If you are not sure whether to choose engineered hardwood or laminate flooring, it can be a hard decision to make. Although these two floorings are often confused with one another, there are major differences between the two.
The main difference is that engineered wood is made from a top layer of solid wood, while laminate uses a photographic layer, that is then coated with a wear layer to achieve the wood-look surface.
Engineered hardwood is one part wood floor, and another part man-made materials. This flooring offers the best of both worlds, in that it is not as expensive as hardwood, but offers the same look.
- Veneer layer: This layer is the genuine wood. It gives the flooring a unique and real look.
- Core layer: The next layer contains both plywood or HDF, and is often mixed with wax. This provides both moisture resistance and durability.
- Backing: This is the foundation of your floor. Typically it is also made of plywood or HDF.
- Easy to install due to its groove installation system. Can be installed loose or with glue.
- It is extremely versatile meaning it can be installed on any level of your home.
- There are many different options. You can find hand-scraped, wire-brushed, smooth, or distressed surfaces, which allow you to choose anything that compliments your home.
- Most engineered wood is eco-friendly because it is recycled.
- It cannot always be refinished like solid hardwood.
- Not recommended for bathrooms or basements because it is not water-resistant (similar to hardwood).
- Engineered hardwood is more expensive than laminate due to being higher quality.
Laminate flooring is a lower-cost alternative to natural wood and engineered hardwood. Although it looks like wood planks, it is not made from wood in any way. Instead, it is made from particle board, which is created by heat-pressed wood fibers.
Layers of Laminate Flooring
- Wear layer: This protects the floor from scratches and provides a water-resistant layer.
- Image layer: This layer has a pattern that looks like wood, or another surface.
- Core layer: The core layer makes laminate strong because it is made of compressed medium-density fiberboard (also known as HDF).
- Backing layer: This provides stability for the floor and helps to avoid water seeping through in case of leaks.
- Looks like real wood or stone
- Easy to clean
- Easy to install (known as a floating floor)
- Very affordable
- Not fully waterproof.
- Sound: If not installed properly, these floors can create empty sounds.
- Not real wood: The top layer looks like wood, but it is not in any way shape or form. It will be obvious that it is not wood.
What to Choose?
Choosing engineered hardwood vs. laminate flooring depends on how much you want to spend, and where you want to install it. Overall, engineered is more expensive, but higher quality. If you are on a budget, you can choose laminate flooring, but Engineered Hardwood Flooring Denver is always the best choice.