Laminate vs proper wood

SWMBO is thinking of laminate flooring. Given that the better quality stuff borders on the price of reclaimed floorboards, in the panel's view would 'real' floorboards be better long term value? What are the cons of reclaimed floorboards? (I don't mind a bit of distress/character).
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In an earlier contribution to this discussion,

Probably. Laminate probably looks better in the short term - but once its paper-thin surface is scratched, there ain't a lot you can do with it. At least with real wood, you can sand it down and re-seal it.
Real wood will shrink, of course - so that little gaps will open up where the boards meet. Reclaimed boards might also have suffered damage when being removed from their previous home.
Have you considered engineered board? It consists of 3mm or so of real hard wood on top of a softwood base. It is laid in exactly the same way as laminate, but can be re-surfaced (once, at any rate!). It needs to float, of course, in the same way as laminate - with an expansion gap round the edge covered by the skirting board. But because it is either snapped or glued together, it expands and contracts as one - without any gaps appearing.
I have it in my hallway, and am very happy with it. My local BM was doing a special offer on it last year, making it little more expensive than top-end laminate.
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The stuff I've seen from Amtico I reckon could be best described as "laminate", and the protective "surface" is about three inches thick (well, maybe I exaggerate but it seemed quite substantial and hard-wearing). Has anyone had good/bad experiences with Amtico (apart from the price that is)?
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We decided to re-furbish the floorboards in our dining room. We hired a sander. We had to remove all the nails which had held down carpets over sixty years. We had to move all the furniture out. Although we kept the door closed the dust got all over the house. All the windows needed to be cleaned as well as other surfaces. We had to varnish the boards after wiping them with white spirit to remove the dust. We had to wait for the pu varnish to harden before we could sand and re-varnish, for several coats to ensure a long lasting surface.
It was beautiful and worth doing.
Then we saw a good buy of laminate flooring and we decided to use it for the sitting room instead of having all the mess and expense and time consuming task of re-furbishing floorboards. We had to move out the furniture. To do it properly we had to remove the skirtings to lift them, in doing so we disturbed filth of sixty odd years, which despite closed doors made its way round the house. We had to remove ancient wiring, necessitating going under the floorboards. We had to remove old carpet nails and sand the floorboards to make them flat. We had to sand off the ancient paint and varnish from the skirtings and re-paint them as well as re-plastering the walls where the skirtings had pulled off the old stuff. and re-paint the walls. We had to remove the fire surround and lift the gas fire, involving moving piping. It was no cheaper in time, energy or costs.
It's beautiful and was worth doing.
But if you're going to do either job really well it's going to take effort, time and expense. And it will be worth doing. Short cuts aren't the answer - just prepare your lady well in advance.
Mary
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On Mon, 26 Jan 2004 21:02:04 -0000, "Mary Fisher"

I got a company in to sand my living room boards which I had spent age slifting and relaying to close up the gaps and cover a cement are where the hearth had been . They used a new sander,Swedish i thinjk it was -very quiet and dust free -You nee dto empty the bag very frequently otherwise this causes much dust . A quick vacuuming,then a coat of two part varnish -wait a wee while then a quick sand then another coat and after it dried quickly it looked brillaint. Stuart pn
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proper wooden floors every time for me ;)
If I want to loook at a photograph of wood on my floor, I'll download one, print it off and stand on it ;pppp
Seriously, I fitted a Scandinavian pine wood floor into my dining room, punched in the nails, sanded the bugger down, refitted new matching skirtings and "Bourne Seal"ed the lot. Looks lovely, the floor is shiny *and* non slippy and looks in character with the rest of the house.
hth
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I luv my wood!
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Conrad Edwards wrote:

You can go halfway house with e.g. Kahrs solid wood (3mm) veneered 'laminate'
Bout 50 squids a sq meter.
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