Difference Between Laminate Flooring, Engineered Flooring and Real Wood Flooring

Picking the right type of flooring for your home is important because it can cost a lot of money. There are some floors that are more suitable for your home than others. There are also floors that are more suited to light use and floors that can withstand teams of football players stomping across them everyday. Laminate floors, engineered floors and wood floors are the most commonly used flooring types. In this post, we will discuss about the differences among engineered wood flooring, laminate flooring and real wood flooring system under various considerations.

Laminate Flooring

This is a form of durable but affordable flooring that is made of a compressed fiberboard plank. Laminate wood floor is not made of pieces of solid wood; it is made of smaller pieces of wood and glue that have been compressed together; though the actual compression technique is more advanced than it sounds. Laminate flooring is often covered with a photographic image of stone, tile or wood. This protective outlay works to give the floor an aesthetic appeal, and protects the otherwise vulnerable wood from moisture, wear and tear. It is often the cheapest form of flooring, with cheaper versions having a smoother texture. Some of the photographic images can be quite deceptive, though after wear and tear it often looks undesirable and needs to be replaced more than the other forms of laminate flooring. You will find details of laminate floor pros and cons here.

laminate flooring
Laminate flooring
Laminate wood floors vs engineered floors
Laminate flooring

Related: Brick Floor Construction

Engineered Wood Flooring

This is made of several layers and potentially made of several planks that are engineered into solid planks of wood. They often contain three or four layers of wood per plank. They are glued at right angles in order to create a plank of suitable thickness, which is usually around 14mm thick. The wood veneer is real wood, with all the intrinsic qualities of wood. The veneer alone is often around 4mm, which means the floor needs to take significant damage or wear before the other layers are exposed. The veneer is so thick in order to protect the floor, and so that damage to the flooring may be polished or sanded out. If you are looking for a long-term investment, then engineered wood flooring is the best option as over time it is better value for money (as it will not have to be replaced as often).

engineered wood flooring
Engineered flooring
wood floors vs engineered floors
engineered floors vs real wood floors
hardwood floors vs engineered floors vs laminate floors
another visual explanation – solid wood vs engineered wood

Real Wood Flooring

This type of flooring is made of cut and planed wood that is often thicker than engineered or laminate wood. You can sand the original wood back up to its original finish if done cleverly, though replacing pieces of the wood is often difficult. Your best bet, if you do replace planks, is to give the floor a fresh coat of stain or paint in or to return the flooring back to a uniform state. When buying wood flooring, you should look for a hardness score, as this will indicate how easily the wood will scratch or wear away from casual use. It is more expensive than laminate flooring, but will last a lot longer than laminate flooring. It offers a nice middle-ground choice from laminate and engineered wood.

Laminate flooring, engineered flooring and real wood flooring comparison

Your budget will probably dictate which type of flooring you buy. If money is tight, then it may be better to go for laminate flooring. If money is no object, you may choose engineered flooring, with the added benefit being that it will last longer than the others. The differences between laminate flooring, engineered flooring and wood flooring is shown in details below as laminate flooring vs engineered flooring vs wood flooring comparison table.


Laminate Flooring

Engineered Wood Flooring

Wood Flooring

Which is the cheapest?

This is the cheapest to purchase.

This is the most expensive to buy.

This is moderately priced compared to laminate and engineered.

Which lasts the longest?

Despite being usable after many years, it can look tatty far quicker and need replacing.

Engineered wood floors will always outlast its competitors.

It depends on the quality of the wood used, but it definitely outlasts laminate flooring.

Which is the easiest to repair?

Laminate flooring is often easier and cheaper to replace the flooring.

This is the easiest to repair, as it has a veneer that allows damage to be sanded away.

Wood floors can be tricky to repair, and repairs often look obvious when compared with the rest of the floor.

Which takes the best polish?

Polish the floor for a reasonable shine, but it will not compare to engineered or real wood.

In most cases, engineered flooring will take the best polish.

It depends on the type of wood, but if the wood is treated then wood flooring may take a nice polish.


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