Laminate or engineered flooring? The pros and cons

People often talk about wood flooring when they mean laminate, or confuse laminate with engineered wood. There are similarities, though neither is ‘real wood’ in the sense of traditional hardwood floors. Regardless of the type of flooring that you choose it is important to ensure that you have already had any additional works such as new electrical points or perhaps a new fire from a Wood Burning Stove Northern Ireland company put in place before you embark on a flooring project.

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Engineered wood is the closer of the two to solid hardwood, and is more expensive. It does hold great resale value currently, so it is a popular choice with homeowners. Laminate is a far cheaper option that looks good from a distance, if laid properly, but is not so good up close. It is created using an image of natural wood that is fused onto a fibreboard. If you are unsure how your flooring choice will stand up to the heat of your open fire in the living room a Northern Ireland Wood Burning Stoves company will be able to discuss this with you during the installation of the fire.

Here are some pros and cons of each type of flooring to help you make a decision.


As there is a wood veneer on the top of engineered wood flooring, it can take some repair or sanding in case of scratches or damage.

Laminate flooring is very easy to install, thanks to the lack of adhesive involved. Boards simply lock into each other so it is easy to cover a large area in a short space of time.

Both have a relatively warm feel underfoot and do not conduct the cold this can make the heat from your living room fire travel further into the room. Adding an underlay can improve that further and give a softer feel underfoot too.


Engineered wood is a significant investment. It is expensive, but if you look in terms of value for money, it becomes cheaper. If you prefer to redecorate regularly with the latest trends, laminate might be a better option.

Laminate is not easy to repair if scratches or damage occurs, hence the suggestion to have other items installed before the flooring. There is scope to fill deep scratches individually, but if the damage is wider, laminate floors will need to be replaced, unless marks can be covered with rugs or by moving furniture. Laminate can be quite noisy underfoot, which is worth considering if you have neighbours living below you, or a bedroom with living room below.

For more ideas on the differences between the two and making the right choice for you, see the Which guide.

The decision is down to personal taste and budget, but do consider where you lay either and the traffic that will pass over it. Factor in the type of traffic too, for example do you have pets with sharp claws, or someone who wears stiletto heels, as the risk of damage rises.

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