Choosing the right floor for your home can be hard because there are many things to consider. To find the best match, you must consider the weather, local building codes, aesthetics, budget, and the floor’s features.
When you have more than one type of floor in mind and can’t choose between them, it can be hard to know what to do.
If you’re trying to decide between an engineered wood and a laminate floor, we can help you weigh the pros, cons, features, and overall suitability to help you choose the best one for your needs.
Here, we talk in detail about all the tips you need to know about the type of flooring, making a complete guide.
Because of how they are both made, laminate and engineered hardwoods are often confused with each other. But there are small but significant differences between them.
Engineered Hardwood has a thin layer of real wood on the top of the floorboard, which is made by pressing together layers of plywood. It looks more like real wood and can be fixed up, depending on how thick the top layer of the veneer is.
Laminate flooring presents a high-quality image of wood veneer fused to the fiberboard core and a protective, transparent layer of extremely hard lacquer.
Even though laminate flooring can’t be refinished, it now looks and feels like Hardwood thanks to a deeper relief of wood grain on the board.
Even though both are very attractive, the look you get with each material is slightly different. Engineered Hardwood is almost indistinguishable from solid wood, as the top layer is a wood veneer.
You can even get a version made from exotic hardwoods that looks and feels like exotic wood but costs much less. The only problem is that, like real wood, it will get dull over time if it is not taken care of properly.
Laminate flooring uses a high-definition image, so you can choose from a wide range of wood textures, no matter how much organic material is available.
Laminate flooring looks fake because it has a high-gloss finish and a raised image on the top layer, which makes it easy to tell it apart from the real thing.
Engineered wood floor is made to eliminate the problems that could happen with solid wood. They can withstand a lot of traffic and are highly waterproof. Engineered wood can also be refinished more than once, depending on how thick the wood veneer is.
But since the core is made of natural materials, it can’t stop the damage from water or rot. If you take care of them, they can last as long as solid wood, which is 20 to 100 years.
The aluminum dioxide on the top and the compressed fiberboard in the middle makes the laminate floor strong. So, it works well in places where many people walk by.
But the topcoat that is made can’t be repainted, so it doesn’t last as long as natural wood options. Laminate floors can be used for 10 to 20 years at most.
The material’s thermal conductivity must be considered to ensure your home is well-insulated and comfortable. Another important thing to consider is that heat and cold affect engineered wood and laminate floor differently.
Since wood isn’t a good conductor of heat, the surface of engineered wood flooring stays warm even without a thermal underlayment.
A laminate floor is thinner than engineered wood, so cold air can easily pass through it. This can be fixed by adding a layer of foam that keeps the floor warmer and makes it easier to walk on.
Both laminate and engineered wood are simple to install, whether you do it yourself or hire a professional. But if you want the best results and the fastest installation, it’s always best to hire a pro.
Engineered wood can be installed by float, click and lock, nailing, gluing, or stapling. Installing this material requires a structurally sound subfloor as stable as concrete.
Since engineered wood is thicker than laminate and needs to be cut with precision and a good understanding of ripping and table saws, they are hard to install yourself.
Laminate is easy to install because the planks fit together and can be floated on almost any subfloor. But if the subfloor is concrete, you should do a moisture test first to ensure nothing bad happens.
Also, some versions have a subfloor attached to the floorboard, so the installation should be planned accordingly.
Both types of flooring are easy to clean and take care of. But laminate isn’t stained by most chemicals and natural elements, making it much easier to clean.
Engineered wood can be cleaned and maintained in the same way as solid Hardwood. Also, a 2 mm and 6 mm thick veneer can be painted more than once. But refinishing and installing engineered wood takes a long time and costs much more than installing laminate.
Laminate is easy to put up and take down. It’s easy to clean because water, stains, or scratches can’t damage it. But once the top layer wears down, it can’t be fixed and must be replaced.
Organic or organic-based floors often have moisture levels that change. So, when choosing a material, one must consider how the humidity level affects it.
Even though engineered wood is made to hold water and moisture better than Hardwood, the effect of water can’t be ruled out completely because the core materials are made of organic materials. It may be less likely to get damaged by water than Hardwood, but it still needs to be taken care of well to avoid that.
On the other hand, laminate flooring is made to resist stains and water. The floorboard will be protected from moisture above and below if it is installed with tight seams, a good vapor barrier, and underlayment.
With the right installation, laminate floors can be almost waterproof. But if the subfloor and vapor barrier aren’t there, moisture can get stuck between the floor and the subfloor and damage the floorboards from below.
Laminate flooring wins when you think about how easy it is to clean, how cheap it is, how long it lasts, and how well it resists moisture. But engineered wood is notable for its looks, durability, comfort, and resale value.
It depends on what the owner wants and what features they value the most.