Engineered Flooring vs. Laminate Flooring
A+ Hardwood Floors Helps You Pick the Right Flooring
Denver, CO has come to A+ Hardwood Floors when they need assistance buying, installing, and finishing their hardwood flooring. The real help comes when you are making the decision of which style of flooring to choose. There are plenty to choose from so it can quickly become confusing as to which one will meet your needs, wants, and style. Thankfully, your friends in the industry are here to guide you through all of the options to explain the pros and cons of each option. Laminate and engineered flooring are very different, from how they look and are constructed to the installation process.
For over 20 years, we have been the go-to choice when homeowners are looking to update their existing flooring or completely build out in the construction phase. Our professional team members have studied all the available options and will help you choose which one to go with when making your hardwood flooring investment. We make your house look beautiful, keep your family safe, and maintain your flooring for many years. Give us a call today to schedule a consultation, and we will begin to help you with your flooring choices. We also repair existing floors by sanding, re-finishing, or replacing them.
How are Laminate and Engineered Flooring Created?
Hardwood floors can be expensive and hard to maintain, which is why alternative options such as laminated and engineered flooring options were created. This helps those who are remodeling or building on a budget, as both are good options when all-natural hardwood flooring is just a bit outside your range. Below are how each are manufactured:
Laminate: This multileveled plank has very little actual hardwood inside of it. There are four different levels pressed together within each plank. The bottom level, the backing, is resistant to moisture and serves as the foundation. On top of this level is the inner core, which is generally consists of a high-density fiberboard strengthened by use of resin. The next layer is what you will see once installed and gives the appearance of natural wood. You can find many different species of wood to help match your aesthetic. This is a high-quality image, but you will find some of the planks are repeated images, so you will want to be careful how close you install those to help give the illusion of traditional looking and individual wood pieces. This option is much thinner than natural planks and even engineered planks.
Engineered: Also known as man-made hardwood flooring because of how it’s manufactured. It is also the closet to natural hardwood you can get while staying within budget. It was developed to look and feel like natural planks for hardwood floors, but designed to handle some of its flaws, such as moisture and warping issues. The bottom and core layers of engineered wood are composed of three to twelve layers of compressed materials like unfinished hardwood, fiberboard, and plywood. After it is shaped, a thin layer of natural wood is placed on top to give you the traditional look of old-fashioned hardwood floors.
Difference Between Laminate and Engineered Flooring
There are many different options you will encounter when trying to decide which one is best for you. Two of the more known and used options are laminate and engineered hardwood flooring. Both offer different pros and cons. Depending on your needs and wants, this conversation will help us decide which to use in your Denver, CO home. To help give you a better idea of what makes these two choices so different, we have gone over them below:
While still considered a hardwood floor, it is kind of misleading because there is only a thin strip of wood bonded or laminated to a resin-based surface. The wood core could also be either high-density fiberboard or compressed Kraft paper. The laminated strip is made to give the appearance of hardwood, but if you are looking for a more natural beauty, then this option isn’t for you. Its bottom layer was constructed to help with the installation, but if not placed properly, your room can face peaking. This is when two boards start to push into one another creating peak instead of a flat surface. When there is not enough room between each piece they can slowly rise where they connect and be dangerous when walking on them. They use a tongue-and-groove installation method. This makes them easy enough for the average DIY-er to install on their own.
Also constructed with layers, this type of hardwood alternative actually uses hardwood in its manufacturing. It was created to help tackle the known issues with traditional hardwood flooring such as warping from moisture exposure. The top layer of engineered hardwood is thin cut of natural wood to give you a better appearance and the core and bottom layers use compressed unfinished hardwood, plywood, and fiberwood. There could be anywhere from three to twelve layers of these products within each plank. This type of flooring is perfect for basements as well as any other floor of you home because of its resiliency to moisture. It also costs much less than traditional hardwood, making it the perfect choice for those seeking for a new flooring option in remodel or construction. You’ll also be helping the environment because the trees used to manufacture these planks grow much faster than traditionally sourced trees such as pine, oak, maple, and more.
Care and Maintenance for Laminated and Engineered Flooring
Taking care of hardwood flooring has its hardships, but once you make the investment, you will be glad you did. There are many advantages to bringing hardwood into the home, even the alternative choices of laminated or engineered hardwood. Below are some of the advantages and disadvantages to cleaning and maintaining the integrity of your new hardwood alternative flooring options:
Pros – Incredibly smooth top layer makes it easy to clean and hard for dust to gather, which is beneficial to those with allergies. It also is incredibly easy to wipe clean with a paper towel or kitchen towel. And since it is a manufactured top layer, it is more durable than most natural planks, making it easier to move furniture around without worry of damage.
Cons – Like its natural counterpart, it is susceptible to water damage, so using steam and wet mop options are out when trying to clean. You will also need special cleaning products because of the top layer’s protective recoating. Not using the approved cleaners can quickly wear down the primary layer and can lead to needing a replacement prematurely, costing you more money in the long run.
Pros – Like the laminated option, homeowners who suffer from allergies will love this flooring options thanks to its ability to not trap in allergens and dust. And since it was manufactured to be better than its natural counterpart, you are able to use a mop on it. It is still best practice not to allow standing water on the surface, so make sure you get it dried quickly.
Cons – Engineered hardwood flooring also will require special cleaning products. You will also need to vacuum and sweep at least once a week to help with dirt that may have found its way into the wood inconsistencies or irregularities. You will also want to equip all of your furniture with pads to prevent their legs from causing damage when moving them around the kitchen, living, or family room.
Why Choose Either Option Over Hardwood?
While these flooring options have their pros and cons, they both have some advantages over going with a traditional hardwood floor when remodeling or building in your Denver, CO home. The biggest benefit they hold over the natural option is price. Since they are constructed from cheaper materials, they will cost you less when needing them installed by a professional. You will spend 50% less on laminate flooring than natural hardwood flooring. Engineered hardwood also comes at a lower price than traditional and has added benefits such as better moisture control to alleviate worry after certain spill scenarios. Hardwood, while beautiful, can be more difficult to maintain since you shouldn’t use wet mops to clean and you have worry about spills getting into the planks through the spaces. With either laminate or engineered, you get the same beauty offered by natural and more selection, but much easier maintenance. It can also be installed anywhere in the home, thanks to its moisture control capabilities. Your allergies will thank you as well thanks to their ultra-flat surface. Since hardwood is natural, there is a chance for unevenness depending on how well it was installed. While it may not seem true, engineered is actually the “greenest” option when thinking of the environment thanks to the trees being utilized. They are able to be replenished much quicker than birch, oak, maple, pine, and more.
Ready to Purchase? Reach Out to A+ Hardwood Floors
If you are considering adding a new floor to your home and want the look of natural wood, but are on a budget, consider calling A+ Hardwood Floors to explore our engineered hardwood flooring options. You can have it all when it comes to this option and our team of experts is ready to help you make your flooring investment and get it installed. Whether you want it in the basement, office, kitchen, or more we can help you achieve all of your home goals and give you a flooring you can be proud of every time you walk across it.