Laminate flooring is made of synthetic materials and contains no natural wood products. For this reason, laminate flooring is extremely resistant to moisture. The finish of laminate flooring is plastic-like and extremely durable. Laminate flooring is available in a wide range of colors and finishes that mimic wood flooring, tile, and stone. Laminate flooring is often called a floating floor, as it does not require the use of glue or nails to adhere it to the subsurface. This is a good choice for areas that see an extremely high traffic volume or are susceptible to scratching or gouging for other reasons, such as pets.
Engineered hardwood flooring is a mix of multiple layers of wood veneers and a synthetic material that are laminated together to form each plank of flooring. This synthetic material serves as the bottom layer and is generally impervious to moisture. This resistance to moisture from below makes this an excellent choice for concrete subfloors and rooms that are below grade. All engineered flooring comes prefinished from the factory. The advantage to prefinished engineered wood flooring is that the factory is often able to coat the finish as many as 7 times or more. This creates an extremely durable surface that will stand up to a great deal of traffic. Still, the top layers of engineered flooring are made of natural wood and can be scratched or damaged by water. Engineered hardwood flooring tends to be much thinner than solid hardwood flooring and it is often glued to the subsurface though it can also be nailed or stapled. The thinner nature of engineered flooring reduces or eliminates the option of refinishing the floors when they wear over time.
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