Parenting

Laminate or hardwood

So I want to get rid of our nasty carpet in the living room and the vinyl floors in the kitchen. Obviously laminate would be less expensive than hardwood but we probably will be selling soon so I'm not sure if I should pay a bunch for hardwood. On the other hand, lumber liquidators have some great sales. Which one would you pick? I also have a dog and cat so I'm worried about scratches.
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Re: Laminate or hardwood

  • If it was me I would choose hard wood all the way. But if you're going to sell soon I would not put that much money into it. Look around your neighborhood and see what other people have done. You want to do what the buyer would expect and expect to pay for, some people don't even know or care about the difference. I would also ask the opinion of your realtor or a friend who is one. Also look into bamboo, it's a great alternative. It's pretty mainstream now and most flooring places carry it, even Lowe's.
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  • Our real estate agent said to do hardwood or carpet. Buyers don't like laminate. We're selling next summer and we're also looking at flooring. I don't know why people hate laminate. I think it looks nice and resists scratching better than hardwood.

    I think if you can afford it and find a better deal, do hardwood. It will make your house more sellable. Is sellable a word?
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  • We replaced our carpet with laminate and really like it. We didn't do hardwood because we are in a townhouse and it's our starter home. We won't be here more than a few more years. Most of the other townhouses in our neighborhood that don't have carpet have laminate.

    I really like that the laminate doesn't scratch easily. We have 2 cats and 2 dogs. It's also easy to clean and I love not having to use a steam cleaner all the time like I did with carpet.
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  • We had wood laminate and we loved it! Especially with pets and children. You don't have to worry about gashes in the wood, etc.

    I never heard that people hated laminate.


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  • We have laminate hardwood in the house we are renting now, and it's stood up wonderfully to 3 cats, 3 dogs, and a 2 year old. I keep forgetting to find out what brand it is, though. (I told BK I'd check for her like a month ago).
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  • I've also never heard that people don't like laminate. Some friends of ours have it and it's holding up great with their 2 large dogs.

    When we would be in a place to look st flooring laminate is definitely high on our list.
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  • MaebbMaebb
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    I guess I'm one of the people who prefers hardwood. Laminate just seems cheap and fake to me. We just bought a house, and I know floors and finishes are easy to change, but I kind of turned my nose up at anything that wasn't real hardwood. I also prefer site finished to pre finished, but it's harder to do because you have to leave the house for a week.
  • We're doing tile (we replaced vinyl in the master bath this spring- will rip out lots of carpet this fall when it's cooler and the kids are in school again)- but, that's pretty typical in FL. Hardwood is a b!tch here with our humidity levels, and laminate wouldn't hold up to our dogs or kids. I love wood (I do a lot of wooden toys and decorations, some easy furniture), but, I'm very torn on it's environmental impact. I'd probably go with something like Bamboo if we wanted to do wood.

    ETA: We have FIVE senior dogs who have potty and belly issues more frequently these days, and laminate would not hold up to that. It is a little more friendly to pet nails, but, not to wet messes. Our kids love riding their plasma cars inside, too- and I haven't met a laminate that would handle that without scratches. I do think it can be really pretty. There's great wood-look tiles out now that are really pretty, without the maintenance of wood- but, there are drawbacks to tile, and if it's not common in your area, I wouldn't use it in main rooms. 

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  • We have laminate and love it. This is our starter home, and we wanted something durable and affordable. It has held up great. Friends installed fancy hardwood and within a year it looked terrible. Chips, scratches, water damage from their [fairly rowdy] boys playing on it. We spent a fraction of what they did and our floors look much better, IMO.

    If you're selling soon, look around to see what is standard or expected in your area. If you can get a great deal ans maintain the condition of hardwood until you sell it may pay for itself by increasing the value in your home. It really depends on the market in your area and how much you end up paying.


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  • We have wood laminate and I love it. We also just bought the house six months ago, and it is our second house that we intend to stay in for many many years, so obviously not all buyers turn their nose up at it, starter home or not.

    Hardwood seems so much harder to install and so much more expensive, so if I were you and not planning on staying long, I'd do laminate. 

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  • we bought our starter home 7 years ago and decided on wood laminate due to cost, durability and the fact that we werent staying forever. we have a crazy 54 lb dog that tears through the house and the floor is still in perfect condition. we just sold our house and there was no negative feedback from anyone on the flooring. laminate has come along way and i have converted to prefering it if you have kids and/or pets.
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  • image MrsCodeMonkey:
    Our real estate agent said to do hardwood or carpet. Buyers don't like laminate. We're selling next summer and we're also looking at flooring. I don't know why people hate laminate. I think it looks nice and resists scratching better than hardwood. I think if you can afford it and find a better deal, do hardwood. It will make your house more sellable. Is sellable a word?

    Not to someone with children or pets. I would never do hardwood with either of those in my home.


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  • Depends on what market you're in, how long you'll have the floors, and if you'll be able to maintain them.

    I have hardwoods on our main level and they've gotten fairly scuffed up since we bought, especially in the kitchen (don't know whose ideas that was to put hardwood in the kitchen).

