Parrys Carpets:

How to tell the difference between solid timber and laminate flooring.

Is it Solid Timber or laminate? You might be surprised at how hard it can be to tell the difference. Today’s laminate can look remarkably like popular solid timber floors such as Teak, Jarrah, Mahogany, Pine and Oak. Yet, there are a few ways to spot one type of flooring from another, especially if you look closely enough. Here’s how to tell the difference between laminate and solid timber:

1. Solid Timber Shows Its Wear and Tear

When solid timber floors age, they can take on variations in colour and even texture. These variations can come from many sources, such as sunlight or water that’s been left on the timber too long. Laminate, on the other hand, retains its pristine appearance for much longer because it’s been engineered to withstand normal wear and tear.

2. Solid Timber Floors Often Have Scratch Marks

Notice a few scratch marks or even indentations in a floor that looks like wood? It’s probably solid timber rather than laminate. Most solid timber types used in flooring are soft by nature. This softness can be attractive, and it makes the timber more susceptible to minor and major damage. Laminate is constructed to withstand the weight of normal objects being dropped or slid slightly across its surface.

3. Solid Timber Patterns Vary

Every solid timber plank offers unique characteristics, which means you shouldn’t see many patterns in true solid timber floors. If you notice a lot of patterning and symmetry, you’re looking at laminate and not solid timber. However, most laminate floors have been designed to repeat patterns in ways that look authentic rather than systematic.

4. Solid Timber Flooring May Have Nail Holes or Staples

Stapling and nailing are two ways craftspeople lay solid timber floors. You may notice these nail holes and staples at the perimeter walls, particularly with hardwood flooring in historic homes. Instead of using staple guns or hammers, laminate is clicked together using tongue-and-groove. This creates a smooth, seamless floor space.

5. Solid Timber Will Last a Few Lifetimes

Did you just buy a new house? Are you trying to figure out the difference between laminate and solid timber in a room or two? See if you can find out when the floor was laid. If it’s older than 20 years and still has a solid look, it’s probably solid timber. A well-maintained, properly installed with solid timber floor can stay beautiful for 75 years or longer. Laminates are more affordable to put into your home but will need to be replaced within a couple decades.

Is Solid Timber or Laminate the Right Choice for Your Home?

Now that you know a bit more about the difference between laminate and solid timber, you can pick the flooring type that makes the most sense for your lifestyle, decorating preferences and budget. Remember that solid timber will always cost more than laminate. If you’re on a strict budget, you may want to evaluate solid timber versus wood laminate or hybrid.

Interested in seeing how laminate or solid timber or even hybrid would look in your home? talk to our experts at Parrys, and we’ll be happy to show you a selection of flooring surfaces to help you add a finishing touch to your favourite spaces.


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Ian Minotti

About Ian Minotti

Ian is a renowned floor covering expert in product knowledge and installation. He is specialized in all types of floor coverings for many years and his knowledge in the industry is exceptional. Feel free to ask Ian any floor covering question you may have.

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