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Engineered hardwood or laminate: how to choose?

Amidst the array of available wood flooring options, the two most favored choices are engineered hardwood and laminate. These options are favored for their versatility, durability, and cost-effectiveness. While they may appear similar and are sometimes used interchangeably, there are distinct disparities between the two. Therefore, if one is contemplating between remodeling their house or office with either engineered hardwood or laminate floors, this comprehensive guide will aid in making an informed decision by presenting crucial information.

Engineered Hardwood

In contrast to solid hardwood, engineered hardwood consists of multiple layers of both authentic hardwood and plywood. The upper layer is genuine hardwood, while the lower and middle layers are composed of plywood. The key advantages of this type of flooring include:

  1. The installation of this flooring poses no challenges. This is due to its simple installation through a tongue and groove system that can be easily executed by individuals following DIY tutorials.
  2. It is an environmentally friendly option that utilizes up to 70% recycled wood waste.
  3. It boasts high durability with a lifespan exceeding 20 years.
  4. Individuals can select their preferred size as the boards are available in both narrow and wide widths.

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Laminate flooring is a composite material comprising four layers: wear layer, decorative layer, core board, and backing layer. Among these layers, the backing layer plays a pivotal role by providing stability and preventing water infiltration from below. The advantages of this flooring are as follows:

  1. It is a resilient flooring option suitable for high-traffic areas such as homes with pets or children, commercial establishments, etc.
  2. It offers a cost-effective solution while providing a natural wood appearance.
  3. It is resistant to scratches and exhibits limited water resistance.
  4. Unlike other types of flooring, maintaining the look and luster of laminate floors is as simple as regular mopping or sweeping.
  5. Professionals find the installation of laminate hardwood flooring straightforward, as it supports the floating method through an interlocking design.
  6. Lastly, it presents an economical choice with easy installation and maintenance features.

With the fundamentals clarified, one can now proceed to evaluate these flooring options based on various criteria. Factors such as cost, aesthetics, durability, and more should be carefully weighed when selecting the optimal flooring solution. Let us now compare these options based on the aforementioned parameters.


In terms of Appearance, engineered wood emerges as the superior choice due to its resemblance to natural wood, enhancing the aesthetic appeal of any space. Nonetheless, interior designers advise against solely prioritizing appearance when selecting flooring, as aesthetics do not provide a comprehensive overview.

Resale Value

Regarding Resale Value, engineered wood holds the advantage by appreciating the value of a property over time. While laminate floors also contribute to increased property prices, the difference in value appreciation is not significantly substantial.


Durability-wise, laminate exhibits robustness and resistance to scratches. Conversely, its counterpart is more prone to wear and tear due to the incorporation of real wood veneer. For areas with high foot traffic, opting for laminate flooring would be the optimal choice.


In terms of Moisture-Resistance, both flooring options receive equal ratings in this aspect. This is attributed to the water-repellent materials present in both types, such as adhesive and wax, offering sufficient protection against water infiltration without being entirely waterproof.


Maintenance-wise, engineered hardwood is relatively easy to clean but challenging to maintain due to the accumulation of dirt in its grains and holes over time. Conversely, maintaining other types of flooring is a hassle-free task.


Installation-wise, opting for laminate would be cost-effective as it eliminates the need for gluing or nailing, essential requirements for installing hardwood floors.


Considering Pricing, the affordability of laminate flooring makes it a favorable choice for those seeking a cost-effective alternative that resembles wood.


Ultimately, the decision on which flooring option to choose rests with the individual. Both options boast durability, aesthetic appeal, and affordability to a certain extent. However, in selecting between the two, it is essential to prioritize the most critical factors and make an informed decision. Guidance request from reputable companies like GTA Masters can aid in decision-making by providing insights and a range of flooring materials at competitive prices.