This is a common question: which is best, engineered or laminate flooring. The immediate answer to the question is that both of them are equally perfect in their own way and for their own use:
Both are alternates for Solid wood floors, both move (expand and contract) less than solid wood and both look nice! However like everything, they have their pro’s and con’s.
What laminate flooring is:
Laminate flooring is basically a photograph of a hardwood plank, laminated and stuck onto composite wood material, yes, underneath it is real wood.
The benefits of laminate flooring are:
The price: Definitely cheaper than Engineered
The Durability: whilst an engineered wood floor is vulnerable to damage from things like high heels etc, laminated flooring has a much harder surface, and scratches do not ruin the effect either – within reason.
The Range: laminate flooring can be a picture of anything. This means that you can have a marble-like palatial floor, on the budget of a palatial servant.
The downsides of laminate flooring are:
It is not real wood. A fake wood floor, even if it replicates a gorgeous Rs600/- square foot oak wood floor.
Non-Repairable: Laminate flooring cannot be sanded down and refinished. Thus laminate flooring is unlikely to be a floor for life.
What engineered flooring is:
Engineered flooring is a hardwood plank, laid on top of ply-boards.
The benefits of engineered flooring are:
The Durability: Engineered flooring is practically a hardwood floor. It can be resanded and refinished a varying number of times (depends on thickness of wood layer) to prolong the life. It can also be waxed or lacquered to protect it from damage, which also prolongs the life. The life can also be prolonged by caring properly for the floor, which is the same way as one would care for a solid hardwood floor.
In fact engineered flooring is even more suitable than a solid wood floor in a certain set of circumstances: in areas of high humidity (basements etc).Engineered flooring is much more pliable, so it can expand and contract with changes in the air, without much trouble.
Looks Like Real Thing: as you have probably gathered by now, engineered flooring is about as close as you can get to a solid wood flooring. In fact, to the untrained eye it is practically impossible to tell that it is not the real deal.
So, who wins the Laminate Flooring Vs Engineered flooring battle?
As I said at the beginning, both are perfect in their own ways for people with different circumstances:
For people who have dogs, are on a really limited budget and/or do not own/plan to change the floor in 5-10 yrs, then laminate is going to be their best option.
Meanwhile for someone who has their heart set on a real wood floor, and who doesn’t have dogs, then engineered flooring is the perfect package for you. And in case you have a dog and still want a real wood floor, make sure you trim the nails!!