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Engineered Wood and Laminate Flooring – What Is Right for You?

Laminate flooring and engineered wood are some of today’s most popular flooring options. Both laminate and engineered wood provide a wide range of benefits, some of which are shared and some that are unique.

Both engineered wood and laminate mimic natural wood patterns. Engineered wood can be refinished and sanded. They come in a whole range of finishes, species, and grades which can be customized to your preferences. Laminate is extremely durable, impact-resistant, and scratch-resistant. In Santa Rosa, it’s easy to find laminate flooring experts like Rugworks who can help you find the perfect fit for your project.

Should I opt for laminate flooring or go with engineered wood?

This is one of the most common questions homeowners ask their contractors when considering giving their homes a makeover. If you are unable to decide between the two seemingly equally good options, you have come to the right place.

To help you make an informed decision, we compare these popular flooring options below.


Engineered wood flooring consists of an inner core of hardwood fused to the bottom layer. A good-quality engineered wood typically has a thickness of between 14 and 20 mm with a 4-5 mm top layer. Engineered wood is manufactured by mixing different materials such as wood fibers and sawdust which are typically held together with glue or a chemical.

The top layer of a laminate floor is fused to the bottom layer, often plywood or another substrate such as medium density fiber. Laminate is an artificial material that is made by pressing together thin layers of plastic resins and flat paper.

Like every other flooring type, both engineered wood and laminate have their respective pros and cons.

Engineered Wood Flooring


  • Closely mimics natural wood as the top layer is real wood. It makes an area feel more inviting
  • Experiences less contraction and expansion than natural wood
  • Superior durability
  • Can be sanded and refinished
  • Less costly than solid hardwood


  • Engineered wood floors are costlier than laminate floors
  • A cheap, subpar substrate layer can affect the performance of your engineered wood floor and cut short its service life
  • Susceptible to dents and scratches
  • Off-gassing is a concern with engineered wood

Laminate Flooring


  • Less expensive than traditional hardwood
  • More scratch-resistant and impact-resistant than any type of vinyl, carpet, or hardwood
  • Easy to install, clean, and maintain
  • Hypoallergenic


  • Sensitive to moisture
  • Laminate floors can be noisier underfoot than other flooring options
  • Once damaged, a laminate floor cannot be resurfaced

The Verdict

Laminate flooring is a good choice for high-traffic areas, such as the entryways, main hallways, and foyers. Another factor to consider when deciding between the two options is your budget. If you are facing a budget constraint, go with laminate.

Need help with finding the right flooring for your home? Rugworks has you covered, literally. We offer a wide variety of engineered wood and laminate flooring options in Santa Rosa. To make an appointment, call (707) 935-0648.

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