Engineered Wood vs Laminate Flooring – What’s the Difference?

Solid timber hardwood flooring always poses an attractive option due to its timeless charm and sleek aesthetic, but the costs can be prohibitive and the material unsuitable for rooms where fluctuations in moisture and temperature are common.

For that reason, many people seek out more affordable and adaptable alternatives. Engineered wood and laminate flooring are two of the most popular options on the market. The two methods do share some characteristics in common, which has led to some buyers mistaking them for the same thing.

In reality, the two approaches are worlds apart with plenty of key differences that shouldn’t be overlooked when weighing up which is best for your property. Here’s a quick breakdown of what each process entails, the distinguishing features of both and the advantages they can bestow upon your household.

What is engineered wood flooring?

Engineered wood flooring is a manmade solution which comprises various (normally seven or eight) layers of plywood beneath a real wood veneer. This upper layer, often referred to as the lamella, makes the finished appearance of the product appear identical to solid hardwood. Meanwhile, the plywood layers beneath are less susceptible to the expansion and contraction which can occur when the temperature and moisture levels in a room rise or fall.

As a result, engineered wood flooring is ideal for bathrooms, kitchens or rooms where underfloor heating (UFH) is installed. Given that they’re less prone to movement than hardwood alternatives, they’re generally more durable and can be refinished multiple times to recapture their former brilliance without any adverse effects. They have an impressive lifespan of up to 75 years.

What is laminate flooring?

Laminate flooring is also a manmade solution which comprises various layers of plastic and wood (normally five or fewer) which are laminated together, giving the solution its name. The uppermost layer is imprinted with a design of the homeowner’s choosing, though the most common option is a wood pattern to replicate the appearance of solid hardwood. While well-made laminates might fool those looking at a photograph, it’s almost always easy to tell the difference in real life.

Laminate flooring is popular due to the lower costs of purchasing the materials. However, it has a far shorter lifespan than engineered wood flooring, meaning it invariably works out as more expensive in the long run. Laminate flooring can last up to a maximum of 20 years, though it’s more likely it will require replacement within five to 10 years.

Which is better for your home?

When it comes to picking between the two styles for your home, it may be tempting to opt for the cheaper laminate flooring choice. However, engineered wood is the advisable choice in almost all situations, since it’s far more durable, kinder to the environment, has a better overall appearance and will increase the resale value of your home more.

Still in doubt about which flooring solution is best for you? Why not give us a call on 0114 258 1256? Our friendly and knowledgeable team are always on hand to answer any questions you might have. Alternatively, you can send us an email at [email protected] and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can.