Date: 05.03.2024
Author: Karen Healy
Category: Buying Guide


The Difference Between Engineered and Laminate Flooring

When it comes to choosing the right flooring for your home, there are so many options to consider. Should you choose solid hardwood or engineered hardwood, or laminate flooring? While solid hardwood is a strong option, engineered hardwood and laminate have their advantages too. But let us explain engineered wood flooring vs laminate flooring and unravel the key distinctions between the two. 


Engineered Wood Flooring vs Laminate Flooring: The 7 Key Differences



If you’re unsure what the comparison between the two is, let us explain


1. Construction and Materials

Engineered wood flooring and laminate flooring differ significantly in construction, and the materials used in each type of flooring ultimately determine their overall quality and performance. Laminate, a synthetic product, combines compressed wood fibres, resin, and a high-resolution wood grain image. Laminate flooring mimics the appearance of real wood through advanced printing technology, achieving an impressive authenticity. In contrast, engineered wood features multiple layers of real wood with a solid hardwood top layer, offering an authentic look and feel.  



2. Durability and Lifespan

When it comes to durability and lifespan, there is gap between engineered wood flooring and laminate flooring. Laminate flooring typically has an average lifespan of 15 to 20 years. Although it can withstand daily wear and tear, it may not hold up as well in high-traffic areas or with excessive moisture exposure. 

On the other hand, engineered wood flooring is known for its exceptional durability and moisture resistance. With proper care and maintenance, it can last for 30 years or more. The solid hardwood top layer provides added strength and longevity, making it a great investment for homeowners looking for a long-lasting flooring option.



3. Appearance and Authenticity

In terms of aesthetics, engineered wood and laminate flooring offer distinct experiences. Laminate, utilising advanced printing, can convincingly mimic real wood patterns and textures. However if you’re looking for true authenticity, engineered wood is the way to go. With a genuine wood veneer on top, it not only looks but feels luxurious underfoot. You can actually see and feel the grain patterns and knots that make each plank unique, adding a touch of sophistication to your home. When it comes to authenticity, engineered wood flooring truly stands out.



4. Scratch Resistance

Let’s take a moment to address the myth about engineered wood floors being more prone to scratches. It’s important to clarify that engineered wood flooring and laminate flooring (and solid hardwood, for that matter) can all develop scratches. 

However, engineered wood flooring, with its solid hardwood top layer, can often provide a higher level of scratch resistance compared to laminate flooring. And while no flooring is entirely scratch-proof, following proper maintenance routines minimizes risks. Using furniture pads, avoiding dragging heavy objects, and regularly cleaning the wood floor will give optimal results.



5. Maintenance and Care

Maintenance approaches diverge between engineered wood and laminate flooring. Laminate can be sensitive to moisture and potential fading so it requires careful attention. Regular cleaning with a damp cloth and avoiding excessive water exposure are crucial. 

However, engineered wood, which, as mentioned, is more resistant to dents and scratches, only needs regular sweeping or vacuuming, along with the use of a wood floor cleaner. So, if you’re looking for a flooring option that is easier to maintain and more resistant to damage, again engineered wood flooring wins out.



6. Cost Comparison

Considering cost is crucial when selecting flooring for your new build or home upgrade and laminate flooring is generally the more cost-effective choice over engineered wood flooring, especially for those on a strict budget. However, it’s important to keep in mind the long-term value that engineered wood flooring can bring. While the initial investment may be higher, the durability and authentic appeal of engineered wood flooring can potentially increase the resale value of your home.

But let us tell you something: engineered wood flooring can be budget-friendly, too. We here at Wood Flooring Ireland can give you quality engineered flooring at a lower cost. With no overheads, we can offer wholesale prices directly to you. Don’t settle for laminate; our wood flooring options are the ideal choice.



7. Installation Process

The installation process differs between laminate and engineered wood flooring. Laminate flooring offers click-lock and glue-down methods, catering to DIY enthusiasts. Click-lock allows quick and easy interlocking, while glue-down provides a more permanent installation. 

On the other hand, engineered wood installation involves bonding to the subfloor using adhesive or fastening with nails or staples. Precision and skill are crucial, making it suitable for professional installation or experienced DIYers. However, regardless of your choice, proper installation is paramount for both laminate and engineered wood to prevent issues like warping or gaps between planks. We recommend always employing a professional to install your flooring. 



Upgrade Your Home with Engineered Wood Flooring from Wood Flooring Ireland



Choosing the right wood flooring is pivotal for your home, and understanding the differences between engineered and laminate flooring helps you make an informed decision. We’ve explored construction, durability, appearance, subfloor requirements, maintenance, cost, and installation processes for both types.

Both laminate and engineered can be excellent choices for your home. And you don’t have to sacrifice quality for price when you don’t have to. Flooring from us is budget-friendly and superior. So, browse our selection of Laminate, Plank, Herringbone and Chevron flooring and get a free sample, or if you know your room measurements, order online now! 


You may also like

5 Considerations When Searching for a Flooring Contractor
Buying Guide
Just bought wood flooring for your home and are looking for a flooring
Learn more
Engineered Flooring: The Most Popular Flooring for New Homes
Buying Guide
If you’re looking for the best flooring for new homes, look no further
Learn more
Is Engineered Wood Flooring Eco-Friendly?
Buying Guide
Is engineered wood flooring sustainable? Find out how eco-friendly engineered hardwood flooring is
Learn more