When updating your home, one of the best ways to get the most value is to replace your floors. There are several options out there, and 2 popular choices that will raise the value of your home are hardwood and laminate. Which is the best option, though? Is laminate better than hardwood? Hardwood floors are a beautiful thing. They can bring beauty, warmth, and value to your home. However, there are some things to consider. If you are looking for an exotic wood appearance, then laminate may be the better option. You can get the same look for much, much less cost. Since hardwood floors are created from natural resources, the more exotic the wood, the higher the price. Laminate flooring does not have that same issue. Another thing to consider is installation. Hardwood installation can be pricy, and it’s often best to leave it to the experts who have specialized tools to make the installation run smoothly with beautiful results. Laminate flooring is, on average, about 50% cheaper to have professionally installed because it requires no special tools beyond a saw for cutting. Hardwood floors are gorgeous, but they also show wear very easily, especially in high traffic areas. They are easily scratched, gouged, and are susceptible to excessive moisture which will damage them. Laminate flooring is quite a bit more durable, so if you are looking to update the floors in a room that gets a lot of foot traffic, if you have pets or children, or if you are installing the floor in a kitchen or bathroom, laminate would be the much better choice that will stay beautiful for much longer. Fading from the sun can be another deciding factor. If the room you’re looking to update has large windows that let in a lot of sunlight, your hardwood floor could fade in color very quickly. Many laminate options have a UV protectant which will keep them from fading in the sunlight. Laminate and hardwood are both great choices for flooring, but laminate has its advantages. The key to deciding is to know where the flooring will be installed, how much traffic it will endure, and what your personal budget for the project and future repair is.