Engineered wood flooring is made of high-quality plywood with a veneer of pre-finished fine hardwood on top. Laminate flooring is made of thin, pressed woodboard with an image of wood on top covered by a clear wear layer to protect the image.
Engineered Wood Floor Basics
Engineered wood flooring is more closely aligned to solid hardwood than laminate because it does incorporate a thin veneer of natural wood on top of plywood. Because plywood’s layers run perpendicular to each other, it is more dimensionally stable than solid wood. Engineered wood floor’s higher price point, too, resembles that of solid hardwood. Yet the upside to this high price is that its resale value is commensurately high. Its perceived value, as well as its monetary value, has only gained over the last few decades as more builders, designers, and homeowners have adopted it.
Laminate Floor Basics
Laminate flooring is a high-quality image of wood fused to a fiberboard core and topped with a super-hardy transparent wear layer. Laminate’s resale value tends to be moderate. But laminate is hardly lagging behind: laminate flooring manufacturers have responded to the competition from engineered wood and have stepped up their game. Newer iterations of laminate flooring not only look even more like wood but feel like it, due to deeper embossing of wood grain textures. Thicker premium 12 mm laminates, too, have convinced higher-end buyers to try the product.