When planning a refurbishment, homeowners often have a choice between laminate and engineered wood / timber. The difference is confusing and you may find it difficult to figure out the best option for your home. To simplify it for you, we have listed the differences to enable you to make an informed decision. Let us gather an understanding of the basic differences between the two.
Engineered Wood Flooring:
Engineered wood / timber flooring consists of a thin layer of natural wood / timber above the plywood. This top layer is 100 per cent wood / timber while the base layers are quality plywood. As a result, it is more closely related to solid hardwood than laminate. It is more stable than solid wood / timber due to the arrangement of the plywood layers in a perpendicular manner. Depending on the thickness, engineered wood / timber can be about 25% natural wood / timber. However, due to the presence of the thin veneer, it can be refinished only a few times. Again, the veneer with its patterns is unique and cannot be compared to the artificial images on laminate.
While the price is high, the resale value of engineered wood / timber is high too. Engineered wood / timber can be conveniently installed in any room except areas highly prone to moisture. However, since wood / timber is a poor thermal conductor, the surface is warmer. With the increase in its popularity, engineered wood / timber is highly valued by builders and designers. In fact, it is believed to be on par with solid hardwood.
Laminate flooring consists of a superior quality image of wood / timber, integrated to a fibreboard along with a sturdy transparent wear layer. Even though laminate wood / timber consists of wood / timber fibres, they are not in their natural state. A laminate floor is in fact, made up of a variation of wood / timber. While laminate is not water-proof, it is moderately water-resistant and when installed well the top sheet can serve as a waterproof layer. However, if the water infiltrates, the lower layers swell up and the laminate will not shrink back to its original form.
Since laminate is thinner, it is possible for cold to easily pass through. A foam underlayment makes the floor comparatively softer. The top layer of the flooring is durable and is resistant to sharp scratches. Laminate cannot be refinished but scratches can be filled on a spot-by-spot basis. The resale value of laminate is moderate but in recent years laminate is emerging with amazing variations that not only look but feel like wood / timber. The thicker version of laminate is gaining popularity too.