Laminate flooring and engineered wood flooring are commonly confused with one another, with many people thinking that they are the same. Both flooring options have their own pros and cons and so it’s important that you’re aware of these before you decide which to install.
What are laminate and engineered wood floors made of?
Engineered wood flooring is made of high-quality plywood with a veneer of pre-finished fine hardwood on top, which is responsible for its solid wood appearance. It is closer to solid hardwood in its properties as it incorporates a thin veneer of natural wood on top of plywood. This means that its core is stronger.
Laminate flooring was originally launched as a competitor to vinyl flooring and is made of typically five or fewer thin layers of pressed wood board, with an image of wood on top. The image is covered by a clear wear layer to protect it.
What is the cost of laminate or engineered wood floors?
As you are paying for flooring that incorporates real hardwood, you are naturally going to pay more for engineered flooring than you will for laminate. However engineered wood flooring will last significantly longer than laminate due to its stronger core and resistant properties. If you choose to install laminate flooring, you also need to be aware that you may need to invest in an additional layer of underlay in order to keep the floor stable and looking its best.
What maintenance is involved with laminate or engineered wood flooring?
Engineered flooring allows you to re-sand and re-finish a number of times, depending on the thickness of the layers. Typically, an engineered wood floor will look new around 3 or 4 times during its lifetime. Laminate flooring cannot be repaired in a traditional wood repair sense, only by using wood putty to fill small holes. As it is installed as a floating floor, boards have to be replaced as opposed to fixed.
What’s involved in the installation of laminate or engineered wood floors?
Both engineered floors and laminate can be installed anywhere except highly moisture-prone rooms. If laminate is being installed in rooms like basements, then special consideration should be taken as water vapour from the concrete can secrete the laminate. The properties of engineered wood flooring mean that it is much more resistant to expansion and contraction than solid wood meaning it can even be installed over under floor heating.
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