Laminate Vs. Engineered Oak Flooring

16th Mar 2016

Each and every customer is different. Which means we have to recommend different aspects to the different customers to meet their requirements. One common recommendation is to choose an engineered oak floor, when we find customers intending to lay oak flooring in a certain area or in a certain way. This is often greeted with the response "What is Engineered Oak Flooring? Like Laminate?" This common misconception could not be further from the truth. With this in mind we have created this post detailing the key differences between the two.

Construction

Laminate flooring is a synthetic flooring product consisting of a ply or fibreboard backing with a printed plastic top. The printed image top layer has been created to "look" like a real wood floor.

Engineered oak flooring on the other hand consists of solid oak top layer which has been bonded to a strong and stable plyboard base. Once laid, an engineered oak board is indistinguishable from a solid oak floor.

Thickness

For both Laminate and Engineered Oak boards there are a number of different thicknesses available. Typically laminate ranges between 6mm and 12mm. Engineered oak flooring is generally much thicker, with all of our boards here at Peak Oak being 20mm. Thinner boards, such as 14mm, are also available on the market. The 20mm engineered oak boards consist of 6mm of solid oak and 14mm of Siberian birch ply.

Resistance To Moisture

Dependant on the quality of laminate chosen, depends on how resistant it is to moisture. As the moisture is absorbed in changeable areas, laminate flooring can swell.

The main selling point of engineered oak flooring is its ability to be used in areas where a solid oak board would simply not be suitable. It is the construction of these boards which make them much more stable in areas of changeable humidity - such as kitchens, bathrooms and conservatories.

Laminate Vrs. Engineered Oak Flooring

Refinishing

As the top layer of laminate has been printed during production, laminate cannot be refinished at all. A stained or marked laminate piece would need to be replaced.

Engineered oak flooring can often be refinished numerous times. Dependant on the finish, this can either be done by simply spot repairing a small area, or refinishing the entirety of the floor.

Installation

Laminate is seen as a very easy option in terms of installation. These boards are normally designed to simply fit together using a click system.

Tongue and grooved engineered oak flooring can be installed in a number of ways. Like traditional solid oak flooring, these boards can be screwed or nailed to the subfloor or joists. Due to their increased stability, engineered boards can also glued directly to a concrete subfloor or fitted as a floated floor.

Quality

When comparing Laminate and Engineered oak flooring there really is no comparison as the two very much serve different purposes. As previously mentioned, laminate has been created specifically to simply provide the look of wood. Engineered oak flooring on the other hand is a construction of oak and plyboard - its construction making it able to be laid in just about any environment.

If you would like to discuss engineered oak flooring with us further, please give us a call on 01538 304584.

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