Laminate Wood Flooring vs Engineered Wood Flooring - Professional engineered and solid wood flooring manufacturing at affordable prices.

Laminate Wood Flooring vs Engineered Wood Flooring

Choosing the right wood flooring for your house can take some time and effort. Laminate wood flooring vs engineered wood flooring, which should you use? While the two types of wood flooring look similar, they have a set of differences that you can’t ignore.

This post will clarify what laminate and engineered wood flooring are. It will also highlight their differences, pros and cons, and their manufacturing process.

What is Laminate Wood Flooring?

Laminate flooring is a synthetic flooring product that consists of layers of transparent materials. These include fiberboard and wear. The printed wood image of the laminate floor gives it an almost real appearance of wood flooring.

The laminate floor has a photographic wooden image printed on top that may not look like real wood. Nonetheless, it has several design options to give you the desired look. You can choose from several patterns including herringbone, chevro, and more. You also get different finishes, and you can select various colors, sizes, and gloss levels.

Two or three layers are fused under high heat using direct-pressure laminate (DPL). The layers can include an overlay layer (wear), decorative paper, board, and backer paper.

What is Engineered Wood Flooring?

This is flooring made with a natural wood layer on top fused to a plywood base. This is for ease of installation and stability. The base can also be high-density plywood and the wood can either be hardwood or veneer. If you’re looking for a real wooden feeling, engineered wood flooring may be what you need.

Engineered wood has various designs and appearances. These are from traditional to modern looks with a genuine hardwood feel. You can get different profiles including plank, herringbone, chevron, and more. You can also choose from wood species like walnut, oak, exoticism wood, and teak.

While engineered wood flooring has a natural wood top, the bottom has layers of plywood. They are arranged perpendicularly creating a strong, durable, and stable lattice structure. The layers are held together by glue which makes the flooring water resistant.

Laminate floor VS engineered floor structure

Differences Between Laminate and Engineered Wood Flooring

Read on to learn the differences between laminate and engineered wood flooring.

Material Composition

Laminate wood flooring is made of three layers. A high-density fiberboard, a photographic layer, and a clear protective layer. The photographic layer gives a realistic appearance of a hardwood floor.

Engineered wood flooring has real wood on the top layer. The base layer is layers of plywood, This is fast-growing wood. This composite layer strengthens the flooring and can last for a very long time.

Installation process

Here’s the kicker, both laminate and engineered wood flooring are DIY-friendly. They come in planks made to interlock in a click clock or tongue and groove design. This makes them easy to install, but floor preparations for the two are not the same.

You must have a floating floor or fireproof underlay to install a laminate wood floor. But, you can install engineered wood flooring on a concrete surface. Laminate flooring is easier to install because it is lightweight, and you can it cut to measure.

You can DIY an engineered wood floor pattern Install, but it’s advisable to use a professional installer for a more precise look. Nonetheless, this will drive up your installation costs.

Durability and Longevity

Engineered wood flooring has real wood, and it can last more than 30 years. But, laminate wood flooring can only last for 10 – 20 years. As years pass, you may want to refinish your floor. You can sand and re-varnish engineered wood as the top is real hardwood. Note that this depends on the quality of the engineered wood.

Laminate floors are hard to scratch making them a better choice for homes with kids and pets. Engineered wood is easier to scratch as it’s made of wood with a protective varnish over the veneer.

Laminate and engineered floors are resistant to variations in temperature. The composite layers help it withstand warp from humidity but water can be a problem. It causes it to swell, bubble, or warp your floor. Thanks to the plastic top layer in laminate flooring it’s easier to keep dry with a simple mop-up.

Maintenance and Care

Maintenance requirements for laminate and engineered floors are almost the same. This is because both should not be wet-mopped as the surfaces are delicate. So, it’s best to use a dry mop or broom when cleaning them.

You must be extra careful on engineered surfaces. This is to avoid scratching or damaging the wood. Avoid ammonia-based cleaning products and only use those approved for engineered wood floors.

Cost

Laminate flooring beats engineered wood flooring on affordability hands down. While laminate flooring ranges from $22 – 27$ per square foot, engineered wood goes between $25 – $38. This of course depends on the type and quality of the wood.

laminate wood flooring vs engineered wood flooring Pros and Cons

Laminate Wood Flooring

Pros

  • It is durable
  • Has a realistic wood or stone look
  • Water-resistant
  • Easy to install and DIY-friendly
  • It is cost-effective
  • Scratch resistant

Cons

  • It’s not made of real wood
  • Not completely waterproof
  • Produces a hollow sound if not well installed
  • Not good for bathrooms

Engineered Wood Flooring

Pros

  • Made of real wood
  • More durable
  • Better resistance to moisture
  • Can be refinished
  • Warp resistant

Cons

  • More prone to scratches and wear
  • More expensive to get and install
  • Requires higher maintenance
  • Not waterproof

Choosing the Right Flooring for Your Needs

Now that you understand the pros and cons, which flooring is best for your house? While both are durable and strong, laminate flooring is a cheaper alternative. You might prefer to have a more authentic wood feel to your floor than an imitation. If your budget fits, then go for engineered wood flooring.

Both flooring types come in different styles depending on your preference. Laminate flooring has a range of photorealistic finishes, colors, and designs. Engineered wood floors come in different types of wood, sizes, and finishes.

Note that you cannot use wood flooring in your bathroom as it’s not water-resistant.

FAQ

1. Which is more expensive laminate or engineered wood flooring?

Generally engineered wood flooring is pricier than laminate flooring. This is because the top layer is real wood and the composite layer is plywood. You may also need professional installation services which also drive the cost higher.

2. Which areas of your house should you not install laminate wood flooring?

While laminate flooring is good for most surfaces in your home, it’s not good with moisture. So, avoid installing it in places with a lot of moisture like the kitchen, utility rooms, and bathrooms. This is to avoid bubbling, discoloration, and warping of the laminate wood floor.

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