In recent years the popularity of hard flooring has increased dramatically. However, with so many different options available it is often difficult to know where to start when choosing your floor. Laminate and engineered wood flooring are both popular choices, each with their own set of advantages.
Laminate Flooring: Laminate floors are mainly made from high density fibreboards which have a realistic photographic layer on the surface. This layer is coated and sealed with a tough, scratch resistant surface. The look of laminate flooring has come a long way in recent years and due to the photographic layer, laminate boards can appear to be made from any type of wood.
There are so many ranges and colours to choose from, and with prices starting at £14.99 per square metre for a laminate with a 20 year wear warranty, it really does offer good value for money.
Engineered Wood Flooring: Engineered wood floors are made from a thin layer of pure solid wood on the surface with several layers of softwood or plywood underneath which give support and strength. Engineered wood floors look, feel and sound like solid wood floors, but they are much sturdier and more versatile. Due to its makeup, Engineered wood is a more expensive option, with prices starting at around £49.99 per square metre.
Both laminate and engineered wood floors are easy to clean and maintain and are suitable for most rooms in the home. The natural wood surface of engineered wood is either oiled or lacquered. Whilst this helps to protect the wood against splashes, engineered wood floors are not water resistant and so therefore are not a suitable option for bathrooms or kitchens. However, laminate flooring has a water resistant wear layer on the surface which means it can be used in rooms such as kitchens where it may get splashed. Laminate flooring is not waterproof and is not suitable for use in bathrooms where steam could also cause warping.
Whilst wood is tough and long lasting, it can still be scratched. However, if it was ever needed, the surface can be sanded down and refinished which will leave the floor looking as good as new. Although laminate flooring has the tough wear layer which is designed to resist scratches, it can still mark. Unlike engineered wood floors, it isn’t possible to renew the surface of a laminate floor so if a board were to get damaged it would need to be replaced.
Both laminate and engineered wood floors offer good hard-wearing flooring options for your home. Each has their own advantages and your final decision will be mainly based on your own personal preference and budget.