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  • Keith Sweeting

The basic differences between laminate, engineered and solid wood flooring

Here is an analysis of the basic similarities and differences between solid wood, engineered wood flooring and laminate wood flooring. Each option of flooring is unique and provides its own benefits. Learning these similarities between these options as well as the pros and cons can allow you to select the option that aligns with your needs.


SOLID WOOD FLOORING


This is a solid piece of natural wood that has been cut out of a tree trunk. The wood is then planed, machined and sanded into panels of flooring that is usually 18mm to 22mm thick. Solid wood floors can have a lifespan of 80 years and beyond.


Once installed, solid wood flooring adds overall value to any home. A home’s resale value increases considerably in comparison to other flooring options because the wood is entirely authentic. Another pro to the authenticity of this flooring is that these planks can be easily repaired by staining and sanding throughout its lifetime.


It is also very easily cleaned with a damp cloth or mop, and vacuum friendly. Making it the ideal selection for a homeowner who prioritizes durability and convenience. However, this style of flooring is neither moisture resistant, scratch resistant and produces a considerable amount of noise when compared to other flooring types. As a result, these floors are not as recommended for homes where there are pets or young children who may easily damage the floors. They are also relatively difficult to install in comparison to the other flooring options and installation in moisture prone areas such as kitchens, bathrooms and basements is not ideal.



ENGINEERED WOOD FLOORING


Engineered wood flooring is composed of both solid wood and plywood glued together with a general thickness between 8mm to 22mm. In some cases, both the top and bottom layer of the flooring is solid wood, while the middle layer is plywood. Generally, the top layer is composed of roughly 2mm of wood. If it is less than 2mm then it is called veneered wood flooring, as opposed to engineered wood flooring.


The life span of engineered wood flooring usually last between 30 to 40 years, with the potential to last up to 80 years. Engineered wood has a relatively higher resistance to scratches, produces less noise and offers greater resistance to moisture in comparison to solid wood.


However, the instillation of these floors cannot be done by anyone, as it requires moderate levels of expertise. The It can also only be repaired one time throughout its life span because only top of the flooring is wood. As a result, sanding and refinishing these floors continuously would lead to erosion of the top layer and permanently damage the floors.


Engineered wood flooring requires some amount of maintenance to keep the floors in good shape. Finally, installation in moisture prone areas such as kitchens, bathrooms and basements are also not ideal.



LAMINATE WOOD FLOORING


Laminate wood flooring uses photographic images of wood on a décor paper adhered to a medium density fibreboard which is can be between 6mm to 15mm. This flooring option can be installed in any room including kitchens and basements by anyone, as it requires no real skilled.


Laminate wood flooring have a very high scratch resistance and moderate moisture resistance in comparison to the other flooring options. In addition, they also produce the least amount of noise in comparison. On the other hand, the life span of this flooring is much lower in comparison with only a 25-to-30-year lifespan. In addition, because it isn’t authentic wood, it cannot be refinished (because the top layer is resin based) and it cannot be recycled. If the floors are damaged, the panels must be replaced. However, very little maintenance is required for these floors and they are more water resistant than solid or engineered hardwood.



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