Laminate vs engineered wood

We ask ourselves many questions when choosing new flooring for our home. Do I need to sacrifice my taste for something practical and easy to manage? Which flooring is going to last the longest? For many of us, it’s a toss-up between paying more for stylish and classic flooring or save some of our hard-earned cash for something more practical, but not as luxurious. The good news is you don’t always need to choose between style and practicality, with so many flooring choices available, there’s no reason you can’t have both! 

A common choice many homeowners face when they’ve narrowed down their options is laminate vs engineered wood flooring. Like anything, they both come with their own positives and negatives – so, let’s dive into both of these fantastic flooring features. 

Let’s start with an old favourite: laminate. It is made using synthetic materials that make up layers, which are then laminated together – a completely man-made product. The layers really help at resisting any excess moisture, making laminate perfect for rooms that experience high exposure to water. However, it is not completely waterproof, so bear this in mind when you’re deciding on where to lay it. 

What’s great about laminate is that it comes in very convincing impressions of real wood, that it’s almost impossible to tell them apart. The realistic look is done through the grains, knots and colour variation, as well as the persuasive textured surface, that it even feels like real wood! You don’t have to stick to the wood look either, laminate that resembles tiles and stones is very popular too. It is also significantly cheaper than natural products, which is always a huge benefit. Incredibly easy to clean, as well as being resistant to scratches and stains. This makes it perfect for busy family households where you just don’t have time to be messing around with a complicated cleaning routine and worrying about damage!

Most laminate manufacturers say that a good quality laminate can last up to 25 years, a considerable amount of time! Once more, laminate is also able to cope with the differing temperatures of underfloor heating, something the modern day is venturing more towards.

Let’s move onto engineered wood, one of the best sellers in the flooring world. Made from natural materials, it can be made up of anything between 3-12 layers, with the inner cores made using hard or soft plywood. The top layer is made from hardwood, then glued onto the top layer. Therefore, through engineered wood, you get the look and feel of a traditional solid floor.

You then might find yourself asking the question: Why would anyone choose engineered wood above solid wood? The two main reasons are that it’s cheaper and compatible with underfloor heating. 

When comparing it to laminate, there are only a few differences which are why people often get stuck trying to decide between the two! Engineered is more expensive, but as a general consensus real wood tends to last longer as it’s a natural product. If you lay real wood in your home, then it will likely last a lifetime if cared for properly. However, this does come at a price, so you get what you pay for.

Although we’d say laminate is generally easier to clean than wood, wood does come with its own practical benefits. If stains and scratches do occur, then it is able to be sanded down a number of times depending on thickness. So, if these are constant threats in your home, then consider purchasing one with a higher thickness. This is not something that can be done with laminate, so although wood is more expensive it can end up lasting longer and paying for itself through this technique. 

It is also worth thinking about the selling value of your home when it is time to move on. Wood flooring is very desirable, so will certainly be a hit with potential buyers and will also increase your home’s price tag. On the other hand, laminate is a well-known and popular choice for first-time buyers and busy households.

Of course, the final decision is up to you. It all depends on your budget, although laminate’s lower price is tempting, you do get a good investment with wood! We hope you’ve found this discussion useful and made a tough decision a little easier. 


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