Engineered Hardwood Vs. Laminate Flooring

Puja Lalwani Jan 2, 2019
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Here's a look into the comparison between engineered hardwood vs. laminate flooring, for those looking for the beauty of hardwood floors without the heavy cost and maintenance involved.
When looking to carry out a home improvement project, one way you can do so is by changing the flooring in your house. Doing so can give the space a complete makeover, and the kind of flooring you choose will give everything placed on or against it a whole new look. Among the many choices, hardwood floors are a great option
However, not everyone can afford hardwood floors, neither can it survive in many conditions, which is why numerous alternatives to the same have been introduced. Two such alternatives include engineered flooring and laminate flooring.
They have different properties, and are produced in different manners, using different components. Which one is better? Let's find out.

The Difference Between Engineered Hardwood Flooring and Laminate Flooring

As mentioned earlier, so many alternatives to hardwood flooring have emerged in the recent past. This is because, it is expensive, it cannot survive all types of climatic conditions, and it is difficult to install on your own. This adds to the overall cost of getting it fixed in your house. Better choices are engineered hardwood floors and laminate floors.
Contrary to the popular belief, engineered flooring is real wood flooring. It is not solid hardwood flooring through and through. It is made from several wood components. About 1/8 inch of the flooring is solid finished wood, while the center portion is plywood (non-finished).
For greater strength, the plywood is laid across the grain of the top layer. Because it is real wood, you can hardly tell the difference between a core hardwood floor and a species of engineered flooring. The top layer can also be sanded a minimum of three times (preferably by a professional), and given a fresh coat for a new look.
This depends on the brand you purchase. In some cases, if the top layer is too thin, refinishing the flooring can be difficult. Further, the plywood beneath the top veneer surface makes the flooring less susceptible to changes such as expansion and contraction due to humidity.
Engineered hardwood can be installed in two ways - by gluing it down or by means of the interlocking feature that is provided with most flooring types. This allows one to create a floating floor, which can be replaced easily when necessary.
It is also very easy to install. Those looking for the refined quality of hardwood floors with its grains and textures can definitely opt for engineered hardwood floors as a relatively inexpensive alternative.
As against engineered hardwood, laminate flooring is not real wood flooring. It is made of wood chip composite (high density fiber board), topped with a layer of melamine-infused paper. Similar to hardwood flooring, its thickness can go up to about 3/4 inch.
The top layer includes aluminum oxide that makes it highly scratch-resistant in comparison to engineered flooring, which is definitely going to get scratched because it is a type of real wood flooring. This makes it more durable option.
Laminate flooring is also available in different types, and can resemble wood in appearance and texture too.
However, it is not the same as real wood. Laminate flooring can wear out over time, in that it can start looking dull and lifeless when it loses its freshness. This can tend to be one of many problems with laminate flooring. Engineered hardwood flooring can be refinished to look fresh.
Both laminate and engineered hardwood flooring can greatly resemble real hardwood, to give you the same refined elegance. Laminate flooring can be installed by gluing the flooring or interlocking it, making it a convenient option for those who would prefer to carry out the installation process themselves.
Overall, when considering engineered wood flooring vs. laminate flooring, the latter is more durable and relatively inexpensive. Both can be cleaned and maintained easily. While engineered hardwood flooring prices are lower than actual hardwood flooring, the prices of laminate flooring prices can be lesser than engineered flooring.
Both types of flooring can greatly match the quality of real hardwood floors, are easy to maintain, and are durable in the long run. Engineered hardwood floors are made of real wood, and their maintenance will be slightly higher than that of laminate flooring.
On the other hand, in the long run, engineered flooring is a good investment, because it can be sanded for a refreshed look. For areas with higher traffic, laminate flooring may prove to be a more durable option. Based on these factors, decide which type you would like to go for, to carry out your home improvement project.
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