Which is better – laminate or solid hardwood flooring?  When it comes to choosing from these two types of floors, several factors come into play.  Deciding which is better will depend on your needs, limitations and how you respond to the various qualities of each flooring type.  First of all, we should show how these flooring types are different from each other.

What’s The Difference Between Laminate and Solid Hardwood Flooring?

The main difference between laminate and solid hardwood flooring is the composition.  A solid hardwood flooring plank is composed entirely of a single piece of hardwood.  It’s generally between a half-inch and three-quarters of an inch thick and under six feet in length.  Laminate planks, on the other hand, are composed of a fibreboard core topped with a design layer meant to replicate the look of wood or stone.  The design layer is protected with a thin, yet durable, transparent coating.  Laminate flooring planks are usually a quarter-inch to a half-inch thick and up to six feet in length.

Ease Of Installation

When it comes to installing solid hardwood or laminate flooring, solid hardwood typically requires professional installation.  This has to do with the fact that it requires specialized equipment and the presence of a subfloor.  Laminate flooring, on the other hand, is prized for its relative ease of installation and is often the preferred flooring type for DIYers.


While laminate flooring is quite durable and can last for decades, because of its composition, it cannot be refinished.  If it becomes worn or badly damaged with scratches, dents and gouges, the floorboards will need to be replaced.  Solid hardwood flooring, on the other hand, can be refinished several times over.  Although a laborious process, refinishing allows hardwood floors to maintain a new appearance for 50 years or more.  And while neither type of flooring is recommended for areas that receive a lot of moisture, laminate flooring stands up slightly better to damp conditions.


Without a doubt, hardwood flooring is the premium material and will cost more than similar-quality laminate flooring.  Much of this comes down to installation costs.  However, a piece of solid hardwood will virtually always cost more than a similar length of laminate flooring.

Which Is Better – Laminate Or Solid Hardwood Flooring?

Your preferences when it comes to cost, durability and ease of installation will likely play the largest roles in which type of flooring is best in your situation.  If price is not a factor and you’re looking for a premium flooring material that will last a long time, solid hardwood flooring is better.  If you’re on a budget, want to install the floor yourself or are looking for something somewhat more temporary, laminate flooring is the better choice.