Laminate vs. Engineered Flooring: Which Should You Choose?

Hardwood flooring is both beautiful and expensive, but there are alternatives that offer its look and its strength. Specifically, laminate or engineered flooring.

But which is best for your home? What are the advantages and disadvantages of each?

Read this blog to find out which you should choose.

A Brief Comparison Between Engineered and Laminate Flooring in Toronto

Neither laminate nor engineered flooring is obviously better than the other. Each caters to different needs, which we explore below.

A Brief Comparison Between Engineered and Laminate Flooring in Toronto


High-quality engineered flooring with a thick veneer generally lasts20 to 50 years, or even more if properly been cared for. Compared to the engineered variety, laminate flooring lasts only 15 to 20,and only if it is well-maintained and installed in a dry place.

Appearance &Comfort

Engineered flooring is more attractive than laminate. It’s also 100% wood. Like solid hardwood, engineered flooring has a harder underfoot than laminate. Engineered flooring is also pre-sanded and coated, so is smooth as well as splinter-free. Although laminate flooring looks like natural wood from a distance, this similarity does not hold up under close scrutiny.

With its synthetic core as well as foamy underlayment, laminate has a soft underfoot. Its wear layer becomes smooth under bare feet or even with socks so may become quite slippery.

Maintenance & Care

Engineered and laminate flooring are more or less equal when it comes to cleaning and maintenance. This is because both have delicate surfaces that should not be regularly wet mopped.

The best way to maintain both is to use a dry broom or dry mop. Do not use steam cleaners, wet mops, or ammonia-based cleaners.

If you do apply a liquid to the surface, make sure you squeeze the mop until it almost feels dry to the touch.


Engineered hardwood flooring traditionally needs either glue-down or nail-down installation. Some may also be installed by click-lock joinery without any need to attach it to the subfloor.

Laminate flooring is simpler and easier to install. As a floating floor, laminate boards only attach side to side, and not to the underlayment or subfloor. When properly installed, both its weight and the friction of the flooring prevent it from sliding. Moreover, laminate boards can be easily cut with a hand saw or utility knife.

Heat, Water, and Environment 

If you have a lot of people and pets residing in your house, then both laminate and engineered flooring are good options because they are durable in different ways.

The core of high-quality plywood used for engineered flooring makes it dimensionally stable. This means the plywood layers are laid perpendicular to one another and are better than solid hardwood or laminate flooring in preventing swelling as well as expansion due to water. Although engineered flooring can be gouged or scratched, its veneer may be sanded lightly in order to remove these.

Laminate flooring can be laid down in a semi-moist condition so long as the boards are seamed tightly. Whenever water is permitted to pass between the seams, the fiberboard core may eventually swell. When properly dried, this flooring will not contract to its original form.

Also, laminate flooring can’t be sanded and repairs are difficult. In other words, replacing damaged laminate with new boards is the best option. But its wear surface is often very resilient, meaning deep scratches are rare.


The price of engineered flooring depends on certain factors and is higher than laminate flooring. Engineered flooring ranges from $3.99 to $14.99 per square foot based on the product’s quality and design; laminate flooring starts at $1.99 per square foot and goes up to $6.99. As laminate flooring’s installation involves less manual labour, you also spend less money putting it in. In fact, many homeowners prefer to do it themselves.

Resale Value

With its high quality and attractive looks, engineered floors increase the value of your property. If your house has a classic or traditional appearance, engineered flooring will go well with it – a fact buyers will recognize. Although laminate flooring is no longer regarded as inferior, it is less cherished by homebuyers.

If you want flooring that looks like solid hardwood and is simpler to maintain, opt for engineered flooring. If you wish to save money, laminate flooring is the better choice, especially if you install it yourself. If you are still unsure which flooring option is right for your home, consult us.

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