Wood Flooring Comparison and Free Hardwood Flooring Samples
Planning on buying solid hardwood floors? We compiled a list of some of the key considerations
you should take into account before making a decision, by creating a wood flooring comparison chart
that covers other popular solid hardwood floor alternatives. Simultaneously, the following wood flooring comparison chart would help you as well to better understand the pros and cons of wood flooring.
However, since different characteristics of different flooring options cannot be conveyed by words
or images alone, we have also partnered with leading online flooring wholesalers, and invite you to
choose up to 5 Free Flooring Samples of any kind, including hardwood flooring samples.
All samples ship free, and would arrive within 1-2 business days straight to your door.
Obtaining free samples would allow you to really hold down the materials and test their quality and other attributes (e.g., durability, scratch and dent resistance, feeling of the texture, color matching, etc.)
right from the comfort of your own home. To choose and receive your free wood samples, simply scroll down to the bottom of the following comparison chart and click on the button in the relevant column.
In addition, you can click here to get a free installation cost estimate for your project.
Wood Flooring Comparison: Hardwood vs. Laminate Flooring vs. Engineered Wood Flooring:
|Solid Hardwood Flooring||Laminate Flooring||Engineered Hardwood Flooring|
|Durability||The durability of solid hardwood flooring is mainly determined by the hardness of the wood specie it is made from. The hardness is numerically classified by the Janka rating (e.g, Brazilian walnut, with a 3680 score, is harder than American black cherry, with a 950 score). Proper maintenance of the floors would notably affect their longevity.||Mainly determined by the AC Rating (a durability scale for laminate floors) of the specific product (between 1-5; higher AC floors are more durable). Typically considered more durable than both solid and engineered floors, since laminate floors are completely synthetic.||While engineered hardwood floors are not as durable as solid hardwood, they are much more suitable to various climate conditions; Since the top layer in engineered floors is made from real wood, its durability is also affected by its hardness, which is measured by the Janka hardness scale. (a particular wood species .|
|What is it made of||Single piece of real natural wood, that was shaped down to a plank with tongue and groove edges. Hardwood floors can be either prefinished (with their protective finish already applied at the factory) or unfinished (that would require on-site finishing).||Typically made from a fiberboard layer with high density, a moisture resistant layer on top with a digital print of the wood it imitates, and a protective layer.||Numerous wood plies fused together, with a top wear layer made from real wood (the thicker the wear layer it is, the more times it could be sanded).|
|Areas commonly used||Virtually every room, besides spaces exposed prone to wetness and moisture (such as basements and bathrooms). Wood species with higher Janka scores are recommended for high-traffic areas.||Very versatile applications, however, do not suit wet locations such as bathrooms (wood grain porcelain tiles and vinyl planks are suitable for that purpose).||Similar to solid hardwood, but would suit basements as well, since engineered floors would not expand in the presence of moisture.|
|Dimensions||Length: Ranges 12″-84″; Width: 2.25″-6″(narrow plank to wide plank) .||Length: Ranges 47″-49″; Width: 5″-7″.||Length: Ranges 12″-84″; Width: 2.25″-7″.|
|Thickness||Usually about 18mm (= 3/4″)||6mm – 15mm||8mm – 15mm (the thickness of the wear layer, that spans between 1.5mm - 4mm, should be taken into account)|
|Warmth and Feel||Feels rich underfoot and very sturdy, however, could feel pretty cold in cold climates.||Feels and sounds rather artificial compared to real wood. can also feel quite hard underfoot.||Feels similar solid hardwood; Allows for an installation of radiant heating to face cold climates.|
|Cost (material prices)||$2.00 - $8.00 /sq ft||$0.50 - $2.00 /sq ft||$1.50-$6 .00/sq ft (Since a thicker wear layer would allow sanding the floor numerous times, its thickness should be considered when comparing prices).|
|Total Cost (with Installaion)|
|Ease of Cleaning||In general, commercial cleaning products can be used for both unfinished and prefinished hardwood floors. however, hardwood floors should never be left wet. follow the specific manufacturer instructions.||Avoid lengthy exposure to liquids such as spills or excessive water; difficult stains can be removed with acetone (avoid soap-based detergents).||Similar to solid hardwood floors; avoid lengthy exposure to liquids.|
|Environment friendly||On the one hand, requires chopping down trees; on the other hand, wood is recyclable, and artificial chemicals are barely used in its manufacturing process.||On the one hand, it is eco-friendly in the sense that natural wood is barely utilized in its manufacturing process; on the other hand, the waste of laminate floors is less recyclable than real hardwood||Since engineered wood flooring is manufactured in a way that uses available resources more efficiently (and often include recycled materials), it can be viewed more eco-friendly than solid hardwood flooring.|
|Colors and pattern variety||All traditional wood colors and species (such as oak, hickory, acacia, maple, brazilian cherry; light white to dark black shades).||Imitates all traditional wood colors.||Similar to solid hardwood.|
|Ease of DIY Installation||Requires a particular level of expertise, as the planks would need to be either nailed down or glued.||Allows for an easy floating floor installation, which doesn't necessarily require previous experience.||Subject to the method of installation; certain engineered floors can be installed floated, that is rather easier than nailing or glueing them down.|
|Care and Maintenance||It is recommended to refinish solid wood floors approximately every 5 years in order to preserve them from long term wear. General care includes using only the recommended cleaning solutions, protective pads under heavy furniture to prevent dents, keeping dirt and debris away to avoid scratches, and minimize contact with sharp objects like high heels.||Relatively simple maintenance: keep the floors clean, for sharp and heavy furniture use protective pads.||Similar care to solid wood floors; Can be refinished only 1-2 times, subject to the thickness of the wear layer.|
|Fading due to UV exposure||Yes.||No.||Yes.|
|Climatic Suitability||Best suits for locations on or above grade areas, with temperatures of about 60-70 Fahrenheit .||It is suggested to install laminate floors in climate-controlled areas. can be installed below grade as well.||Suits geographical areas with extreme climate conditions as well, and below grade locations such as basements. Preferably in areas with 30%-50% humidity.|
|Installation surface restrictions||Include a moisture barrier (such as plywood) if thin planks are chosen; thicker planks may be installed over concrete. Always check specific product manual.||Use an underlayment if installed over concrete; Any hard flat surface should be good for installation (linoleum, wood, tile, excluding carpet).||Engineered wood is a better choice than solid wood for installations over a concrete, since it is less likely to contract and swell.|
|Pattern repetition||Each plank is one of its kinds; hardwood from a rustic grade would contain more mineral streaks and knots.||Laminate printed pattern would usually repeat about every 10 planks.||Similar to solid hardwood, each plank has unique natural pattern|
|Scratch and dent resistance||Even the hardest wood floors can get scratched, yet solid hardwood may be sanded multiple times; Scratches would be less visible on distressed / hand scraped hardwood flooring patters.||Good resistance to scratches; the specific laminate AC hardness rating is an influential factor. Laminate floors can't be sanded, however, it's easier to replace an individual plank in the case of damage.||Moderate to good resistance, subject to the hardness of the specific wood specie in question. generally can be sanded only 1-2 times.|
|Can it be installed over radiant heat||Not advisable, as it would naturally expand according to the content of moisture in the boards.||Generally yes.||Generally yes, Since the core layer can handle various temperature changes. check product specs.|
|Get Free Samples|
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