Wood Flooring Laminate VS Engineered Wood Flooring: What's The Difference?

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If you want flooring that looks like hardwood but costs less, you can choose either laminate flooring or engineered wood flooring. Each of these options has their own individual qualities, benefits and drawbacks. Here are some things you should know about each type of flooring material to decide which one will be better for your home.

How Are Engineered Flooring and Laminate Flooring Different?

Engineered wood flooring is made with a bottom layer of plywood, followed by a top layer of fine hardwood with a veneer surface. That way, it looks and feels like hardwood flooring, but does not come with the cost of solid hardwood. Laminate flooring does not include any type of hardwood material. Instead, it is made with a thin layer of wood board that is finished to look like real wood grain. It also has an additional protective layer on top.

Are Either of Them Real Wood?

Neither is considered to be real wood, but engineered flooring comes very close. There is a thin layer of the veneer skin, which is technically made from hardwood, but it is such a thin layer, it is hardly considered real wood flooring. Most of the layers are made of plywood, which is not a natural type of wood. Laminate flooring does not contain any real wood.

What is the Cost Difference?

If you are on a budget, you will certainly want to go with the laminate wood flooring option. It is one of the least expensive wood alternatives available. Engineered wood flooring is also less expensive than hardwood flooring, but still more expensive than laminate. Some laminate flooring can be higher in price, depending on its appearance and quality, so keep that in mind.

How Well Do They Resist Moisture?

Laminate wood flooring has a moderate water-resistance quality. The installation quality can determine how well it resists moisture. If you have a professional install it and they are able to eliminate all seams, then it will provide a good shield against moisture. Engineered wood flooring is also good with moisture-resistance – slightly better than laminate flooring. Since it has multiple layers of plywood at its base, it can resist moisture very well.

Can They be Refinished?

Only engineered wood flooring has the option of being refinished or repaired. If the wood grain starts to fade or you need to have it refinished due to minor repairs, you will be able to do so. However, you can only refinish a few times before you must replace it. Laminate floor can't be refinished, so you will need to replace it if there are deep stains, fading, or repairs to be done.

Speak with experts like Empire Hardwood Floors for more information.

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