Are you struggling to choose between engineered wood and laminate? We don’t blame you; they’re both amazing options for pretty much every space in the house! But if you’re looking for a way to decide, this guide is for you. We’ll explain the similarities and differences, and pros and cons, of each type of flooring.
What’s the main difference between laminate flooring and engineered wood flooring? You can get all the facts in our ‘What is laminate’ and 'What is engineered wood flooring’ guides, but here’s the gist:
Although superficially similar, engineered wood and laminate differ in several key areas:
Engineered wood lasts longer than laminate flooring, with an expected lifespan of upwards of 35 years when properly cared for and maintained. To find out more about how to look after engineered wood, take a look at our engineered wood care guide. The expected lifespan of laminate flooring tends to be between 10 and 20 years depending on which type you buy, but it can last for much longer when properly cared for, which we explain in our laminate floor care guide.
Engineered wood’s brand-new appearance can be restored by sanding and refinishing, so you’ll have options in years to come should you wish to remove stains or scratches or simply achieve a new look with a different finish or wood stain. This can usually be done up to two or three times. Sanding and refinishing are not possible for laminate.
However, engineered wood is more vulnerable to changes in temperature and humidity, and may need regular waxing depending on the finish. This isn’t necessary with laminate. Laminate flooring requires just a quick sweep and the occasional wipe with a wrung-out, barely-damp mop to stay looking its best.
Both types of flooring can come in ‘click profiles’, which essentially means that they can be installed in the same way, by slotting pieces together like a jigsaw to ‘float’ on top of an existing floor.
boasts incredibly realistic finishes and textures, to give the appearance of a real wood floor, but the style you see is a printed graphic. This allows for a huge variety of different styles and colours to choose from, spanning everything from classic oak laminate flooring to grey herringbone laminate flooring. Meanwhile, engineered wood is a little more limited in style as it is restricted to the types of wood species available; however, you can stain and polish wood to create a new finish should you choose.
Of course, we understand that sometimes the final factor in choosing either laminate or engineered wood flooring can be the cost. Laminate flooring’s ability to offer the look of wood without the price is a key element of its appeal, and in general engineered wood will cost more per square metre. But both options are generally cheaper than real hardwood, stone or tiled flooring and represent very good value for money.
Fitting charges should also be factored in, although, for anyone brave enough to give it a try, you can always fit your own laminate (and engineered wood since it uses similar principles) using our 'How to fit laminate flooring' guide.
If you’re still struggling to choose between laminate and engineered wood, try to pinpoint your priorities.
Still unsure whether laminate or engineered wood is right for you? Why not book a free home visit and talk it through with one of our Floorologists? They’ll bring along a selection of samples to help you decide. Or if you’ve made up your mind to purchase engineered wood or laminate flooring, visit your local Tapi store today.