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Laminate vs Engineered Wood

When it comes to deciding on a new flooring for our home, a lot of factors come into play. Often it becomes a toss-up between different flooring types which is time consuming and rather dull. Well, we’ve done the hard work for you by discussing a common toss up: is laminate or engineered wood better for my home? Of course, it all comes down to personal preference, but sometimes it’s good to have the features of each laid out in front of you so you can make an informed decision. 

Let’s start with an old favourite – laminate! It’s made using synthetic materials that make up layers which are then laminated together. It’s totally man made. The layers are fantastic at resisting moisture, making laminate ideal for rooms that experience high exposure to water. However, it’s not totally waterproof, so make sure that you’ve considered this when deciding on where to lay it.

The best thing about laminate is that it comes in very convincing imitations of natural products such as real wood and stone – it’s almost impossible to tell it apart! The realistic knots and grains as well as colour variation as well as a textured surface are brilliant replications of real wood’s natural elegance. Perhaps laminate’s best feature however is how cheap it is, it’s the ideal option if you like the look of real wood but need something a little more budget friendly. Very easy to clean and maintain, laminate is ideal if you come from a busy family household where there’s lots of spillages!

Most laminate manufacturers say that good quality laminate can last up to 25 years, which is a considerable amount of time! It is also able to cope with the differing temperatures of under-floor heating, something that’s risen hugely in popularity in recent years.

Let’s have a look at engineered wood. One of the best sellers in the flooring world and it’s only more popular. Made from natural materials, it can be made up of anything between 3-15 layers with the inner cores made using hard or soft plywood. The top layer is made from hardwood, then glued. Therefore, you get all the practical benefits of engineered wood, but the gorgeous natural look of solid. This then might lead you to the question: why would anyone ever choose laminate above engineered wood?

Engineered is more expensive, and generally tends to be a lot tougher to maintain than laminate. Engineered wood generally lasts longer than laminate, so you get what you pay for! Laminate is also generally easier to keep clean than wood, which gives you a lot less stress too! Engineered wood will increase the selling value of your home too, as it tends to be popular with buyers.

Of course, the final decision is up to you. It all comes down to budget, although laminate’s cheap price is tempting, you do get a good investment with wood. 

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