If you are considering a make over for your house, one of the things you might wish to change is the floor. This is a pretty big decision, especially as the floor is usually one of the most important inversions you will put in your house. If you have decided that you want to save some money and you have excluded solid wood, don’t worry! You still have other alternatives such as engineered wood flooring and laminate flooring. As you may know, both do a fantastic job of imitating a wood surface, but what are the differences between the two? This post may be able to shed some light and help you decide which one is best for you.
Let’s start with the basics, they way these floors are put together. Engineered wood is made of different man-made layers, but is topped with a final layer of solid wood, this is why it can be difficult to tell the difference between the real thing. In the case of laminate floor, similarly to engineered wood, its layer are also man made. But unlike engineered, laminate doesn’t have a real wood layer. Laminate floor does however have four layers, the backing, the core, the image and a protective layer, it is the image that makes laminate look like wood.
Engineered wood, unlike real wood stands up really well to moisture and temperature fluctuations, which makes it easier if you want to install it in the kitchen. The same applies with underfloor heating, engineered wood will tolerate it whereas solid wood won’t. So what about laminate, how does that match? Well, the backing layer mentioned earlier acts as a barrier between the moisture and the rest of the floor, this protects the board if theres a change in the temperature. Meaning that the boards don’t risk becoming warped or contracting, which in turn will ruin them. Laminate is one up ahead of engineered wood in one thing though, it’s waterproof! This means that spillages won’t damage the floor, provided you clean it straight away. For this reason, laminate is a very family friendly floor, especially since children have quite the reputation when it comes to wrecking things.
This resistance to water also makes it easier to maintain the floor, it will always tolerate a bit more water than engineered wood floors. Apart from that, the care required for both floors is very similar, they’re really low maintenance. Regular mopping and occasional vacuuming should be enough to get both floors looking brand new, without having to spend lots of money on some extravagant cleaning product.
When it comes to budget, this is where these floors differ greatly. Yes, both are less expensive than their hardwood counterpart, but engineered wood is significantly more expensive than laminate flooring. The fact is that engineered is not much cheaper than solid wood, this is because it retains some natural material, while laminate is totally synthetic. Yet, laminate flooring replicates different species of wood just as good as engineered wood does. You can find laminate imitating oak, walnut or acacia. As well as in many different shades, colours and styles, making it just as versatile as engineered but cheaper on the pursestrings.
Ultimately the choice is yours, if you want something a bit more expensive but that retains some of the natural materials go for engineered, if you don’t mind to have something more synthetic but more budget friendly, then surely you should go for laminate.