Engineered Hardwood vs Laminate Flooring
Engineered hardwood and laminate plank flooring are two flooring types that tend to get used interchangeably because of their similarities. While both floors have that beautiful wood like design, there are key differences between them. We want to break down the differences to help make your decision easier.
Things to Know about Engineered Hardwood
Let’s start with engineered hardwood. Engineered hardwood is made up of a thin veneer top layer of solid wood. The base of an engineered hardwood product is composed of man-made materials. Cheaper engineered wood will have a plywood core and backing. Rigid core waterproof engineered hardwood will have a stone plastic composite core and an attached underlayment. The SPC core makes the plane both waterproof and ultra-durable. Waterproof cores are an exciting new development in an engineered hardwood, but you can still opt for a plywood core if you don’t want all those bells and whistles. Some engineered wood can be refinished. It depends on the manufacturer’s instructions. It is important to always check your instructions before refinishing engineered wood, as doing so could potentially damage the product.
Is Laminate Better or Worse?
Now let’s talk about laminate. Laminate flooring is still technically a wood floor as the particle board contains wood fibers. Laminate planks are typically comprised of four layers.
The backing layer, which is the base of the plank;
The core, which gives the board’s durability. This layer is typically made of compressed high-density fiberboard and is resistant to water, but not necessarily waterproof;
The image layer. This allows the floor to mimic stone, wood or even metal
And, finally, the wear layer that protects your floors from surface scratches, dents and staining. It provides the realistic look and feel of the floor.
So how do these two floors match up?
In terms of durability laminate boasts a sturdy scratch resistant wear layer. These tough floors can withstand heavy foot traffic and are becoming more resistant to moisture. It used to be that you wouldn’t put laminate in a bathroom or kitchen, but now there are many new water resistant and waterproof laminate products hitting the market. Engineered wood is also making big strides in terms of moisture resistance. In fact. engineered wood planks with SPC cores are completely waterproof. That means you can install engineered wood in all areas of the home. The SPC core also stands up to wear and tear like a champ.
Moving on to pricing. Laminate is less expensive than engineered hardwood. In fact, laminate is one of the most affordable wood looking flooring options out there. Engineered hardwood is more expensive, but it comes with the bonus of increasing your home’s resale value. As far as looks go laminate has come a long way in offering a variety of prints, but engineered hardwood contains that solid hardwood top layers, making it as close to real wood as you can get.
To summarize this, laminate is durable, affordable and is becoming more and more water resistant. Engineered wood has a higher price tag, but that comes with the real wood veneer, and if you purchase rigid core flooring, a waterproof core. In the end, we know, you’re going to love whatever you choose.
If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to us via contact form, live chat or give us a call at (310) 356-0024. We’d be happy to help.