Laminate: laminate is a synthetic flooring with multiple layers, and is created to mimic the look of real hardwood. The bottom layer is made from a fiber board, while the top layer has a textured image printed on it.
Hardwood: hardwood is produced from a single piece of wood that varies depending on the species of tree. You can purchase hardwood unfinished, and ready for stain, or finished.
Laminate: Since laminate is made from durable pressed wood, it can resist scratches, regular everyday wear, and moisture. So, if you live where the humidity is unpredictable, laminate could be right for you.
Hardwood: Hardwood is gorgeous, but it is highly susceptible to scratching, moisture damage, and shows wear in rooms where traffic is high.
Laminate: Laminate is not easy to replace, or fix, because the installation process is much different than hardwood. Laminate flooring often snaps, or is glued down; which makes it very difficult to replace a localized problem area within a home. Also, laminate flooring cannot be sanded and refinished like hardwood.
Hardwood: hardwood is more expensive than laminate, but it is far easier to repair in the case of any unforeseen events, like water damage. If damage is confined to one area, those planks can be manually torn up and replaced. One thing that makes hardwood so nice when it comes to repairs, is the fact that hardwood can be sanded and refinished multiple times. Because of this luxury, it allows homeowners to change up the look of their homes, or get rid stains easier.
Laminate: it has been estimated that the average lifespan of laminate floors is about 20 years. Therefore, the lifespan of this particular flooring type is relatively low. Since laminate flooring cannot be sanded or refinished, everyday traffic and scratches wears down the top layer of the laminate after years of use.
Hardwood: unlike laminate flooring, hardwood can last up to nearly 80 years or more! Because hardwood can be sanded and refinished, it increases the lifespan of the flooring. So, although the floor may be more expensive, the investment is worth it based on the return that you get out of a quality floor. And, once the time comes to replace the wood floor altogether, the waste can be disposed, with no harm to the environment.