I’m looking for new flooring for my loft and I’m overwhelmed with the choices. What is engineered flooring? How is it different than laminate?
– Betsy C.
Engineered flooring typically refers to engineered hardwood flooring. This is a specific product that consists of several layers of wood.
The top layer is the hardwood flooring itself. This is the same as the traditional solid wood flooring. The layers beneath that consist of plywood, high-density flooring, or another core material. There are usually four total layers.
The benefit to engineered wood flooring over solid hardwood is that it is more versatile. It is more durable, stable against moisture, and resilient to climate changes. Coincidentally, these are the same benefits homeowners receive when using laminate flooring.
Laminate vs. Engineered Flooring
Because laminate and engineered flooring look so similar, many people struggle to know which is the right flooring for their home. Here are a few comparisons to help you decide.
Price: Laminate flooring is made using a high-definition print as the top layer. Engineered flooring uses real hardwood. Although they look very similar, the price of engineered flooring is quite a bit higher than laminate because of the extra costly materials.
Radiant Heating Systems: Some engineered flooring is not able to be used with radiant heating systems because it is made out of wood, which makes it a fire risk. Laminate flooring uses a process that makes all styles and brands safe to use on radiant flooring systems.
Wear and Tear: Because the top layer of engineered flooring is hardwood, it reacts to wear and tear the same as solid wood flooring. This means that scratches, dents, dings, and damage are all possible with engineered flooring. Laminate is more durable against damage because of the protective layer that tops the decorative layer.
If you plan to put your flooring in a high traffic area, laminate is the better option. Likewise, if you’re on a budget, laminate is preferred.
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