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Deciding Between Engineered Wood and Laminate Flooring – Which is Right for You?

By Kaizad Dinshaw | Jun 2019

Engineered Wood and Laminate Flooring

All wooden flooring is not equal.  When choosing your floors, there are many different aspects to consider – tree species, plank size, substrate layer, durability, cost, just to name a few.  Here we will compare the most common types: engineered wood vs. laminate.

Engineered Wood Flooring

Construction:
An engineered wood floor consists of a top layer of hardwood fused to a bottom layer of plywood. The hardwood on top can be of a range of hardwood species. A premium quality engineered wood would have a thickness of anywhere between 14 and 20 mm with a 4-5 mm top layer of hardwood.

Engineered Wood Flooring - Nitido Design Blog

For this bedroom interior design, we chose a rich oak engineered wood flooring for a luxurious and natural feel.

Price:
Can range from Rs. 350-1200+/sq ft
Good options are available in the Rs. 450-700/sq ft range

Pros:

  • Engineered wood gives the looks and feels of wood because the top layer is real wood.  This gives the space a warm and rich look.
  • Engineered wood does not expand or contract significantly making it more stable than solid wood flooring.
  • Engineered wood is quieter to walk on when compared to a laminate floor.

Cons:

  • Engineered wood floors tend to be significantly costlier than laminate floors.
  • If you intend to sand and resurface the floor, a hard wood floor may be a superior choice.
  • Some brands use cheaper substrate layers which compromises the quality, stability and life of the flooring.

Laminate Flooring

Construction:
A laminate floor consists of a top layer of laminate fused to a bottom layer of either plywood or another substrate such as MDF or medium density fiber. A laminate is not derived from real wood. 

Laminate Flooring - Nitido Design Blog

For this study and entertainment lounge in a Mumbai residential interior design project, we selected laminate flooring in a distressed look to add a rugged feel to the industrial inspired look.

Price:
Can range from Rs. 100-450+/sq ft
Good options are available in the Rs. 150-200/sq ft range

Pros

  • Laminate flooring is cost effective and can help achieve the desired look while adhering to budgets
  • Laminate floorings is thinner as compared to other wooden flooring options which makes them the natural choice where there is minimum space for an additional flooring layer

Cons

  • Laminate floors are sensitive to moisture and should be avoided in places with high moisture
  • Laminate floors are noisy to walk on when compared to most other flooring options
  • Once scratched a laminate floor cannot be sanded or re-surfaced

Which flooring type is right for my project?

For residence: 
If budgets are flexible enough to accommodate an engineered wood floor in your home interior design, this would be the way to go. They look great, feel great and if cared for properly, last for years. If budgets are constrained but you love the look of wood, laminate floors offer a wide range of wood looks to suit every taste.

For Commercial Space:
For high traffic areas, laminate wood flooring would be more durable.  There are specific options designed for public areas in modern office interiors.  For low traffic areas like conference rooms and cabins, either engineered wood or laminate flooring are good options.

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