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Is laminate more durable than engineered hardwood?

9 years ago

I've posted a few times over the course of the past couple of years about flooring choices for my remodel. I'm in a small 50's ranch on a cement slab (on grade) in Alaska - in a modest neighborhood. We have 3 cats, plan to get another big dog and are not easy on things.

We want to use the same flooring throughout the public space (LR, kitchen, DR, den and hall) - with a tile threshold at the front door, but not at the back sliders. I am absolutely dedicated to getting a medium tone brown wood-looking floor.

I had ruled laminate out pretty much immediately due to feedback about laminates not being recommended in the kitchen. So, have been toying back and forth between engineered hardwood versus LVT.

LVT was a front-runner at one point given moisture resistance, durability and ease of repair. However, most look plasticy, I can't find one in the color tone I really want and we are going to need a subfloor if we go LVT as we are going to need to take the flooring over holes in the cement where our furnace vents used to be. By the time you add the expense of that, it seemed to stop making sense to go LVT.

This weekend I spent a few hours with a flooring consultant in yet another store. She asserted that laminate is MORE durable than engineered hardwood. She stated that it is less prone to denting and scatching than engineered wood. She agreed that the engineered hardwood with real wood backing is more durable when it comes to major water events (as opposed to the varieties that are particle board), but felt that overall, laminate holds up better.

On top of this, the Quick-Step walnut I am looking at is less than one third the price of the Kahr's engineered hardwood I fell in love with. And that is one major chunk of change. So, I can basically spend more than 3x the money for a floor less likely to wear well and more likely to need replacement sooner. Looks wise, I do prefer the Kahrs, but I am not sure if I prefer it THAT much more - or if it even makes sense for the neighborhood.

Do you agree with her assessment, or disagree, and why or why not?

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