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Wood Flooring vs Laminate Flooring: Which is the Best Choice for Your Home?

How to decide between timber flooring or laminate flooring

Wooden vs Laminate Flooring: Which is the Best Choice for Your Home?

When it comes to choosing flooring for your renovation or new home, wooden and laminate flooring are two popular choices. Each type has its own unique features and benefits, making the decision a tough one. Often, cost becomes a factor in the decision, so which is the best choice – timber flooring or laminate?

Both engineered timber flooring and laminates are very durable, hardwearing options for a busy family home, but there are key differences.

Wooden flooring exudes a timeless and natural charm, adding warmth and elegance to any space. It offers durability and versatility, with various wood species and finishes to suit your style. On the other hand, laminate flooring provides a cost-effective alternative that mimics the look of real wood. It is resistant to scratches, stains, and fading, making it ideal for high-traffic areas.

To determine the best choice, it's essential to consider factors such as budget, lifestyle, and personal preferences. Are you looking for a luxurious and authentic feel, or do you prefer a more affordable and low-maintenance option?

In this article, we will weigh the pros and cons of wooden and laminate flooring, helping you make an informed decision for your home. Whether you're going for a classic, rustic look or a modern, sleek aesthetic, we'll guide you through the process of choosing the perfect flooring solution.

The following topics will be covered in this article:

What is Laminate Flooring

A laminate is most often constructed on a fibreboard or plastic core, with a high-resolution image of wood on top to simulate real timber.

Light Brown Engineered Timber Flooring in a living space

What is Wooden Flooring

VidaSpace engineered timber flooring comes in a variety of construction techniques, with the common three being a lamella pressed onto a cross-laminated ply core, a lamella on a three-layer core, or a real timber veneer on an HDF core.

Pros and Cons of Laminate Flooring

Laminate flooring has gained popularity in recent years as a cost-effective alternative to real wood. Here are some of the pros and cons to consider:


  1. Affordability: Laminate flooring is cheaper than real wood, making it a budget-friendly option for homeowners. It allows you to mimic the appearance of real wood at a fraction of the cost.
  2. Durability: Laminate flooring is highly resistant to scratches, stains, and fading. It can withstand heavy foot traffic and is a suitable choice for busy households with children and pets. Regular sweeping and occasional mopping are usually sufficient to keep it clean and looking its best.
  3. Easy Installation: Laminate flooring is designed with easy installation in mind. It typically comes in planks or tiles that can be clicked together, making it a suitable option for DIY enthusiasts.


  1. Less Authentic Look: While laminate flooring can mimic the appearance of real wood, it will not have the same authentic feel and texture. Some people may prefer the natural beauty, unique grain patterns and warmth that only real wood can provide. Although laminate technology has improved, it will never completely replicate the feel and texture of hardwood.
  2. Moisture Sensitivity: Although laminate flooring is more resistant to moisture compared to most wood, it is not entirely waterproof. If water seeps into the seams or gaps between the planks, it can cause swelling and warping. It is important to use caution and avoid installing laminate flooring in areas prone to significant moisture, such as bathrooms or laundry rooms.
  3. Limited Lifespan: While laminate flooring is durable, it does not have the same lifespan as hardwood, and unlike wooden floors it cannot be refinished and repaired. Once it starts showing signs of wear and tear, the only option is replacement. Most laminate floors have a lifespan of around 5-15 years, depending on the quality and maintenance.

Engineered parquet timber flooring in a kitchen

Pros and Cons of Wooden Flooring

Wooden flooring is known for its natural beauty and timeless appeal. Here are some of the pros and cons to consider:


