Are Laminate and Engineered Wood Flooring the same thing? Laminate and engineered wood flooring are both multiple compressed layers of wood. However, they are quite different because engineered wood flooring has a layer of real hardwood veneer that looks just like solid hardwood. It is impossible to tell the difference between this flooring, and solid hardwood by appearance alone after it has been installed. Laminate has a photo of wood grain printed on the face of the planks, and it is not able to be refinished. Both are great flooring options, but your choice always depends on your specific needs.

Engineered Wood Flooring Pros and Cons

Engineered hardwood is multiple layers of fiberboard, plywood, or hardwood. However, the top layer is hardwood. It is not prone to warping, cupping, and other moisture problems. Hardwood is susceptible to moisture, and high maintenance. However, it can be sanded and refinished just like solid hardwood.

Engineered wood is better looking than laminate because it has natural wood grain, and it is easy to see that laminate planks all have the same grain printed on them. However, it requires more cleaning and maintenance to prevent it from looking dull. A huge plus for this type of flooring is that you can find exotic hardwoods at a lower price, because you are only paying for a thin layer of veneer from these valuable species of tree. This flooring option is also more valuable from an investment standpoint, because it has a better resale value. It costs about $3-$13 per square foot for materials only. Not including the cost of installation.

Laminate Wood Flooring Pros and Cons

Laminate and engineered wood flooring have a dense, moisture resistant base. The core has multiple layers of fiberboard held together by resin that resists wear. The wear layer covers a photograph of wood grain printed onto the plank. If you would like to refinish your flooring, laminate is not the right choice. However, since it is very moisture resistant, this should not be a problem.

Laminate is the best option on a budget. You can install it floating atop an old floor to save on the costs of removing the previous flooring. In addition, snap together laminate is the easiest option for homeowners to DIY. It also costs less than engineered wood, however, laminate does not provide the resale value, if you are planning to sell your home in the future. The maintenance for laminate is nearly non existent. Sweep and damp mop periodically to keep it looking great. It is perfect for pet owners because the wear layer is very durable, and scratch resistant. However, this resin wear layer is very glossy, and looks artificial. Pet stains on hardwood can make them warp, but aren’t a worry for laminate.  It costs about $1-$5 per square foot for the materials only. 

Need more help deciding between Laminate and Engineered wood? Call or email Flooring Masters & Professional Remodelers today for a free consultation. We know you only want the best in flooring and remodeling. That’s why it’s important to hire the best in the business, and at Flooring Masters & Professional Remodelers, we can guarantee you that’s us.

Flooring Masters & Professional Remodelers have been flooring and remodeling Kentuckiana for over 30 years. Our certified installers have the ingenuity and know-how to assist you in choosing the perfect floors for your home. Don’t take matters into your own hands—let us guide your next project.

About The Author

John Raisor is a well traveled carpentry and food writer.


  1. […] Many of these same mistakes are made with engineered wood flooring. We wrote a comparison of laminate and engineered wood flooring here. […]

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