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Question DetailsAsked on 5/21/2018

How does fake wood floors hold up compared to real wood?

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My experience - with a good brand (Pergo, Mannington, Armstrong, etc) while it does not look as realistic, you can expect several times as long a life before it starts showing scratches, and probably around 5 times as long a life before it needs "refinishing". My experience - under child or dog claw traffic, maybe 5-10 times as long - ditto if there is a lot of tracking in of sand and grvel and such. My oak stair treads show aggressive damage within months even with 5 coats of hard-finish polyurethane on them - Armstrong glued snap joint laminate flooring landing at the entry (in area with a lot of sand/grit/snow tracking in) shows only ONE scratch which you can see without getting down on your knees, after about 15 years - otherwise basically like new.

Though generally with fake flooring "refinishing" means replacement, while true wood can usually be refinished once or sometimes not at all if a thin-surface engineered wood or type, or as many as 3-10 times if a full-thickness (roughly 3/4"-2" usually) plank.

Plastic coated floors and synthetic flooring are also FAR, FAR more water resistant (especially with glued joints), and many types need no care other than periodic cleaning, whereas true wood requires refurbishing the clear finish periodically and in most cases frequent waxing.

Prices vary a LOT of course, but in many cases synthetic flooring can be totally replaced for around the same price or less than a full sand down and refinish of true wood flooring, so it is more and more common for people to just replace the flooring (which also gives the option of changing or appearance at that time) when it starts wearing out), rather go through the dust and having to stay off the floor (or at least no shoes for typically up to a week or so after aninitial day or two drying period with zero walking on it) for commonly several days to a week when a true wood floor is totally refinished.

Course, if you like the true wood appearance, go for it (at almost certainly significantly higher cost) - many people do so for a "show" room and use laminate or plastic or sheet flooring (especially in wet areas) elsewhere where wear is higher or appearance is not so important to them.

Answered 2 years ago by LCD

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