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Laminate Flooring vs. Engineered Hardwood Flooring

When designing a new space, or renovating an old one, floors are rarely the first thing to come to mind. However, flooring is the one aspect of a space that you interact with on a constant basis every time you walk through the room and genuinely play a larger role than you think.

Deciding on what type of material to use for your flooring is a key aspect of designing a room, but there are a variety of options available. Two of the most popular choices are laminate flooring, a kind of interlocking paneling, and engineered hardwood, which consists primarily of actual wood. Determining which of these options best suits your needs requires some basic understanding of each, so let’s examine them further.

Laminate Flooring

Laminate flooring consists of multiple layers of material that form planks. The bottom layer, also known as a backing layer, protects the subfloor and panel from wear and tear. Sitting atop that, the base layer provides structural support and is the thickest element of the plank. Above that lies the print and wear layers, which provide design appeal and surface protection respectively. These individual planks can be fastened together to create tight well-sealed flooring that rests on top of the underlying floor, creating a “floating floor”‘.

Engineered hardwood flooring is the successor to traditional hardwood, combining a variety of synthetic elements with real natural wood to give the best of both worlds. This flooring element rests atop a layer of solid hardwood, sandwiching plywood planks beneath a top layer of fine hardwood. That top layer is chosen for its beauty and appearance and is sealed with a protective layer of acrylic to keep it looking good for a long time.

To decide which flooring is best for you, its important to determine what your specific needs are beforehand. Laminates and engineered floors can both vary in price from relatively cheap to rather expensive, however, engineered floors tend to have slightly higher prices. Durability between the two types is similar, although hardwood is more susceptible to deep surface scratches.

Water resistance and susceptibility to water damage is a key concern for wooden floor owners. Significant strides have been made in the design of these wooden panels to combat the effects of water damage, but they can still be affected. Laminate floors are more resistant to water than their hardwood counterparts, but only on the surface. If water is able to seep into the sides or underneath, it can cause the tiles to swell and warp. Tiles damaged in this fashion must be replaced entirely, so laminate flooring is best avoided in rooms exposed to regular moist conditions, such as bathrooms. Engineered hardwood is slightly more susceptible to water damage on the surface, but its construction prevents it from warping in humidity and gives it a significant advantage over laminate in high-moisture areas.

No matter which type of flooring you are leaning towards, you can rest assured knowing that both options are at the height of modern technology and are far superior to traditional wooden floors of the past. If you have any questions about flooring options, we invite you to give us a call at 800-689-9006 or email us at We know floor like no one else and we’re happy to lend you a hand!

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