Solid Hardwood VS. Engineered Floors & Laminate Flooring

What is difference between Solid Hardwood, Engineered Wood and Laminate Flooring.

Picking the right kind of floors can be tricky, considering how different the prices are. We love them all just as much, but each kind has its own advantage over another. Sometimes the most expensive floors are not always the best for you depending on the budget, the durability, the aesthetics. To build a warm and loving home, we at Mulan Floor strives to provide the most suitable product tailored to you.

Solid Hardwood Floors ( Price starting at $2.99+ /sq.ft )

Solid Hardwood floors are made from solid, natural wood that is milled from one solid piece of lumber. Depending on the kind of floor you want, you can purchase a variety of wood species. The entire plank is made from wood, it is the only material used in the manufacturing of hardwood floors.

Modern hardwood is typically made with a tongue and groove system for easy installation. Hardwood floor is easy to sand and refinish, and requires a healthy amount of maintenance to keep them looking great. They are easier to damage than the two other floor types discussed here though, so buyer beware. Not only do they dent easier (i.e. if you walk with stilettos or drop a heavy object on the floor you’ll see dents), they cannot be left wet or else they’ll become damaged (the boards will swell and expand). Hardwood flooring is almost always more expensive but no one can argue how gorgeous it looks or feels when you walk on it.

Hardwood is gorgeous and definitely the most preferred. It varies a great deal in price, depending on the wood you choose to use. Generally, hardwood is the most expensive option. Below I have listed the pros and cons.

Pros

  • Authentic feel and aesthetics

  • It’s gorgeous and timeless

  • Adds value to your home

  • It can be refinished if it gets nicks or scratches in it, you can sand it down and refinish it

  • Easy to clean

  • Durable

Cons

  • Shows wear and tear, easily scratched

  • Has to be refinished to stay looking nice

  • Can get damaged with excessive moisture

  • More expensive than other options

Engineered Hardwood Floors ( Price starting at $1.99+ /sq.ft )

Constructed from multiple layers of compressed cross layered high density plywood or high density fibroboard (HDF) with a solid wood veneer top layer which is glued atop the core to mimic nearly any species of hardwood.. The best way to describe engineered hardwood flooring is to think of it like a hybrid car; it’s a little bit of laminate and a little bit of hardwood.

Engineered hardwood has the natural characteristics of the selected wood species as opposed to a photographic layer (which is what you get with laminate). The reason people tend to choose engineered hardwood over natural hardwood is garner greater moisture and heat resistance because of the core material.

Despite the differences, all of these floor types can be cared for the exact same way.

(See the last blog for cleaning tips).

Pros

  • Comes prefinished, so you never have to sand and refinish

  • Less expensive

  • You can replace the damaged pieces one by one, and it matches because it is prefinished. And if your floor done by glue or nail install.

  • It does not expand and contract as much as solid wood with changes in your humidity

Cons

  • Can only be refinished 1-2 times depending on product

  • You can’t sand it down if you get scratches, you have to replace it.

  • Moisture damage if exposed to excessive waters

Laminate Flooring ( Price starting at $0.99+ /sq.ft )

Laminate is durable, cost-effective and comes in a variety of colors, textures and sizes. It’s very versatile! The core of product is typically made of High Density Fiber (HDF) as opposed to actual slabs of wood. The top layer is a photographic layer which is designed to mimic the look you’re going for i.e. hardwood, bamboo, knotted wood, etc. Laminate planks are typically 3/8” or 1/2” thick and are installed using a tongue and groove locking system, meaning you can install or uninstall with ease. This is a vinyl layering over a pressed board to appear like wood, but is actually made of vinyl.

Pros

  • Durable- doesn’t show wear (scratches and dents) like wood does

  • It can be very realistic in texture and style

  • Be careful with water

  • Less maintenance

  • Easy to clean

  • Much less expensive

  • It’s the most durable and easiest to clean (read: it can handle the most abuse).

  • When you walk on it, you hear a shallow tap.

Cons

  • It can’t be refinished

  • It can react badly to excessive moisture as well

  • It’s not the “real deal”

  • Does not add value to the home because most people prefer real hardwood


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