There’s no denying the appeal of real wood flooring; solid oak boards have a timeless, authentic charm. They’re ideal for traditional interiors, and they can also work surprisingly well as part of a more contemporary interior design.
But hardwood floors don’t look after themselves. Not only do you have to make sure you’re cleaning your floor with a suitable cleaning agent (since using the wrong chemicals can rob the wood of its beauty), you must also:
- Prevent scratches from pets, heels and furniture
- Make sure the floorboards don’t get wet
- Sand and refinish the floor occasionally
Practical alternatives to wood flooring
Many households, especially growing families, find solid wood flooring to be incompatible with their lifestyles. If you’d like the wood look with less of the hassle, here are some practical alternatives to wood flooring.
Laminate wood flooring
Laminate flooring consists of several layers of hard-wearing fibreboard, topped with decorative paper and then laminated for protection.
The decorative paper can feature virtually any colour or design imaginable, but many products are topped with a photo of real wood flooring. This allows homeowners to have a durable, wipe-clean floor that emulates the attractive appearance of solid oak.
Key benefits of laminate flooring: affordable, durable, easy to clean.
Engineered wood flooring
Often marketed as the best of both worlds, engineered wood flooring is a middle ground between solid wood and laminate flooring. Engineered floorboards have a sturdy artificial core, but unlike laminate products, the surface is actually made of real wood – it’s not just a decorative print.
This does mean that engineered wood flooring costs significantly more than laminate wood flooring. It’s up to you how much extra you’re willing to pay for that genuine oak veneer.
Key benefits of engineered wood flooring: looks just like solid wood, great stability, wide range of designs available.
Finally, here’s a third option that you may not have considered: porcelain tiles that look like wood flooring.
Porcelain is a highly durable material with low porosity. This means it absorbs very little water, and spills can be wiped away with ease.
Modern-day technology allows tile companies to manufacture a wide and colourful variety of low-maintenance porcelain tiles. This includes wood-look products that are every bit as beautiful as solid oak flooring; take a look at these gorgeous wood-effect tiles from PrimaPorcelain.
Key benefits of porcelain tiles: low maintenance, tough, water resistant.
Which of these practical alternatives to wood flooring is perfect for your home?