I recently replaced some of our vinyl Home Flooring with laminated wood. I got a pretty good deal, and other than the trim (which has taken some wear) and one or two gouges that are through the top layer into the under-layer, it’s worn pretty well.
Would I recommend it again? Yes and no. It’s definitely better looking than vinyl flooring or linoleum, and it’s much less expensive than hard-wood flooring (and quieter, from what I’ve been told), but its "wood" top is fairly thin, so you have to beware of gouges and you cannot resurface it at all (you’ll go all the way down to the sub-layers, which don’t look pretty and aren’t sealed).
When I have to replace this floor I really don’t want to do it with hardwood flooring (which is prone to warping and is generally non-renewable in nature), but I do like the concept of simply resurfacing the floor rather than replacing it. There are some shops that have "reclaimed" wood (like planks from old buildings and barns and whatnot) that they have milled and cut for flooring, but that’s expensive and you can’t always find the color/pattern that you want.
What’s a better solution? You may or may not be aware of my renewed objective to be as green as I can be, and improve as I go along. With that in mind I stumbled upon a Home Improvement Blog who talks about the benefits of Bamboo Flooring.
Bamboo is a fast-growing, renewable resource which looks a lot like wood and can be made into more products than you’d imagine. When making bamboo flooring, it’s harvested, split, flattened, processed, dried, and then glued together to create boards used for flooring. It can be stained to match just about any wood out there, too!
Bamboo is unlike trees in that when you cut the "trunk" (or stalk) the plant simply grows another one, and is ready to be harvested in about six years. Bamboo is also a grass, so it has a fairly large surface area with which to "breathe" in carbon dioxide and "exhale" oxygen.
So, when I finally decide to recycle our old laminate flooring I’m going with Bamboo Flooring.