Laminate Flooring vs Engineered Hardwood – The Pros and Cons

Laminate flooring and Engineered Hardwood floors are very similar, and often get confused, but there are some key differences to take into consideration when comparing the two floors. The main difference between the two floors is that engineered hardwood floors have an actual hardwood surface, but structurally, they are very similar to a laminate. See how each type of flooring is made here laminate and engineered hardwoods.

Price of Laminate Flooring vs Engineered Hardwood

Both laminate and engineered hardwood flooring are available in a variety of price structures from bargain prices to luxury styles. Prices usually rise for laminates with higher AC ratings, added technology, spill protection, and surface textures.

Engineered floors will have a higher price depending on the top wood veneer thickness, style, species and brand.

If price plays a role in your decision, engineered hardwood flooring will generally be a higher price, but it is not always the case. Compare all of the factors between the two options before making a final decision.

Appearance of Laminate Flooring vs Engineered Hardwood

Engineered hardwood floors give the look of a hardwood floor and come in a range of looks, textures, styles and colors. If you’re set on having a real hardwood look, an engineered hardwood is an easier installation and more affordable price point than a solid hardwood.

With innovative technologies being used, the laminate industry has become more sophisticated with floor looks and closely mimic hardwood floors. Completely natural looking reclaimed collections and highly textured laminates are now available.

If looks are important to you, we recommend comparing your favorite samples and deciding which look you like best.


Laminates and Engineered Hardwoods are made very similarly, making them both a very durable product. The major difference between laminates and engineered hardwood durability will be the surface durability. Since engineered hardwoods have a real hardwood veneer, they are more susceptible to surface scratches, dents and expansion; however, most of these floors with come with a protective top layer to help protect against wear.

Laminates contain an Aluminum Oxide surface layer that protects against fading, spills, stains and scratching.

Ease of Installation

Both laminate flooring and engineered hardwood floors can be floated with a DIY, click and lock installation. This is the only option of installation for a laminate floor, however, an engineered hardwood floor can also be installed with a glue-down or nail/staple option.

One major difference is the subfloor requirements. A laminate floor can be floated over almost all flooring, except carpet. An engineered hardwood needs a more stable and structurally sound subfloor, such as an OSB or concrete subfloor. It can be floated over existing hardwoods, but not other flooring substrates.

Click here to learn more about laminate flooring installation or engineered hardwood installation.

Ease of Cleaning

Hands down, laminates are an easier floor option when it comes to cleaning. As far as engineered flooring, you’ll want to follow hardwood floor care guides. Both flooring types require regular maintenance of sweeping, vacuuming and cleaning up spills.

Laminates are stain resistant to many household chemicals, including acetone, red wine, coffee, etc. With engineered hardwoods, spills and chemicals can affect the flooring negatively due to the hardwood veneer.

Laminate versus Engineered Hardwood

Choosing between laminate and engineered hardwood flooring is not easy. Depending on your needs, both types of flooring will provide you with a stylish and durable look for years to come.

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