With so many flooring options available today, it can be difficult to determine which is the best one for you. Advances in flooring technology have made some synthetic flooring options a viable alternative to natural flooring, since they can mimic natural materials like hardwood at a lower cost. With this in mind, it’s helpful to know the differences between Philadelphia plastic flooring and traditional hardwood flooring. In some cases, plastic laminate flooring will be the best option, while in other situations, hardwood is the better way to go. Floor Coverings International has high quality choices in both categories and can help you make the right choice.
Three Differences Between Plastic Laminate and Hardwood Flooring
While plastic laminate flooring and hardwood flooring differ in many ways, there are three primary differences you should be aware of before making your decision:
- Affordability is an important point of comparison for many buyers. Plastic laminate flooring will typically cost less than hardwood floor coverings. Not including installation costs, plastic laminate flooring will likely cost around $1 per square foot, compared to $5 to $8 for hardwood. Exotic wood varieties will cost more than domestic ones, and the installation cost will be higher for hardwood than for a hard plastic flooring like plastic laminate. However, the higher cost of hardwood brings with it a beautiful aesthetic and authenticity that, while approximated with plastic laminate, can never be 100% replicated.
- Cleaning and maintenance will differ slightly depending on whether you have a plastic laminate floor covering or hardwood flooring. Maintenance of plastic laminate floors typically involves cleaning up dust and dirt and removing spots and stains. You’ll also want to be sure to wipe up any spills as soon as possible to avoid water damage. For plastic laminate floors, you can use these cleaning supplies for daily maintenance:
- Dry mop
- Laminate flooring cleaners
When you use a vacuum, make sure you’re using one without a beater bar, as this can damage your floor. You should only use flooring cleaners that are designated for laminate floor coverings, so be sure to check the label before you buy.
Hardwood flooring also requires sweeping, dusting and vacuuming for daily maintenance. Unlike plastic laminate floors, you can wax hardwood floors as part of a long-term maintenance schedule. Every three to five years, it is also recommended to apply a maintenance coat to extend the life of your floor.
- The difference between the lifespan of plastic laminate floors and hardwood floors may also factor into your decision. Laminate flooring, on average, lasts 15 to 25 years, although the lifespan can vary depending on the quality. Cheaper plastic laminate flooring options can last as few as 10 years, while higher-quality options, when properly maintained, can last as long as 30 years. Hardwood floors can last considerably longer than hard plastic flooring options. Properly cared for hardwood floors have a lifespan of around 75 years. Unlike plastic laminate flooring, hardwood can be refinished and sanded down, thereby extending its lifespan. While hardwood flooring will cost more than plastic laminate initially, its long-lasting quality should also be considered as part of the investment.
Whether you choose Philadelphia plastic flooring or traditional hardwood flooring, Floor Coverings International has an extensive selection of premium flooring products to meet any need. For more information or to schedule a consultation, please call us today!
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