If you want flooring that looks like solid hardwood but is more reasonably priced, two obvious options are laminate and engineered wood flooring.
Both floor coverings were created as practical and affordable alternatives to solid hardwood flooring, the traditional flooring material. You must balance the benefits and downsides of laminate and engineered wood flooring to make the best choice. Let’s discover the main distinctions between the two of them.
Although laminate flooring has improved at imitating wood and other materials, it will never be a perfect substitute for natural wood. However, embossing imitation wood grain textures on high-quality laminates has improved and become more profound, giving the flooring a far more lifelike appearance.
Additionally, thicker, more expensive 12 mm laminates have persuaded consumers to test the product in pricier homes.
The fact that engineered hardwood flooring has a natural hardwood surface gives it a significant edge over laminate flooring. Even up close, it will always look nicer than laminate.
Best for Appearance: Engineered Wood
Choose one that satisfies your design requirements because both types of flooring are available in hundreds of colors and styles. But engineered wood is the most realistic option because it has a hardwood surface.
Resistance to Heat and Water
Even though certain varieties of laminate are marketed as “water-resistant,” this type of flooring contains a fiberboard core layer that may be harmed if water seeps through the numerous gaps between the boards. However, as long as moisture is removed as soon as it appears, the plastic surface layer is resistant to water damage.
The surface veneer and plywood foundation layers of engineered wood flooring are made of wood, which can swell and distort if wet. Engineered wood flooring is typically coated with a highly durable, waterproof surface sealant.
Best for Resistance to Heat and Water: Tie
Both laminate and engineered wood are preferable to solid hardwood in moist, humid environments, but neither is a terrific option. Even if the surface is well-sealed, moisture can still seep into spaces between engineered wood or laminate boards, causing the organic substrate (plywood or fiberboard) to expand or grow mold. Luxury vinyl or ceramic tile are preferable options for often moist areas. Both types of flooring have respectable heat and sunshine resistance.
Maintenance and Resilience
Since the surface layer of laminate flooring is plastic and can be readily wiped clean, it is the simplest of the two flooring types to maintain. On the other hand, laminate flooring cannot be refinished; instead, it must be removed and replaced when it is severely damaged.
If the flooring has a thick veneer layer, you can refinish it twice or thrice. Engineered hardwood floors are capable of at least one sanding and refinishing.
Best for Maintenance and Durability: Engineered Hardwood
The prefinished engineered hardwood has a highly durable surface finish and can be refinished at least once, but these flooring materials are similarly simple to maintain.
The ease of installation of laminate flooring makes it popular among do-it-yourselfers. The edges of the planks interlock and “float” over a layer of foam underlayment put over the flooring thanks to a special “click-lock” edge treatment designed explicitly for the planks. Laminate flooring can often be installed in a room in one afternoon.
While installing engineered hardwood floors is much simpler than installing solid hardwood, professional installation is more likely to be necessary. Finish nails or staples pushed at an angle through the tongues along the edges of the boards are typically used to blind-nail these floors to the subfloor, much like solid hardwood floors are.
However, these floorings are also available in the floating form and engineered wood floorboards can be installed over a concrete subfloor by being glued down.
Best for Installation Laminate
Of all the flooring options, laminate is one of the simplest for do-it-yourselfers. For simplicity of installation, several types of engineered wood flooring come close.
Since laminate flooring is one of the most economical options, it has a significant advantage. At big-box home improvement stores, laminate flooring can be purchased for $1 to $3 per square foot (but designer designs can cost $10 to $12 per square foot).
Engineered wood flooring costs $4 per square foot on the low end, but the average is closer to $8.
Additionally, expert installation is frequently added to the price of an engineered wood floor, pushing the price over $25 per square foot. On the other side, laminates make DIY installation so simple that you frequently don’t even need assistance from a professional.
Best in terms of cost: Laminate
The primary benefit laminate flooring has over-engineered hardwood flooring is the price.
Depending on the material’s original quality and the amount of wear it endured, laminate flooring is thought to have a lifespan of 10 to 20 years.
Engineered wood flooring has a lifespan that can easily reach 30 years or even more frequently, making it more robust.
Best for Lifespan: Engineered Wood
Engineered wood flooring has a clear benefit over laminate flooring in terms of lifespan, lasting 30 years or more, and having the capacity to be sanded down and refinished.
Very high-end laminate flooring is by no means a disadvantage when it comes to marketing a home; it will go further in terms of resale value in a low to the mid-range house than carpet or vinyl. Laminate flooring will occasionally reduce a home’s value. However, it won’t be regarded as positively as any natural wood.
It’s safe to say that engineered hardwood would be more valuable to prospective buyers than laminate because hardwood often adds the most resale value to a home. Engineered wood might even compete with solid hardwood for prestige, but savvy homebuyers will realize it lacks durability.
Best for Resale Value: Engineered Wood
The majority of potential buyers will see engineered wood flooring as being unquestionably superior to laminate flooring.
Laminate flooring is an attractive option if easy installation at home and affordability are more important to you than aesthetics. But there is no other option if you want the appearance of a natural wood floor: Engineered wood is the way to go. You can trust Columbus flooring city to buy engineered wood flooring in Columbus of high quality at a reasonable price!