  1. Durability: Wooden floors are incredibly durable and can last for decades with proper care. They can withstand heavy furniture, foot traffic, and even the occasional accidental spill. When properly maintained, wood floors can last for decades, standing up to heavy foot traffic and daily wear and tear. They can be sanded and refinished multiple times, allowing you to refresh the look of your floors whenever needed.
  2. Versatility: Wooden flooring offers a wide range of options in terms of wood species, finishes, and stains. Whether you prefer the light tones of oak or the rich hues of walnut, there's a wood type that will perfectly complement your interior design style. You can also choose between different finishes, such as UV Oil or Lacquer, to achieve the desired look.
  3. Warmth and Comfort: Wood is a natural insulator, providing warmth and comfort underfoot. It feels pleasant to walk on and is not as cold as other flooring materials, such as tile or concrete.
  4. Natural Beauty and Elegance: Wooden flooring brings a natural, warm, and inviting feel to any space. It adds character and charm, making your home feel cosy and welcoming. The unique grain patterns and colors of different wood species offer endless possibilities for creating a unique look that matches your style.
  5. Sustainability: Wood flooring is celebrated for its sustainability due to several factors. Firstly, wood is a renewable resource, meaning it can be replenished naturally over time. Additionally, responsible forestry practices ensure that trees are harvested in a manner that promotes regrowth and biodiversity. Furthermore, wood flooring often requires less energy to produce compared to other flooring materials, reducing its carbon footprint. Finally, wood floors can be recycled or repurposed at the end of their lifespan, minimising waste and environmental impact. Overall, wood flooring is recognised as the most sustainable choice for eco-conscious consumers and designers alike.


  1. Cost: Wooden flooring can be more expensive than laminate, especially if you opt for high-quality hardwood. The cost includes not only the materials but also the installation, which will often require professional installation. The price can also vary depending on the species of wood chosen, with some species such as walnut, or douglas fir being more costly.
  2. Maintenance: While wooden flooring is durable, it does require specific maintenance to keep it in top condition. It needs to be regularly cleaned to maintain the finish and protect from wear and tear along with avoiding excessive moisture. Scratches and dents can occur over time, especially in high-traffic areas, and may require sanding and refinishing to restore.
  3. Vulnerable to Moisture: Wood flooring is susceptible to moisture damage, which can cause it to warp, swell, or even rot. This makes wooden flooring unsuitable for areas prone to high humidity or moisture, such as damp homes, bathrooms, and basements. Spills and leaks should be promptly cleaned up to prevent some of these issues.
Dark black herringbone wood flooring

Factors to Consider When Choosing Between Wooden and Laminate Flooring

When deciding between wooden and laminate flooring, several factors need to be taken into consideration. Here are some key factors to help you make an informed decision:


Wooden flooring is generally more expensive than laminate flooring. If you have a limited budget, laminate flooring provides a cost-effective alternative that can still achieve the desired aesthetic, but for a shorter lifespan.

We recommend you determine your budget and consider the cost of both wooden and laminate flooring options and remember to factor in additional costs such as installation, underlayment, and maintenance when comparing prices.


Consider your lifestyle and the amount of foot traffic your floors will endure. If you have children or pets, flooring that has better durability and resistance to scratches and stains may be a more practical choice.

Aesthetic Preferences:

Wooden flooring adds a touch of elegance and sophistication, while laminate flooring can provide a modern and sleek look. Both offer versatility in different design and style options.

Consider the overall style and aesthetic you want to achieve in your home. Think about how each flooring type will complement your existing décor and personal style.


Assess your lifestyle and consider the level of maintenance you are willing to commit to. Wooden flooring requires more regular care and maintenance but offers greater longevity, while laminate flooring is relatively low-maintenance and easy to clean but may need to be replaced sooner. Consider the level of foot traffic in your home, the presence of pets, and the potential for spills or accidents.

Moisture & Location:

Evaluate the moisture levels in your home and the specific areas where the flooring will be installed. Wooden flooring is generally not recommended for high-moisture areas, while laminate flooring can handle moderate moisture levels. Take into account the specific needs of each room to ensure the flooring choice is suitable.

Environmental Impact:

If sustainability is important to you, wooden flooring made from responsibly sourced materials will be a more eco-friendly choice. Laminate flooring is often made from synthetic materials, which will have a higher environmental impact.

Brown Walnut wooden flooring

Cost Comparison Between Wooden and Laminate Flooring

One of the major factors that influence the decision between wooden and laminate flooring is the cost. Let's compare the costs of both options:

Wooden flooring costs can vary significantly depending on factors such as the type of wood, quality, and installation method. On average, engineered wood flooring can range from $100 to $300+ per square meter, not including installation. Exotic wood species and special finishes can increase the cost further.

Laminate flooring, on the other hand, is much more affordable. It typically ranges from $60 to $100 per square meter, not including installation. The cost may vary depending on the quality and brand of the laminate.

