When considering what type of wood flooring you want to have installed in your home there are many options to choose from. While hardwood flooring is one of the most desirable types of flooring, it tends to be the costliest – from a cost of materials perspective as well as installation and maintenance. While many homeowners dream of installing traditional solid hardwood floors in their homes, often they just don’t have the budget.
There are two popular alternatives to traditional hardwood flooring: laminate (faux wood flooring) and engineered hardwood. It can be difficult to make a choice as to which one of these mediums is best to go with, as many people often aren’t sure of the differences. Here is a quick rundown on their differences.
Hardwood floors, as mentioned earlier, consists of fully cut wood that is wood from the top to the bottom. Since they are whole woodcuts, typically from very desirable grains, they not only are expensive to purchase, but they also are costly to install and maintain.
Laminate wood flooring is not real wood at all. Rather, laminate consists of paper that has been infused with melamine and is composed of wood chips underneath. It is a far from wood, and is inexpensive because it is designed to look like real hardwood flooring. Most people can tell the difference when having a close up look.
Engineered hardwood flooring is the compromise between the two above. Engineered hardwood is layered like that of an onion. This type of flooring consists of at least 1/16″ to 1/8″ of real wood that has been finished on the upper layer; the bottom layers consist of plywood.
With engineered hardwood flooring, you still enjoy a real hardwood surface but at a more affordable price. Other perks to this flooring include the fact that engineered hardwood is often laid on plywood to improve its strength and resilience, and when laid, engineered wood doesn’t need to be finished or sealed – the top layer comes like that from the factory. All you have to do is pick your color and grain, install it and forget it.
Engineered hardwood flooring can be either glue to the floor (ideal for 1/2″ floors) or it can be nailed to the floor that is greater than 3/8″ thick.
Overall, depends on your house and budget to consider each of these three wood floors. Usually, people go with Engineered Hardwood to get the real feel and look of the wood surface while keeping the cost low. Hopefully, this article helps make you more informed on which option is best for your flooring needs.