it's pricey.
 
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Old 12-07-09, 05:28 PM
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Thank you much for the response. I had hardwood floors in the past and loved them. I had four children and a dog then. The floors were aged when I bought that house and the process continued as we lived in it. There are hardwood products now such as the engineered hardwoods and the acrylic as well that did not exist back then. Also the finishes are seemingly more durable as waxing and buffing seem to no longer be required. I think I will stick with the decision I made to put hardwood floors in and trust that the scratching and dents will add character to the floors as they did in my home years ago. The fact that I now will not have to hand wax and buff these new floors will be bonus enough for me. I don't want to have to replace the flooring again in my lifetime and I hate vacuuming carpet!
 
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Old 12-09-09, 04:28 AM
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Terry:

When you mention character to which I tried to read that perhaps you weren't interested, there are some hardwood floors that will offer a built in pre aged look.

Species like Hickory and lower grades of oak will mask the eventual scratching that will occur. Imperfect (appearance wise) hardwood floors add the character. Some like it some don't.

Distressed floors are quite popular as well. While some are very expensive I've found others imported from China to be of decent quality for the price. However some complain of the maintenance issue specifically with the darker stained colors.
 
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