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31.10.20 Blog

Engineered Flooring Vs Laminate Flooring

Written by: Yarl Christie

When you’re looking for a new floor for the home, you’ll find a lot of different types available. Two of the most popular are engineered wood flooring and laminate floors.

While both of these floors produce a beautiful wooden effect, there are quite a few differences between them. Here, you’ll discover the differences between engineered wood and laminate flooring and how to choose the right one for your home.

What is the Difference in Construction?

Both engineered wood and laminate flooring boasts a multilayer construction. However, engineered wood tends to have a more solid and higher quality design.

The top layer of engineered wood is a solid wood veneer. This is what gives it that striking realistic wood effect. Laminate on the other hand, has a photographic textured top layer. While modern manufacturing techniques have made this top layer highly realistic, it isn’t going to provide the same quality aesthetics as engineered wood.

Engineered wood floors also contain several layers of plywood bonded together. The layers in laminate flooring are fused together during the lamination method. The maximum depth of laminate floors typically reaches 12mm. The maximum depth for engineered wood floors is 30mm.

So, they are similar to one another in construction, but engineered floors do have a higher quality design than laminate.

Which Is More Affordable Engineered Wood or Laminate?

In terms of cost, laminate is the most affordable option. It comes at a fraction of the cost of engineered wood, making it ideal for those on a budget. This is largely because it doesn’t incorporate real wood into its design, instead it relies upon a photographic layer to produce its stunning aesthetics.

Engineered wood flooring is more expensive than laminate, but it’s much more affordable than solid wood. As it tends to provide more durability than laminate, you’ll find engineered floors offer better value for money in the long term.

As well as the initial cost, it’s important to consider the costs involved with installation and maintenance. While engineered floors can be installed without the need for professionals, many homeowners prefer to have it professional installed anyway. So, laminate would be the cheapest in terms of installation.

So, when choosing which type of floor to install in line with your budget, consider the cost of maintenance, installation and the lifespan of the floor.

The Difference In Aesthetics

As mentioned earlier, laminate floors come with a photographic layer. While this may not be as striking as the solid wood veneer on engineered wood floors, it still produces a realistic wood effect. The more modern laminates boast an impressive design that’s hard to differentiate from the real thing upon first glance.

However, if you want the most luxurious aesthetics, engineered wood floors are the better option.

Installation & Maintenance

Out of the two, laminate flooring is the easiest to install. This is because the majority of laminate floors come with a click system. This is one of the newest installation techniques in the industry, allowing the planks to simply click together. Click systems are easy to use, even for those with no prior floor fitting experience. They speed up the installation process and eliminate the need for glue or nails.

Engineered wood floors on the other hand, largely utilise tongue and groove systems. While these are still fairly straightforward to install, they are a little more time consuming than the click system method. Many manufacturers also suggest gluing or nailing down the floor to provide maximum stability.

Maintenance wise, again laminate floors are the easiest to maintain. They aren’t prone to changes in moisture and temperature and many come with a water-resistant design. You’ll find many boast a scratch resistant design too, so they are especially well suited to homes with children and pets.

Engineered wood floors are easier to maintain than solid wood floors. However, you do need to be careful to ensure they don’t get too wet. They also don’t provide the same level of scratch protection as laminate floors.

Is Laminate Flooring or Engineered Wood Flooring Right For Your Home?

When choosing between engineered wood and laminate flooring, it’s important to consider the following:

  • Your budget
  • Where the floor will be installed
  • Durability
  • Installation and maintenance

These are the most important factors to focus on. Your budget will obviously play a role in the type you can afford. However, it’s also worth factoring in where the floor will be installed.

If you’re laying it in a room with high levels of foot traffic, laminate might be the better choice depending upon its quality. Some engineered wood floors are designed with heavy use in mind, but they can be more prone to scratches than laminate. Both engineered and laminate floors aren’t naturally water resistant. However, laminate isn’t going to get as badly damaged as engineered wood if it is exposed to water. Therefore, if you’re fitting the floor in the kitchen for example, laminate would be the better choice.

These are the main differences between laminate and engineered wood flooring. Both come with pros and cons so it’s important to fully compare your options before choosing the best type of floor for the home.

You can view our engineered flooring here: https://storiesflooring.co.uk/collections/engineered-wood-flooring

You can view our laminate flooring range here: https://storiesflooring.co.uk/collections/laminate-flooring