Manufacturers typically offer baseboards that match your new flooring. Keep your laminate floors looking like new with these simple, gentle cleaning techniques. If you have your heart set on having a wood or faux-wood floor, you have four choices: laminate, engineered wood, solid hardwood, and vinyl. Although installing snap-together floating floors are good money-saving DIY projects, do-it-yourselfers should note a few things before digging in: Refresh your home with stylish products handpicked by HGTV editors. The following prices are meant as a general guide only. Installing a snap-together, floating laminate floor will give a room a beautiful new look. Due to its limited quality, it doesn’t last as long as other hardwood floor alternatives. This is because the top layer is actual real hardwood. You’ll likely have to trim off the bottoms of existing door casing moldings so that the new flooring can slide underneath for a clean look. Both laminate and engineered hardwood flooring can be installed in kitchens and bathrooms. Wood flooring peaked in 1949 when plywood, synthetic fiber carpeting, and vinyl floors were ushered in. When it’s installed properly with tight seams, a vapor barrier, and underlayment, you get moderate moisture protection from below and above. If this floor is over 3/4” inches thick, it can also be nailed over a wooden subfloor, though this again can present complication to someone with little installation experience. It’s still made of organic components, so it’s not impervious to mold and rot. Hardwood vs Engineered vs Laminate Flooring. Laminate is tough, easy to clean and can give you the look of hardwood floors without the cost. That means laminate flooring can go directly over old flooring without nailing, gluing or having to remove the existing flooring — a feature that’s a big plus for DIYers. Laminate vs. engineered hardwood differences That plasticate wear layer of laminate makes it super durable (we’ll also talk about this further down), whereas the top layer of engineered wood is just that: wood! However, if it’s a floating floor, pet accidents can cause moisture damage if they’re not dealt with immediately. Two of the most popular choices are laminate flooring, a kind of interlocking paneling, and engineered hardwood, which consists primarily of actual wood. You can obtain beautiful exotic wood species at a much lower price, when compared to solid hardwood, because engineered wood only uses a thin veneer layer. Will a steam system be a good option? It has a good lifespan and buyers also prefer the classic appeal of hardwoods. It’s core is usually plywood or high-density fibreboard (HDF) and the top layer is composed of a of hardwood veneer which is glued atop the core to mimic nearly any species of hardwood. It’s possible for a person relatively familiar with DIY projects to either install a floating floor or nail thin planks to a subfloor with the right equipment. The Difference Between Hardwood Flooring, Engineered Floors and Laminate Floors: Hardwood Floors – One of the most common types of wood flooring is what is referred to as Hardwood flooring, or often Solid Hardwood Floors. Thank you. Engineered hardwood floors are more stable than laminate floors or solid hardwood and can be used in areas with a high moisture content where laminate and solid wood cannot. All Rights Reserved, Eric Perry, Scripps Networks, LLC. Subscribe to the HGTV Inspiration newsletter to get our best tips and ideas delivered weekly. Newer versions of this floor can come in interlocking click and snap planks to make a DIY installation possible. Actual costs may vary depending on the product selected and your location. A big difference in the design is the thickness of the plank. I an putting Engineered Hardwood in a small bathroom, we are replacing the toilet should the flooring go under the toilet? Conclusion: Engineered Hardwood vs. Laminate When it comes to engineered hardwood vs. laminate, both options come with benefits; engineered hardwood has diverse styles and colors and is water-resistant, while laminate is cheaper and more durable. However, there are some key differences between them that should be clarified before you make your final decision. Think of it as the perfect mix of a hardwood and laminate floor. In fact, when installed well, it can be nearly waterproof. Each has their own advantages as well as some drawbacks. If installed over concrete slabs, a moisture-proof underlayment and vapor barrier must be added by an experienced pro prior to board installation. Laminate flooring and engineered wood flooring are two obvious choices if you want a flooring that looks like solid hardwood but at a more affordable price. Laminate flooring can imitate all kinds of wood species or can be made to look like stone, ceramic tile and even leather. Terms & Conditions | It’s more prone to water damage when it’s a “floating” floor. Although both are made using adhesives, high pressure, and heat, engineered wood is 100% real wood which means it is more resilient to moisture than traditional hardwood. This floor top layer resists pet scratches better. Laurie March's pro tips cover all you need to know about laminate floors. Currently using the Bona mop and wood cleaner, but I don’t feel it does a good job. Depending on the finish, it may scratch or dent easier than laminate—but this highly depends on the type of wood and the finish used. All rights reserved. This means no removing bottom floor is needed, and no nailing required. There is only a small top layer of polyurethane, and by ordering pre-finished wood, the VOC’s have had time to dissipate. 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