Laminate and engineered wood flooring are two of the most common types of flooring solutions that attempt to mimic the appearance of traditional hardwood floors. However, they are materially distinct both from hardwood and each other, which confers a unique set of advantages to each type of flooring solution. Understanding what both laminate and engineered wood flooring can offer your home can help you choose the best flooring option for your needs.
Laminate flooring is made out of synthetic materials, with the image of real wood imprinted on the surface and a thin, clear layer designed to protect the flooring from wear pressed on top. The main draw of laminate flooring is its low price point, which makes it ideal for any frugal homeowners with tight budgets. Further, laminate flooring is extremely easy to install, especially when compared to other flooring options, since it does not need to be attached to the subfloor and interlocks with itself. Finally, laminate is an extremely durable flooring option, able to withstand general wear and tear and scratches without becoming marred or discolored.
However, laminate flooring is susceptible to warping and damage due to moisture exposure over time, which can make it less than ideal for entrance areas or bathrooms in your home. In addition, while laminate flooring is affordable, it does not add the same amount of value to your home as a hardwood floor would, despite having a similar appearance. Finally, laminate flooring also cannot be refinished; if it becomes damaged, the entire floor will have to be replaced.
Engineered Wood Flooring
Engineered wood flooring is made out of a piece of plywood that has a thin veneer of hardwood glued to the top of it. This provides the appearance of hardwood flooring, as the surface of your floor is actually made out of hardwood, but at a lower price point, since plywood is a fairly affordable material. Because of this, engineered wood floors can add some value to your home. Further, engineered wood can be refinished, though only once or twice, by sanding down the veneer on top and then staining it to hide previous damage.
While engineered wood flooring is more affordable than traditional hardwood flooring, it is more expensive than its laminate counterpart. In addition, it should be noted that engineered wood floors are much harder to install than laminate floors are, as they require a subfloor to be attached to. Finally, since the hardwood layer on top of engineered wood floors is very thin, it can be easily scratched or damaged to show the less aesthetically pleasing plywood underneath.
To learn more about your flooring options, contact a company like McSwain Carpets and Floors.