Differences Between Laminate and Hardwood Floors

Posted by on April 23, 2013

Is There A Difference Between Laminate & Hardwood Floors? You Bet There Is!

With advancing production techniques making it easier for floor manufacturers to turn out plank and tile type floorings of ever increasing quality and good looks, it’s no wonder that some people have trouble telling the difference between laminate and hardwood flooring.┬áBut beware, the ‘look’ isn’t the only cause of confusion! Here we’ll attempt to explain what else is different between these two highly popular floor choices.

Hardwood Flooring

Hardwood floors come in two basic types, Solid Wood planks or Engineered planks. As the name suggests, the solid type would typically be made from a single solid piece of timber that has been milled to a uniform size. Solid floors do not contain a core or underlying layer.

Engineered hardwood floors are also sometimes called Laminate hardwood floors and it is this alternative name that most often leads to confusion with the true laminate flooring flooring types. While it is true that Engineered hardwood flooring is manufactured by laminating several individual layers together, it is still considered a hardwood floor as the surface layer is a hardwood veneer, a thin slice of real hardwood.

Laminate Flooring

As with Engineered hardwood, true laminate flooring is made up of several individual layers that are pressed and bonded together. However, the difference is that the visible textured layer is not that of real wood, but merely a high quality image of wood, or other natural texture, that is stuck on to the substrate or underlying core layer.

Does Either Have a Benefit Over The Other?

For the Do-It-Yourselfer, Laminate has a clear benefit over hardwood for it is invariably constructed with built-in tongue and groove joints, often of the snap lock or click variety that make for easy installation with no need for messy glues or adhesives. It is also factory pre-finished which means that it can be used the moment it has been laid in place. It’s therefore no wonder that laminate flooring is a favored choice for many people.

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