Choosing those all-important materials for your home extension project are never easy; while all the important construction may be finished, it’s those finishing touches which are really going to define the extension. Curtains or blinds; underfloor heating or radiators; classic or modern?
However, one of the first you’ll have to make is which flooring to opt for – wood flooring offers a number of benefits over carpets including ease of cleaning, longer lifespan, durability and an appearance that lasts a lifetime. But don’t think your decision making is over yet!
This guest post, written by the solid and laminate wood flooring specialists over at Davies Timber, runs through what distinct advantages both types of flooring can bring to your home’s new addition. Whether budget is your priority or you’re looking for ultimate longevity, whatever the price, then this guide tells you all you need to know.
Nothing Like The Real Thing!
Durability & Longer Lifespan
One advantage that almost goes without saying is the unbeatable durability that real hardwood flooring can provide. It can withstand more knocks, wear and tear and weight than your typical laminate flooring, and can easily be repaired to ensure it stays at its best and its strongest.
A well maintained hardwood floor can last for decades without the need for replacement – just a tad of straightforward and inexpensive repair work. Laminate flooring offers no such lifespan length, as once it’s damaged that’s game over! The lifespan is also extended with refinishing – consistently doing this every 5-10 years ensures your flooring lasts much longer, which leads us on to point number two…
Hardwood Can Be Refinished
Had your hardwood flooring for ten years and noticing scratches, nicks and marks, with an overall much more dull appearance? No need to rip it out – just get it sanded, refinished and re-polished. This can repair a lot of surface damage, remove imperfections and restore any faded boards to their former glory. There’s no reason why hardwood can’t last for decades and, if looked after properly, you can be confident you won’t have ever have to replace it due to regular wear and tear.
Excellent Acoustic Properties
One of the noticeable disadvantages that a lot of engineered or laminate flooring can have is a noticeably hollow echo to its acoustics. This is generally not an issue when coupled with rugs, but it can noticeable make a room feel emptier than it perhaps is. Real solid wood offers much better acoustic qualities; the heavier and thicker makeup of the single piece of wood ensures much better sound absorption and an overall softer sound under foot.
If You Can’t Make It, Fake It
Perfect For Smaller Budgets
One of the key advantages of laminate wood flooring is the cost – they’re incredibly affordable, particularly when compared with solid real wood flooring. While the price may be worth it, not everyone’s budgets can stretch that far – particularly if you’ve invested a lot in an extension already. Ultimately you get what you pay for, but the final appearance is absolutely comparable and modern laminate is often indistinguishable in appearance to the naked eye.
Quick, Straightforward Installation
Laminate flooring is quick and hassle free to lay down; it needn’t take longer than an afternoon and you don’t necessarily need to be a professional to do it – though we would recommend one to ensure a perfect finish. Online design magazine Freshome.com puts the average installation cost of laminate flooring at around 50% lower than hard wood – yet another feather in its cost-cutting cap.
Maintenance Free; Easy Cleaning
While laminate flooring may not be able to be refinished, sanded or stained what this does mean is that it’s virtually maintenance free. Touch-up kits are often available for any minor damaged areas, but there’s no need to stain, polish or seal your wood on a regular basis and laminate finishes are generally resistant to fading from sunlight, too.
Ultimately, there’s no ‘wrong choice’; both flooring types are popular for their own reasons, and they have their own distinct advantages. It all depends on what your budget for your renovation or extension is, what it’ll be used for and what kind of appearance you want to go for.
Professional advice, however, is that whatever you choose you should be prepared to have it installed property. Experienced Massachusetts-based carpenter Rob Robillard simply says: “Don’t take shortcuts. Whichever you choose, install it properly.” So take his advice and don’t cut corners – you’ll cut costs initially but pay through the nose later down the line.