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Comparison

Discover what the differences are between laminate and engineered wood flooring below

Written by: Yarl Christie

Published on: August 23, 2022

Engineered Wood Vs Laminate Flooring

Of all the flooring options available these days, engineered hardwood and laminate are the most popular. While completely different from each other, both options offer several benefits for customers.

Chene Hampton Rustic Glaze Brushed Distressed Engineered Oak Flooring By Stories FlooringProduct: Chene Hampton Rustic Glaze Brushed Distressed Engineered Oak Flooring

In this post, we will take a look at the differences between laminate and engineered hardwood flooring so you can make an informed choice.

What is Engineered Wood Flooring Made From?

Engineered hardwood boasts a multi-layer construction and has a top layer of solid wood. The core comprises several layers of top-quality plywood fused in a criss-cross pattern for added strength and stability.

Engineered Wood Vs Laminate Flooring Construction - How Engineered Wood Flooring Planks Are Made

What is Laminate Flooring Made From?

Laminate is a synthetic, multi-layer flooring material. The top surface has a high-resolution graphic image of wood that is pasted over the core. The core is constructed by combining multiple layers of fibre board and melamine resin.

Engineered Wood Vs Laminate Flooring Construction - How Laminate Flooring Planks Are Made

Which is Waterproof?

Neither engineered wood nor laminate floors are waterproof. However, it is possible to find waterproof laminate flooring if you shop around.

Quick-Step Impressive Classic Oak Natural IM1848 Laminate Flooring Installed In A BathroomProduct: Quick-Step Impressive Classic Oak Natural IM1848 Laminate Flooring

Engineered wood floors are slightly water resistant, which means they can be installed in areas such as the kitchen. However, they should never be installed in the bathroom or other high-moisture settings.

Comparing Durability

Both engineered wood and laminate floors are quite durable, with many manufacturers offering decades of warranty on their products. However, engineered hardwood planks can be easily restored by sanding and refinishing them without having to remove even a single plank.

Kahrs Grande Casa Oak 201XCDEKF0KE280 Engineered Wood FlooringProduct: Kahrs Grande Casa Oak 201XCDEKF0KE280

Spot repairing is simply not possible with laminate. Once the surface is chipped, scratched or faded, you cannot simply refurbish. Instead, you would need to replace the entire plank or floor. So, engineered wood floors do come out on top in terms of durability, but laminate floors can still last for many years with minimal maintenance.

Installing Engineered Wood vs Laminate Flooring

Laminate flooring is generally easier to install than engineered wood. This is because it mostly laminate floors comes with click system installation. The planks and tiles click together for a fast and easy fit. You won’t need any prior floor fitting experience to install laminate flooring.

Installing Laminate Flooring Vs Engineered Wood Flooring

While some newer engineered wood floors do come with a click system, most feature tongue and groove installation. This is still fairly simple to do by yourself, but it does take a little more effort. You can find out more information on how to install engineered wooden flooring here.

Room Suitability

Laminate and engineered wood floors can be installed in the same type of room. However, as you can find waterproof laminate ranges, some can be installed in bathrooms and moisture-prone environments.

Hydro Click Georgiana Victorian Tile WR10131Product: Hydro Click Georgiana Victorian Tile WR10131

Engineered wood floors cannot be installed in the bathroom, basement, conservatory, or other high-moisture areas.

Comparing Insulation

Engineered wood floors are slightly quieter underfoot than laminate. You can reduce the amount of sound from laminate flooring by installing a sound-reducing underlay. Both types of flooring can be installed with underfloor heating systems, increasing their comfort and warmth underfoot.

Engineered Wood vs Laminate Styles & Effects

Engineered wood floors come in a wide range of styles and effects. As they contain a real wood top layer, they produce the same looks as solid wood flooring. The different effects and finishes to choose from include lacquered, oiled, brushed, and handscraped.

Atkinson Kirby Winchester PAR3004 Engineered Wood FlooringProduct: Atkinson Kirby Winchester PAR3004 Engineered Wood Flooring

Laminate also provides a wood effect, and a hyper-realistic photo layer produces similar looks to engineered wood. However, you also have additional options with laminate, including stone and abstract effect designs.

Both options also offer a variety of laying patterns including parquet, Versailles, Herringbone, and Chevron. These striking patterns add elegance and a luxury touch to the home.

Comparison Table

Engineered Flooring Laminate Flooring
Construction Multi-layered with a real wood surface and plywood core Multi-layered synthetic floor with a melamine resin and fibre board core
Waterproof No Waterproof varieties are available
Durability Can last up to 30+ years Can last up to 30+ years
Installation Tongue & groove, click system or Gluedown Click installation
Room Suitability Kitchen, basement, conservatory, lounge, dining room, hallway, bedroom All rooms except the bathroom (unless installing waterproof laminate)
Insulation Quieter to walk over, suitable for use with underfloor heating Warm underfoot, produces some noise which can be limited with a sound reducing underlay. Can be installed with underfloor heating
Effects & Finishes Wood effects Wood effects, abstract designs, stone effects
Laying Patterns Plank, Herringbone, Chevron, Versailles & Basket-Weave Plank, Herringbone, Chevron, Versailles & Basket-Weave

Conclusion

There are advantages and disadvantages to both engineered wood and laminate flooring. The above are some of the main differences to consider when trying to decide which one would work better in your home. If you still can’t decide which one to invest in, call our friendly flooring experts now to go through your options.

Further Browsing

You can purchase engineered hardwood flooring here.

You can purchase laminate flooring here.

Read more about the pros and cons of engineered wood flooring here.

About The Author

Yarl Christie

Yarl is the Managing Director of Stories Flooring. started his career in the flooring industry by becoming a floor fitter at the age of 18 (2004). Yarl finally decided to move with the times and set up an online flooring store (Flooring Yorkshire, 2018). He works closely with the business managers and resource team to source new products from wholesalers, which in turn brings down the sale price. This enables Stories Flooring to be one of the leading UK flooring retailers.