    We have laminate upstairs and it's held up quite well so far.

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  • Hardwood. If I were looking to buy, it would be a huge selling feature. Laminate would be a negative since I'd be thinking about the time and money it would take to replace.
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  • Is pergo flooring the same as laminate?
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  • This is our pergo floor and I think it's pretty decent and a lot of people opt for this rather than hardwood.

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  • I prefer hardwood. But I think in your situation it depends on what comparable homes have so that it isn't an issue when you go to sell. If it is common for homes in your area to have laminate I would go with that to avoid the expense of hardwood. But if everyone has hardwood I would go with that to make for an easier sale.

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  • smerkasmerka
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    We put in laminate a couple of years ago.  It is taking a beating with a cat and two boys.  We used to also have a dog.  There are a number of nicks in the floor now, but if we had wood, they'd be there along with scratches from the pets.

    the house we almost bought had beautiful Brazilian Cherry floors.  They would have been completely ruined at this point.  If your target market is a family with young kids, go laminate.  If your target is a more discerning family maybe with older kids, go hardwood.

  • Put in whatever is the norm for your neighborhood, take a look at other listings. Going with something that is more of an upgrade won't give you as much of a return. We did a better laminate in our previous house, it was hard to tell it from hardwood except it is near impossible to scratch. We have hardwood now, but a finish that doesn't show scratches so it still looks nice. 


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  • We chose laminate because of our dog and toddler.  Our 100lb lab  runs circles around our house sometimes.  THere's no way I would pay the extra money for the hardwood just so my animals can tear it up.  Plus having a toddler bash his toys into the floor doesn't help!
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  • image GhostMonkey:

    image MrsCodeMonkey:
    Our real estate agent said to do hardwood or carpet. Buyers don't like laminate. We're selling next summer and we're also looking at flooring. I don't know why people hate laminate. I think it looks nice and resists scratching better than hardwood.

    I think if you can afford it and find a better deal, do hardwood. It will make your house more sellable. Is sellable a word?

    Not to someone with children or pets. I would never do hardwood with either of those in my home.


    Me neither, not again. We currently have hardwood on the main floor. Next time it's tile or laminate all the way.
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  • MsLsMsLs
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    image jorkz821:
    image GhostMonkey:

    image MrsCodeMonkey:
    Our real estate agent said to do hardwood or carpet. Buyers don't like laminate. We're selling next summer and we're also looking at flooring. I don't know why people hate laminate. I think it looks nice and resists scratching better than hardwood. I think if you can afford it and find a better deal, do hardwood. It will make your house more sellable. Is sellable a word?

    Not to someone with children or pets. I would never do hardwood with either of those in my home.


    Me neither, not again. We currently have hardwood on the main floor. Next time it's tile or laminate all the way.

     

    This! We have real hardwood and I cannot tell you how many scratches and dents and gashes are in from our two dogs and just life. It looks horrible now.  

  • We went through this decision about a month ago, and ended up choosing hardwood.  We have friends who are realtors, and they said that hardwood will always add value to your home, and sellers usually prefer it over laminate.  If you also go for a thicker wood, you can increase it's life span because it gives you more material to work with when you refinish and whatnot.  Another bonus is another owner (or you) can always put carpeting over hardwood, and from what I understand that's not as easy to do with laminate.

    Scratching is the only drawback, and it was one of our concerns with the dogs, but in the end we realized that our dogs don't scratch my parents' hardwood floors that much, so that helped ease our mind about the hardwood. 

  • My parents have laminate in their kitchen. High traffic area and 2 large dogs and it looks amazing still. They put it in 5 years ago. They have been there for 30 years and aren't moving, though. Laminate is more cost effective and you could use the extra money on your new place. The laminate will still stage the house nicely when you start doing open houses. 



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  • image BostonKisses2:

    We went through this decision about a month ago, and ended up choosing hardwood.  We have friends who are realtors, and they said that hardwood will always add value to your home, and sellers usually prefer it over laminate.  If you also go for a thicker wood, you can increase it's life span because it gives you more material to work with when you refinish and whatnot.  Another bonus is another owner (or you) can always put carpeting over hardwood, and from what I understand that's not as easy to do with laminate.

    Scratching is the only drawback, and it was one of our concerns with the dogs, but in the end we realized that our dogs don't scratch my parents' hardwood floors that much, so that helped ease our mind about the hardwood. 

    That's a drawback in my book. Carpet is disgusting.

     

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  • Always hardwood.
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  • I used to have laminate and hated it. So, hardwood.
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  • Hardwood is beautiful, but as PP have said its not very practical. My mom has it throughout her entire house. It is horribly scarred and beat up from our dogs. Hardwood also needs to be refinished periodically...which is an added cost. Most people who "prefer" hardwood have never lived with it. I admit I have always coveted it in an old house. However, laminate is a lot more friendly to kids and pets.
  • We just got engineered hardwood in our house. It's nice and has not scratched yet. IMO it's sort of a good middle ground choice. Nicer than laminate but cheaper than solid wood.
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