Thursday, April 30, 2009

The Reason Is

At church there is a couple who have been married for 30 years. They have 4 children and have always seemed very happy. Last weekend we found out they are getting divorced. Obviously, this is very sad and I have wondered why, after 30 years, some seemingly perfectly happy people would fall out of love. But, I have figured it out. It is obvious to me that they had to make the decision of whether to buy real hardwood or laminate. Because this decision is seemingly impossible and tensions get high very quickly, this must have led to their demise.

Yes, Ben and I are now in friendly combat mode. We are at an impasse. One of us prefers laminate, the other hardwood. I won't say which, so you can be honest in your comments without worrying about seeming to take sides. But, I will throw it out to the blogsosphere: Which is better- laminate or hardwood? Which is more durable, looks better, is better through wear and tear? We will take any and all suggestions- our marriage may depend on it! (I am totally kidding about our marriage being in jeopardy, in case you were worried- there is no need to worry, but if I "lose" Ben might have to sleep on the couch for a month:))

Tell flooring problems do us part...


  1. Married to a floor guy here, so I'll throw this out. We have walnut in our house right now. It looks great but will dent if you look at it hard enough. Some woods are soft, some are hard. So you either think wood has more character with a few dings or you don't. Choose wisely.

    It's easier to fix however than laminate, and will over an extreme period of time last longer, because it can be refinished.

    Overall, again depending on the kind of wood, laminate is probably more durable for your basic wear and tear but sometimes it looks like lined shiny brown vinyl, and can be slippery for the footed pajamas.

    Again it depends on how much you're willing to spend. Expensive laminate looks real.

    ps, I love our wood. I would never go back to carpet again. Kids spill something, wipe it up, it's gone forever! Wa-hoo..

  2. Mark and AupreilleApril 30, 2009 at 7:49 PM

    We had laminate wood in our bathroom and kitchen in Texas and I loved it. Put then again I'm all about cheap.

  3. We have hardwood in our kitchen, hallway, bathroom, etc.... We have laminate in the dining room and family room.... They match up pretty well. I would suggest getting laminate, it does hold up very well!!!

  4. If you buy laminate "wood", make sure you get a decent grade. Jason had it at his old office. When he moved in it was brand new. After 2 years it was so messed up it looked like it had been made of cardboard that had sort of shredded and frayed. Obviously it was cheap stuff. I still say go for a middle-of-the-road pre-finished wood floor (whether it's laminate or not) that will last you 15ish years and you'll want to redecorate at some point in the future anyway. Who knows, maybe tile will be the thing then? My grandparents have a lot of slate in their house and love it. My parents' real hardwood is now 12 years old and has not worn well. The pain about hardwood is to refinish it, you basically have to move out of your house with all your food because of all the fumes. Just please tell me that when you say laminate, you are not referring to the sheet vinyl stuff.

  5. Neither. At least in other rooms than the kitchen and dining room. It is hard for me to feel comfortable without carpet on the floors, and hey, a rug just isn't the same.

    In the kitchen and dining room, is the hard wood water-proof? Because those are rooms that get rather wet, and you wouldn't really want to be worried about every little spill.

    Heck, what do I know? Those are my two cents. You did ask. :)

  6. We have laminate wood in our new house. I think it looks nice, I've only been here for a month, but I like it. : ) You can get a good look at it when you come over to visit next week.

    Curt and I would like hardwood floors someday. We think they are beautiful and gotta be nice with messy kiddos running rampant around the house. : )

  7. I prefer hardwood, but in our last house we put in laminate. It held up well and looked great! Rich liked the cost of laminate much better, and he was able to put in himself. They have really nice laminate out there though; we had several people ask us if it was hardwood.

  8. We're loving these comments- keep them coming! Of course, the reviews are mixed, which means I suppose that it comes down to personal preference- which is hard. Nevertheless, it is great to hear from you who have had either, so THANK YOU!!! It really does help! I hate these decisions!

  9. wood wood wood, nothing ever comes close to the real thing. i would suggest a distressed looking wood, it has more character and will look better over time. i agree about not doing on the whole main floor because carpet is more relaxing for a family room. Also, too much hardwood echos and will make you house noisier.

  10. Hardwood for sure!

  11. this is Curt...and I have to say, it's whatever the wife wants. She's the one that sees it all day anyway, right? And the home is the "woman's castle" right? If it has to do with the home...listen to the husband's input...husband supports wife's ultimate decision. This rule goes for things pertaining to the home. If it had to do with things pertaining to the financial, security, or otherwise well-being of the family, the rule is reversed. I don't think being the patriarch involves making the ultimate decision on flooring. This is of course assuming that both are affordable options regardless of one being more affordable than the other. For example, Ben would need to over-ride the decision if it was for something like gold plated marble flooring, right?! Sorry Ben!

  12. I will sum up what I have heard and what I know from my brothers who have installed both types. Also, what I know from one brother who has had both hardwood and laminate flooring in his house.

    Laminate: Pros: less expensive, easier to install, much easier to take care of, usually very water-resistant and stain-resistant. Cons: Can look and feel cheap if you go for the really cheap stuff.

    Hardwood: Pros: Looks great. Cons: More expensive, difficult to install, needs to be refinished every few years, needs to be resealed once every year or two in order to remain water-resistant and stain-resistant.

    So if you are all about the look, and you don't have a problem with doing way more work on the upkeep side, then go with the hardwood. If all the extra work is daunting, then go with a high-quality laminate.

    I am going to introduce another option, though. Have you considered doing bamboo? It is essentially like hardwood, but tends to be a little more resilient. It's more expensive than laminate, but usually a bit less expensive than hardwood. Plus, it is much more environmentally friendly. My biggest plus for bamboo, though, is that I love the way it looks. Very pretty and unique compared to a lot of other people's very common hardwood and laminate.