If you’re renovating your home, you may be longing for the look of real wood for your floors. However, it’s not the most budget-friendly option, so what are the alternatives?
Well, real wood can be perfectly replicated by using the likes of laminate or even engineered wood. In this post we will discuss the two, plus the advantages and disadvantages to hopefully help you make the right decision.
Engineered wood flooring
This floor looks very similar to wood, but all the layers are man made except the last one which is actually solid wood. For this reason it looks exactly like its hardwood counterpart. What is the advantage of the way engineered floor is made? Compared to real wood, the planks of engineered wood allows greater stability, it is able to stand higher levels of moisture and in the case that there are temperature fluctuations, the floor won’t expand or contract like solid wood does.
Another advantage of engineered wood is that it is very quick and easy to install, meaning that the overall process is much faster than solid wood. Once installed, you’re able to walk over the boards without the worry of any damage or bowing.
As for styles, engineered wood can mimic different species of wood like oak, walnut, larch and or acacia. It also can be found in a number of different finishes and a number of shades. Engineered wood is perfect if you’re looking to recreate the increasingly popular Scandinavian style, you can find amazing whites and grey variations of engineered floors. However if you are tight on budget, engineered wood may not necessarily be the best option as it does work out a bit more expensive than other options.
Laminate is another man-made floor, but unlike engineered wood it does not contain any real wood, every part of this floor is totally synthetic. The risk of this is that it could look like a bit cheap, but actually it makes the floor very durable. Laminate flooring is made of four layers.
- The backing layer, which is acts as a protective barrier, preventing any moisture from seeping from the subfloor to the boards.
- The core, this layer provides stability to the floor when people are walking on it.
- The image, this layer is the one that enables laminate floor to look like other materials, such as wood or stone.
- The wear layer, this is a protective layer that prevents the image from fading.
This durability can also be appreciated in another feature of the floor, it is waterproof, so no need to worry about any spillages that may occur. This means that laminate is fine to be installed in the kitchen, which is usually not recommended with solid wood. Because it is waterproof and highly resistant to scratches, it is often regarded as one of the most family-friendly floors. Another advantage is that it is a very low maintenance floor, all it needs is regular mopping and sweeping, maybe the occasional vacuum too! You weren’t expecting all of this assets in a cheap laminate flooring right?
As for aesthetics, due to the clever image layer laminate floor is able to perfectly imitate pretty much any surface. So instead of shelling out an absolute fortune for real wood or natural stone, why not invest in some laminate?
Obviously we can’t choose for you, it will depend on what you have in mind for your home and how much you want to spend on it. We only hope that this post has made your decision that bit easier.
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