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Laminate Wood Flooring vs Engineered Wood Flooring: A Comprehensive Guide

Posted on May 13, 2023

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Laminate Wood Flooring vs Engineered Wood Flooring: A Comprehensive Comparison

Choosing the right flooring for your home can be a challenging task. Among the myriad options available, laminate and engineered wood flooring have become popular choices due to their visual appeal, durability, and cost-effectiveness. Both types have their advantages and limitations, so it’s crucial to understand their differences before making a decision. This blog post aims to provide an in-depth comparison of laminate wood flooring and engineered wood flooring, highlighting their characteristics, pros and cons, and suitable applications.

Laminate Wood Flooring

Understanding Laminate Wood Flooring

Laminate wood flooring is a multi-layer synthetic flooring product fused together with a lamination process. It is a high-resolution photographic image of actual wood with a protective layer to resist wear and tear.

Advantages of Laminate Wood Flooring

  1. Affordability: Laminate flooring tends to be more affordable than most types of wood flooring. The manufacturing process, which involves the fusion of composite wood material at high temperatures, is less resource-intensive, thus making laminate flooring an economical choice.
  2. Durability: Laminate flooring is known for its resistance to scratches, stains, and impacts, thanks to its tough outer layer and resin coating. This makes it an excellent choice for high-traffic areas and households with children or pets.
  3. Easy Installation: The click-lock design of laminate flooring simplifies the installation process, making it a favourite among DIY enthusiasts.
  4. Variety of Designs: Since the aesthetic of laminate flooring comes from a photographic layer, it can replicate a wide range of wood species, colours, and textures.
Variety of Designs

Limitations of Laminate Wood Flooring

  1. Susceptibility to Moisture: Laminate flooring is susceptible to damage from standing water and high humidity, making it less suitable for bathrooms, laundry rooms, or basements.
  2. Cannot be Refinished: Over time, if the wear layer of laminate flooring gets damaged, it cannot be refinished. The only option is to replace the entire plank or the flooring.

Understanding Engineered Wood Flooring

Engineered wood flooring is made of multiple layers of real wood adhered together to form a plank. The top layer is a veneer of the desired wood species, while the lower layers consist of less expensive, more readily available wood for stability and cost-effectiveness.

Engineered Wood Flooring

Advantages of Engineered Wood Flooring

  1. Authentic Appearance: Engineered wood flooring, with its real wood veneer, provides an authentic and rich wood appearance that laminate flooring cannot match. It can significantly enhance the aesthetic appeal of your home.
  2. Versatility: Engineered wood flooring can be installed over various types of subfloors, including concrete, and can withstand slight changes in humidity and temperature better than solid wood.
  3. Refinishing Capability: Unlike laminate, engineered wood flooring can be sanded and refinished multiple times (depending on the thickness of the top layer), extending its lifespan.
  4. Increased Home Value: As a real wood product, engineered wood flooring can add more value to your home than laminate flooring.

Limitations of engineered wood flooring

  1. Cost: Engineered wood flooring tends to be more expensive than laminate due to the use of real wood.
  2. Vulnerability to Scratches and Dents: While engineered wood flooring is robust, it is not immune to scratches and dents. It requires regular maintenance to keep it looking its best.

Laminate vs. Engineered Wood Flooring: Making the Right Choice

Choosing between laminate and engineered wood flooring depends on several factors, such as budget, location, usage, and personal preferences.

If budget is your primary concern and you want a flooring option that can withstand heavy traffic, pets, or children’s play, laminate flooring might be the best option for you. Its affordability, durability, and ease of installation make it a practical choice for many homeowners. However, it’s essential to remember that laminate flooring doesn’t do well in damp areas and cannot be refinished, so it might need to be replaced after a few years of heavy wear.

On the other hand, if you’re looking for a more luxurious and authentic wood appearance and are willing to invest more upfront, engineered wood flooring could be the perfect solution. It offers the warmth and aesthetic of real wood, coupled with greater stability and moisture resistance than solid wood. Also, the ability to sand and refinish engineered wood can add years to its lifespan, proving it to be a wise investment in the long run. However, it requires careful handling to prevent scratches and dents and might not be suitable for homes with large pets or very active children.

In terms of maintenance, both types require regular sweeping or vacuuming to remove dirt and grit. Laminate flooring can be cleaned with a damp mop, while engineered wood floors may require specific cleaning products to avoid damaging the finish.

As for environmental considerations, engineered wood flooring typically has a smaller carbon footprint than laminate flooring as it uses less synthetic material. However, it’s important to look for products from manufacturers that source their wood responsibly and adhere to sustainable practises.


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In the battle of laminate wood flooring vs. engineered wood flooring, there’s no definitive winner. Both flooring types offer unique benefits and have certain limitations. Your choice should be based on your specific needs, lifestyle, and budget.

Laminate flooring is a great low-cost, durable option, especially for busy households where the flooring is likely to undergo significant wear and tear. Meanwhile, engineered wood flooring offers an unbeatable authentic wood look and feel, higher resilience to moisture, and the possibility of refinishing, making it a worthwhile investment for those seeking longevity and aesthetic appeal.

Remember, the best flooring for your home is not merely the one that looks the best or costs the least; it’s the one that fits your lifestyle and meets your family’s needs. Take your time, consider your options, and make the choice that you’ll be happy living with for years to come.

More from our Blog:

Comparing Top 7 Flooring Options: An In-depth Analysis

Professional Hardwood Floor Installation: From Preparation to Sanding and Finishing

Mastering the Art of Laying a Hardwood Floor: A Comprehensive DIY Guide

Embracing the Charm of Wood Flooring: Why Choose Wood Floors?

Hardwood Floors & Allergies: A Detailed Look at the Health Benefits

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