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Key Differences Between Hardwood and Laminate

March 31, 2023

When you’re striving for a wood look for your floors, you have a variety of options to consider. Hardwood is always considered desirable, but it can also be pricey. Laminate is usually more affordable, but the quality is not as high or as long lasting. So which do you go for? Ultimately, it depends on your budget and your goals for your particular space. In order to make an informed decision, we have laid out for you some key differences between hardwood and laminate flooring.

What is Laminate Flooring?

Before going into the reasons why one would or would not want to use laminate flooring, it’s important to understand just what laminate flooring is. This product is called laminate because it is literally pieces of fiberboards that have been laminated together to create an affordable, durable product for floors. Laminate products can be made to look like hardwood or stone, but the end result is often not very convincing. While laminate flooring can look nice, it does not have the authentic wood graining and texture of true hardwood.

The Versatility of Hardwood

Did you know that hardwood actually comes in a variety of forms? Depending on the species of wood used, your floors will have different characteristics. Oak is the most common kind of wood used for flooring as it is able to hide many imperfections, making it an excellent choice for busy homes and businesses. Maple is another popular hardwood option, but it is pricier than oak and doesn’t hide dents and scratches as well. Hickory is similar to oak in its ability to hide dents and other imperfections within its natural color variations, knotting, and graining, but it is more expensive. All hardwoods can be stained to fit the aesthetic of your home, but different species take to stains in varying ways, so it’s important to keep that in mind when making your decision. Depending on your price range and the needs of your space, any of these hardwood options–as well as others–would make an excellent choice.

The Differences Between Hardwood and Laminate

Look and Feel

Right away, you’ll be able to see a visible difference between hardwood and laminate flooring in the grain and feel of the product as you walk on it. Hardwood floors have a natural grain with some knotting and color variation that laminate floors lack. Laminate floor planks have a much flatter appearance. Additionally, laminate generally feels harder under your feet with less give.


Hardwood floors are more expensive to purchase and are more difficult to install, which means you will probably pay more for installation time and labor. Laminate floors are generally cheaper, and quicker to install. That said, hardwood floors can usually be refinished if there are any problem areas, whereas laminate planks would need to be replaced, adding to their long-term cost.


Hardwood floors can last a lifetime if they are cared for properly. Laminate floors, on the other hand, only last at maximum two or three decades before they need to be entirely replaced, making hardwood floors a more worthwhile investment.

Resale Value

Hardwood floors are generally more desirable and considered to have a higher resale value than laminate.

Impact on the Environment

Since hardwood is a natural product, it is biodegradable as well as recyclable. Additionally, since it hardly ever has to be replaced, it is a better use of resources. Laminate flooring is usually not biodegradable, though it often can be recycled.

Create Your Hardwood Dream

At the end of the day, hardwood products are of higher quality and offer more elegance and interest to a space than laminate. At IKONNI, our products are all made of real hardwood and the quality is visible even from a distance. One of our newest products, SKEMA Floor, is a hardwood flooring product that uses shapes to add interest and customization. If you are interested in adding hardwood to your space, the expert professionals at IKONNI can help you achieve your dream look with top-quality hardwood products.


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