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An argument has been raging in the world of interior design for some years. The schism happened over a debate about the merits of wooden floors over laminate, and both sides are equally passionate about their point of view. Neither side has backed down either, so there has been no cooling of tensions over the years.

Essentially, the argument is whether natural wooden floors are better than laminate. Each has its advantages and disadvantages, which is why the argument is so hard to settle.

Proponents of real wooden floors say that the natural and warm feeling of natural wood floorboards cannot be matched or recreated by laminates. It’s true that there is something beautiful about restoring the floorboards that are integral to a house. Almost all houses of a certain vintage will have them - often lurking under carpets or vinyl flooring. With a bit of sanding (ok, a lot of sanding) and varnishing, you can restore them to their former glory.

Natural wood floors are a real feature and appeal to many home buyers, adding value and increasing sale-ability. They also look wonderful with other period features, like wooden windows and timber French doors.

However, wooden floorboards are also subject to a number of problems. They are expensive to replace and in many cases, years of neglect means they are in very bad condition. Over sanding can leave them thin and weak and they can look tired and damaged if not regularly cared for. That’s why fans of laminate prefer the cost, durability and easy-to-replace nature of the more modern variety. For those without existing wooden floors, they are also virtually the only option.

Laminate flooring also comes in many shades and styles, meaning you can easily match your design style to the floor - something that you can’t do with existing floorboards.

Ultimately, it depends on personal preference, the style and vintage of your house. Both have their advantages and can look beautiful if realised properly.

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