Parquet or laminate: which is a better floor covering?
20 November 2020
When you are renovating your dwelling, choosing the right floor covering often becomes one of the thorniest issues. Laminate and parquet are all the rage and the most preferable floor coatings, and if you are wavering between two great variants, we hope that in our solid wood floor vs laminate comparison you will find the answers you need to make a weighted buying decision.
Parquet: the richness and warmth of real wood
Parquet blocks are carved out of valuable trees like oak, walnut, or ash. Made of precious timber, conveys the gorgeousness and uniqueness of nature to the room. Wooden flooring is known for its excellent insulation properties, in particular, it does not let the cold in during chilly temperatures and stays pleasantly fresh when it is hot outside. Feeling comfortable underfoot whatever the weather is priceless, and in this regard, a solid wooden floor is unbeatable.
Like any precious thing, parquet requires special maintenance, along with regular semi-dry cleaning. This is the key difference between hardwood and laminate flooring. Luckily, due to modern-day advancements, it is possible to treat parquet planks in such a way that they become ready for intensive exploitation without additional sealing. However, to ensure your parquet flooring performs at its best and does not lose the appeal, it is necessary to annually re-treat such a floor with a dedicated hardwood floor care product.
Since it is an all-natural material, the hardwood ground may fade or discolor if subjected to direct sun rays. To prevent your solid wood floor from lightning, darkening, or yellowing over time, you have to make sure it is not exposed to the direct solar radiation, otherwise, your option is laminate flooring. At the same time, first-class laminate is rated, at least, 8 on the blue-wool scale for lightfastness, meaning that laminate color will not be affected by the aggressive sun, which gives this covering an edge.
In the continuation of the laminate vs hardwood flooring battle, it should be noted that parquet can be re-sanded once it develops unsightly marks or just when your taste changes and you want a new twist of fashion in your rooms. This trick is impossible with laminate. With this in mind, parquet is a wiser investment promising a good ROI in the long run despite being a bit pricier initially than laminate.
Laminate: an affordable yet fine flooring solution
It is a common misconception to believe that laminate is produced from plastic. In reality, laminate is made of 100% natural materials, including an HDF core (produced from compressed wood fibers extracted from wood chips), resin, and decorative paper. Also all-natural, laminate perfectly simulates an appearance of solid wood, natural stone, or tile, and also offers pretty good quality.
Laminate comes in a huge variety of designs, the assortment is almost infinite, and manufacturers are constantly enriching their product portfolios to keep with the current trends and ever-increasing customer demands.
A couple of decades ago, laminate was considered a cheap material whose quality was sacrificed for affordability. But the situation is quite the opposite nowadays when laminate is one of the most favorite floor solutions.
Laminate generally consists of 4 layers:
- the bottom: is meant to protect the laminate plank against humidity, and it also balances the floor preventing any vibration when walking;
- the core: is placed above the bottom layer and presents a high-density fiberboard that is sturdy enough to withstand indentations and other trials of everyday use;
- the pattern: is a decorative layer placed against the core and featuring a high-resolution photo or image that determines the surface look;
- the top: is a transparent wear layer that defends the floor against sunbeams, scratches, and stains.
Many manufacturers also strive to provide their laminate products with a sound-absorbing cushion to make the floor utterly silent. There also humidity-resistant laminates at the market with leak-tight joints and a bubble-proof core layer to be used in bathrooms and saunas.
Parquet or laminate flooring: which is easier to mount?
Installation is also a matter of concern when deciding between laminate or wood flooring. In this regard, these two alternatives are quite similar. They both are equipped with a smart click system to allow for floating installment without the mess with nails and glues. Both parquet and laminate can be laid over the underfloor heating system and provide for full-surface bonding.
Many manufacturers equip their laminates with sound-absorbing cushioning, which takes one step away from the installation struggle contrasted to hardwood flooring, ultimately providing for an easier mounting.
Parquet is produced of hardwood species meaning such a floor bears all the strength and aesthetics of natural hardwood and can last nearly centuries if properly cared for. Laminate is a decent option when the budget is limited, yet you want the floor to mimic the appearance of natural wood or stone. Laminate cannot be refinished, while parquet can be re-sanded back and made look as new. Being essentially fabricated from wood chips, laminate floors are not homogeneous and are pervious to deteriorative effects of moisture.