We have previously discussed the difference between a solid and engineered hardwood floor. However, there is a third option we did not discuss; laminate. Laminate can catch a bad rap in the flooring world, especially when compared to solid plank floors. A good way to look at it is on a scale, with solid hardwood at the fully natural end, and laminate being on the synthetic end, with engineered in the middle. So, for the sake of argument, you’ve decided to avoid solid hardwood, leaving engineered and laminate flooring as your options. What is the difference between these two options, and is either one better than the other? The Hardwood Perfect Flooring team has some tips to help you make an informed decision.
A top option for those looking for an alternative to tile or hardwood, laminate is the chameleon of the flooring world. Laminate, due to its synthetic nature, can actually be made to appear as any sort of flooring, from wood to tile and those options in between. Contrary to what many believe, laminate flooring is not made of plastic, but rather is comprised of pressed wood board and finished with an image of wood (or tile or any other option) on top to present the illusion that it is something else. Due to its versatility, laminate is a great choice if you are looking for replacement flooring with a modifiable look with less cost.
Our middle-ground candidate is engineered hardwood. Taking from its namesake, this type of flooring is engineered and is made to give the impression, look, and feel of hardwood without the full construction of wood planks. The main component of engineered hardwood is layering of plywood and unfinished wood, often alternating and cross-laid. What makes it hardwood, however, is the topper. This type of flooring is often finished with a veneer of the desired type of wood, which can range in thickness from under a millimeter to roughly six millimeters. The thicker the veneer, the more your engineered hardwood will run you. The use of engineered hardwood is that it is a hybrid of solid hardwood and laminate flooring. With a top layer of wood, the aesthetic gives a full-blown hardwood feeling, while the construction gives it more resistance to water and moisture conditions which can impact solid hardwood.
So, What’s the Difference?
There are some important points to consider when making this decision. First is that you do, indeed, get what you pay for. Laminate is almost always going to be the more cost-effective option. However, any damage, scratches, or chipping cannot be refinished, which means you’ll either need to live with it, redo a piece of your floor, or replace it in its entirety. Engineered presents a middle ground between solid hardwood and laminate, giving some of the pros and cons from both alternatives in one package, but does call for more expenditures.
Whatever your flooring needs, Hardwood Perfect Flooring is here to help. From choosing the right flooring to installation to refinishing, our team can guide you through the whole process. Give us a call and see why our experience is the best in New York City!