Laminate vs engineered (semi-solid)
Laminate flooring is better or natural wood finishes? (Laminate vs engineered (semi-solid) and solid)
This might be asked many times by our stand visitors at shows or even clients who contact us directly to assure that they are doing right choice. This discussion has right answer for both users of Laminate and Engineered hard wood. We need to consider some main factors to make our comparison more reasonable.
The weakness of laminate structure is related to its top layer. If the protection sheet damage it will become completely vulnerable and the floor design sheet will be faded very soon.
Weakness of engineered is also from top layer. It will be scratched and damage much easier than laminate but you can do sanding and fix this issue in compare with laminate that you need to replace damaged pieces.
-Design: in terms of variety, for sure laminate has much more availability. As most of people using finished products, this variety has been seen in laminate much more than engineered. But you should have in your mind that engineered comes in natural wood top layer, so it can be stained to unlimited colors.
In general as the species of wood are limited so engineered wood products has limitation.
The natural looking, feeling, and touch of engineered wood is incomparable with laminate. Also variety and maintenance of laminate is incomparable with hard wood.
-Price: for people are looking for low cost product, for sure laminate is the best option. Nowadays, high-end laminates also near to engineered price range or even sometimes higher. So for people who are looking for low-cost material laminate is the best.
Maintenance and durability: Laminate is total maintenance free product. You will have similar benefit is lacquered finish of engineered. But in engineered you will have hill effect and scratches that you can fix it only by sanding. In laminate if scratches, you have to change defected piece and no need to replace whole flooring.
The surface of Laminate has designed to be hard enough to avoid surface problems. Engineered surface which has been sanded, cannot be cheap process. Sometimes it cost even more than replacement of your flooring.
Laminate: As all laminate nowadays are click system, opening the joints are making some problems. You should be aware of click system type and quality. Sound of very thin laminates might be annoying. This can be solved by thicker ones or underlay sound reducer. Some substandard products in laminate will be harmful because of formaldehyde.
Engineered: In stained ones you will have color fading problems as the lacquer is weaker than laminate. In low quality type you will have bending and waviness surface. In water leaking or swelling water, engineer will affect easier and faster. It needs also more care, such as hills affect, furniture legs, sharp items (laminate or even stone will be affected by sharp edges but laminate will be harder than engineer in this case). In fire engineer will have flames laminate will burn like coil.