A lot of people confuse the terms “laminate” and “engineered” when talking about flooring, believing that both types are exactly the same. And while it is understandable that these definitions can be used interchangeably, there are great differences between the two.
Laminate flooring is a multi-layer flooring product that is usually 100% synthetic in nature. The inner core of the floor is usually made from a melamine resin or some other type of fiber board material. Above the core layer is a plastic sheet that contains a literal “photograph” of wood grain. Above that is a clear protective layer that seals in the image of the wood and protects it from wear.
An Engineered floor on the other hand, is usually composed of a hardwood (in some cases plywood or High Density Fiberboard) core and a top layer veneer of natural wood such as birch, walnut, pine. This top layer can be finished in a variety of ways, including stain and urethane.
As you can see from the descriptions above, Engineered floors have a true wood top layer as opposed to an image of real wood used in laminate floors. But the differences don’t stop there:
- Engineered floors look more like natural wood flooring because they use an actual wood top layer. Laminate flooring may look good from 10 feet away, but upon even casual examination you can tell it is not real wood.
- Engineered floors can be lightly refinished before the veneer begins to wear down. You simply cannot refinish a laminate floor.
- A well-installed Engineered Floor has better moisture resistance than a laminate floor.
I hope this helps clear things up. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.