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Engineered Wood vs Laminate

Engineered wood and laminate flooring are both popular choices for homeowners looking for durable and attractive flooring options. While they may look similar, there are key differences between the two.

Engineered wood flooring.

Engineered wood flooring is made from real wood. It consists of multiple layers of wood veneer stacked and bonded together under heat and pressure. The top layer, known as the wear layer, is made of high-quality hardwood, providing the authentic appearance of solid wood. The middle and bottom layers are usually made of plywood or high-density fibreboard (HDF). This construction makes engineered wood flooring more stable and less prone to shrinking or expanding due to changes in temperature and humidity.

Distressed Wood Flooring

Laminate flooring.

On the other hand, laminate flooring is a synthetic product that replicates the appearance of wood. It consists of several layers fused under high pressure. The top layer of laminate flooring is a clear, protective layer that features a high-resolution photograph of wood grain or other materials. This layer gives laminate flooring its realistic look. Beneath the top layer, there is a layer of high-density fibreboard (HDF) or medium-density fibreboard (MDF), which provides structure and stability. The bottom layer is a backing layer that offers additional support and moisture resistance.

Children drawing whilst sitting on Laminate Flooring

The Differences.

One of the main differences between engineered wood and laminate flooring is the material used. Engineered wood is made from real wood, while laminate flooring is a synthetic product. This difference gives engineered wood flooring a more authentic and natural appearance. The top layer of engineered wood can be sanded and refinished, providing homeowners with the option to refresh the surface and remove scratches or dents over time. In contrast, laminate flooring cannot be sanded or refinished.

Another difference lies in the installation process. Engineered wood flooring is typically installed using a tongue-and-groove system, where the planks are interlocked and glued down or floated over an underlayment. This type of installation is best performed by professionals. In contrast, laminate flooring can be installed using a floating system, where the planks are clicked together and laid over an underlayment, making it a more DIY-friendly option.


In terms of durability, engineered wood flooring can be more resistant to scratches and dents compared to laminate flooring. However, laminate flooring is generally more moisture-resistant, making it a suitable choice for bathrooms, kitchens, and other areas prone to humidity.

While both engineered wood and laminate flooring offer a range of benefits, they are distinct in terms of materials, installation methods, appearance, maintenance, and durability. Choosing between the two ultimately depends on personal preferences, budget, and the specific needs of the space in which it will be installed.

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