Laminate or Engineered Flooring: Which one really is the Top Dog between the two?
“Do I choose a laminate floor or an engineered oak floor?”. This is a question that has been wracking the brains of home owners and business owners alike for many years. In recognition of that, allow this article to serve as the final chapter in your quest for the answer.
While most would claim there is no real difference between the two in terms of their overall usefulness, each flooring choice has its own reason for why it is chosen over others but only one can truly be superior.
Let us define the two:
Laminate flooring also known as floating wood tile (primarily within the United States of America) is made up of four layers, namely; the wear layer, inner core layer, backing layer and photographic image layer. The Photographic image layer is where the high resolution of wood appears, the laminate floor can have any image placed on it to fit the client’s preference.
Engineered oak flooring on the other hand consists of about 3 to 12 layers of plywood which are bonded together. The face layer of solid oak is what is seen by individuals and is the part adhered to the core. The board is designed in a way meant to counteract the usual tendency of hardwoods to expand or contract depending on which environment it is placed in.
Which one is more valuable?
To truly answer this question, we need to understand whether we are looking for short term value or long term value.
Laminate flooring is seen as the cheapest flooring option out there while Engineered oak flooring is more expensive and sometimes you will pay a similar price to that of solid hardwood boards for it.
If you’re looking at pricing alone then laminate flooring is the way to go but when we take into account, the facts that laminate flooring has a poor resale value and it is not suitable for high end homes because it will immensely lower the value of your household while engineered oak flooring does the exact opposite, it has an excellent resale value and always increases the value of your home. House buyers love homes that have engineered oak floors for that very reason.
So Engineered oak flooring proves to be the more valuable flooring option in the long run and is completely worth the extra dollars.
Which one is more durable?
Yet again we need to determine whether we are looking in the now or thinking about our tomorrow and the many days after.
Laminate flooring is made using pressed wood and is highly durable against scratches while engineered oak flooring is not as durable against sharp scratches caused by chairs or claws of pets.
Although this seems like the perfect reason to assume overall superiority of laminate flooring over engineered oak flooring it is vital for us to be aware that laminate flooring can never be sanded or refinished, this implies that if the laminate is badly damaged, new boards will have to be bought and installed and usually if one piece is damaged all the other pieces around it must first be removed until that piece is met and removed and everything else has to reinstalled. This really is quite time consuming.
Laminate boards though are designed to last between 20 – 30 years, which is a fair amount of time for a flooring choice.
While on the opposite end of this question, engineered oak flooring can be sanded and refinished allowing you to maintain better looking boards and this means in the long run it handles damage far much better and to top it all off engineered oak floors are built to last for 50 years, meaning if you side with this choice you have a good 20 more years of usage when compared to a laminate floor.
Engineered oak floors also tend to handle moisture slightly better while laminate floors if not installed properly and water penetrates the lower layers, the board will swell and if it gets to that there is no other choice than to dispose of the boards and replace them with new ones.
Which one has a better appearance?
Laminate floors have the advantage of being able to take on an appearance of any flooring choice, it could be given an image of wood, stone or even metal depending on what you want. Engineered oak floors on the other hand don’t have images, they have actual finely cut solid oak on the top of multiple layers of plywood.
Laminate floors look really good at a distance but they don’t look as great up close and often times it is referred to as a ’cheap’ flooring option while engineered oak floors look great from afar and some might argue they look just as good up close because the top layer is actual wood. Engineered oak floors look so good that you would be forgiven for assuming they are actual solid oak floors.
So despite the alternative images you can have on laminate floors this pales in comparison to the unique and vibrant appearance that engineered oak floors seem to portray effortlessly. Picking engineered floors for the mere sake of maintaining beauty and elegance in your room is completely both in the short term and long term.
What’s the conclusion?
Both boards hold up well against each other but really in terms of value for money, long term durability and adding a consistent ambiance of beauty and class to a room then you can never go wrong with engineered oak flooring. The colour variety available from Oak Flooring Perth increases the number of ways you can present your room.So engineered oak floors have proven to be the superior choice. We encourage you to go through our catalogue of oak ranges and place an order for the better flooring choice.