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Wood On A Budget

There are so many different flooring options that it helps to narrow down the look you like first and then look into the details. Solid wood flooring suits so many of the older homes in Pasadena and is very popular.Clients frequently start here when discussing their needs with their flooring contractor. However once many clients see the cost they have to rethink. If you are absolutely committed to a wood look, there are two alternatives that offer a very realistic finished product.


Laminate is not wood. It is a composite product consisting of a transparent wear layer, then a photograph of wood fused onto high-density fiberboard. There are many laminates that are budget friendly but are very obviously not real wood. Look beyond these to the better quality laminates where the photos are very realistic and avoid an obvious repeating pattern. Ask your flooring contractor to show you wood and laminate side by side without telling you which is which and see if you can tell the difference just by looking at it.

Laminate is more fade, water and scratch resistant than wood and is typically half the cost of solid or engineered wood floors.  You can expect this type of flooring to last anywhere from 10 to 25 years depending on how well it is cared for. Your Pasadena flooring contractor can tell you the steps to take to make sure your floor lasts well.

The laminate planks snap together to form a unit that floats over the subfloor, which means it isn’t glued, nailed or otherwise attached. The main enemy of high-density fiberboard is water. Your flooring contractor should advise you not to lay it on concrete, which can be full of water.

Since laminate can sound quite hollow, Pasadena flooring contractors advise using an underlay to improve soundproofing.


Porcelain won’t scratch, dent or fade, is water resistant and does not need to be refinished. If you want a wood look in a high traffic area that is frequented by dogs and children, then porcelain may be your answer. Porcelain comes in long, rectangular porcelain “planks” that depict very authentic looking knots and grains and enable you to get the look of a costly exotic wood at a more reasonable price.  Porcelain is fast becoming the darling of many Pasadena interior designers

The tiles have rectified edges – meaning the edges are mechanically finished to be precise and consistent – so they fit together more closely and minimize the grout joint