Laminate is often chosen as an alternative to hardwood flooring since it can be made to mimic hardwood at a fraction of the cost while also tending to be easier to clean and maintain as well as being more durable. If you’re a home builder and are looking for the right materials and supplier, rely on Idaho Pacific for all of your laminate and hardwood needs. Keep reading today’s post to learn more about the key differences between laminate and hardwood as flooring options before making your choice.

Living room with real hardwood flooring.

Look, Feel, and Style

Hardwood has a classy, expensive style that nearly no other flooring type can compete with. Hardwood is often chosen for it’s natural look, feel, and gorgeous colors, either when left unstained or finished. However, laminate can be made to look and feel just like hardwood as well as many other flooring options. While some may be able to tell, at a glance, laminate flooring looks like any other hardwood flooring.

Relaxing in living room after cleaning hardwood flooring.

Upkeep and Maintenance

Laminate is generally easier to take care of than compared to hardwood flooring. The latter must be maintained with delicate care — plan to promptly clean up every drop of spilled liquid to prevent staining, use the right type of cleaner to prevent stripping, be sure to avoid swelling and shrinking, and the list goes on for hardwood flooring maintenance. With laminate flooring, cleaning and maintenance is much easier. Since it’s synthetic and will have a protective sealant layer, laminate flooring can be cleaned nearly any way you can think of without causing damage to the material. Spills don’t necessarily need to be cleaned up in time either since laminate flooring is also waterproof.

 Dog sleeping on wood-like laminate flooring.


Generally speaking, laminate flooring will be more durable than hardwood flooring — and the more you spend on your laminate, the longer it will last without needing repairs or replacement. Laminate is more durable than hardwood because it is made to be waterproof and usually includes at least one extra layer of heavy-duty wear protection. Hardwood, while it looks beautiful, can be water-resistant but not exactly waterproof, with some finishing. It can also get a layer of protective sealant, but in reality, laminate flooring was initially created to be a more durable and affordable alternative to hardwood while looking just like it — you really can’t go wrong with laminate if you’re looking for a durable flooring solution.

Grey laminate wood flooring in a chevron pattern.


In the end, laminate flooring will almost always be less expensive than hardwood flooring. Even when adding extra protective layers or more expensive patterns or styles, laminate will be the cheaper option. Since it is easier to clean and maintain, laminate is truly the all-around cheaper flooring option when it comes to laminate versus hardwood flooring. Keep in mind, however, that labor costs for installation between laminate and hardwood flooring are generally the same.

Laminate vs. Hardwood infographic

Have you decided which flooring is right for you or do you need more help deciding — hardwood or laminate? Get in touch with the team at IdaPac today to discuss your building plans and our flooring options today! Call now.