When researching the cost of a flooring product, it is important to consider the lifespan and long-term costs. You may spend half the price on the initial product, for it to only last a quarter of the time – so are you really saving money? Wooden flooring may require refinishing every 10-15 years, which can add to the overall cost. Laminate flooring, on the other hand, may need to be replaced entirely once it starts showing signs of wear and tear.

Warm Blonde timber flooring in a kitchen

Health Benefits of Real Timber

It has been proven that the feelings of natural warmth and comfort of wood in the home can lower blood pressure and heart rates, reduce stress and anxiety, and has been shown to improve indoor air quality.

It has positive physiological and psychological benefits that mimic the effect of spending time outside in nature.

Living with real timber will improve your health and wellbeing.

Read more about Harnessing the Healing Power of Wood

Cost effective wooden flooring in a kitchen

Professional Installation vs DIY Installation

When it comes to installing real wood flooring or laminate flooring, the choice between professional installation and a DIY approach hinges on various factors.

Professional installation offers the expertise of seasoned professionals who can ensure precise measurements, seamless transitions, and proper subfloor preparation, which is particularly crucial for real wood flooring. Their proficiency often results in a flawless finish and can save time and effort for homeowners.

On the other hand, opting for a DIY installation may appeal to those with a knack for home improvement or looking to save on installation costs. DIY projects can provide a sense of accomplishment and allow for a more hands-on approach, especially with laminate flooring, which often comes with straightforward click-and-lock installation systems. However, DIY installations require meticulous attention to detail and may lack the finesse and efficiency of professional work, potentially leading to imperfections or even damage to the flooring material.

Ultimately, the decision between professional installation and DIY depends on one's skill level, time availability, budget, and the desired quality of the final result.

Light Brown timber flooring in a family home

VidaSpace Cost Effective Timber Floor recommendations:

For a little more initial outlay, you can invest in a product that is durable, easy to clean, with enough timber on the top wear layer to sand back.


VidaSpaces’ PurePlank range is a great option for home renovations and new builds. Finished with a commercial grade lacquer, all products in this range are very low maintenance, and extremely durable. With a 2.5mm European Oak wear layer, you have the ability to sand twice over the span of its life, rejuvenating the floor and giving it a new life over and over.

With 6 different styles and colours, you can really get creative with your design. A variety of grades of timber, from classic with minimal knots, to character with more feature and knots.

Explore PurePlank Timber Flooring Collection


For the budget conscious, a thicker oak wear layer may not be a viable option, however, our Parky veneer flooring range will tick all the boxes.

Parky is constructed of a real European Oak veneer, on an HDF core. It is finished with 7 layers of UV cured lacquer, creating the most scratch-resistant surface available on a real wood floor.

Parky is real timber, so each plank will have unique grain and characteristics, whereas a laminate lacks visual authenticity due to repeats of pattern across planks. Real timber also creates a warm environment, with a soft underfoot feel, which is impossible to replicate in imitation products.

With a commercial grade lacquer finish, it is just as easy to clean and maintain as a laminate flooring. With Aqua-Seal painted on each join, and a moisture-resistant HDF core, Parky is our most water-resistant flooring and is proven to be 12 hours waterproof, so you can rest assured this is a great product for all living areas of the home, including the kitchen.

Where laminate has on average a 10 – 20-year lifespan, Parky carries a limited lifetime residential warranty. Choosing a Parky veneer flooring will give you double the life for the same price.

Available in a range of 2 widths, across 10 colour ways, you’ll be sure to find a colour and style to suit your home.

Explore Parky Timber Flooring Collection

Rich brown wooden flooring in living space

Making the Best Choice for Your Home

Choosing between wooden and laminate flooring ultimately comes down to your specific needs, preferences, and budget.

Both wooden and laminate flooring have their own advantages and considerations. Wooden flooring offers natural beauty, durability, and a timeless appeal, while laminate flooring provides affordability and low maintenance. It's important to weigh the pros and cons, consider your specific needs, and make an informed decision based on your budget, lifestyle, and style preferences. By doing so, you can choose the perfect flooring solution that will enhance the beauty and functionality of your home for years to come.

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