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New Wood Flooring: Engineered, Laminated, Or the Real Deal?

Kitchen-with-IslandChanging the flooring in your home, whether for the majority of the house or only a few rooms, is one of the top methods for brightening and modernizing your living space. In situations where homeowners have a tight budget and can’t arrange for a complete room remodel, just putting in a wood floor to replace worn-out carpet or vinyl can make a tremendous difference.

But when a homeowner starts out on their quest to have new flooring put in, this question immediately pops up: “What kind of wood flooring?” With more options available today than before, we’d like to look at two popular choices—engineered and laminated flooring—and what separates them.

Just what is “engineered flooring”?

Engineered flooring is a type of alternative to hardwood flooring. It’s also called manufactured or man-made wood. It is designed to avoid some of the weaknesses of natural hardwood flooring, such as how the wood absorbs moisture and can warp. Rather than using solid planks of wood cut to shape for the floor, engineered flooring is comprised of different layers of wood (plywood, fiberboard, unfinished hardwood), which are then compressed together. A thin layer of natural wood placed on top gives the floor the appealing look of hardwood.

What is “laminated flooring”?

This is the other popular type of alternative to hardwood flooring, and if you’re trying to make a choice about semi-wood floors, it’s likely between engineered and laminated. A laminated floor is a composite of fiberboard strengthened with resin. On the top, it has a photographic layer of wooden texture, sealed with a clear protective laminate layer.

Which one is better?

There’s no single answer to this, because it depends on your home, the rooms where the flooring will go, visual preference (design), and your budget. We can give some recommendations to help you think about your choices at this stage, however.

Engineered wood looks extremely close to hardwood—after all, the top layer is hardwood, just it doesn’t go down very deep. Laminate can look a too glossy and a bit like, well, a photographic layer. However, laminate gives you more options for appearance, such as the types of wood. Laminate is also the less costly option and it’s easier to keep clean. We tend to recommend using engineered wood in bathrooms because of how durable it is against moisture. In fact, it’s basically waterproof.

What about going with actual hardwood?

If you have the budget for it, real hardwood is a great choice: it’s beautiful and can significantly increase the value of your home. However, because price is often a barrier, we want to emphasize with homeowners that going with hardwood alternatives isn’t just “second best” today—it may be the best choice!

If you are looking for the finest specialists in home remodeling in Calabasas, CA, you’ve reached your destination. We have a team of highly skilled designers, architects, and builders to help you envision and realize the perfect new living space. Arrange for an appointment so you can find out how we can improve your house with new flooring or any other remodeling or new construction.

Advanced Builders & Contractors has served the Los Angeles Area for more than 14 years. Request an estimate today.

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