I need to change the flooring in my townhome. The carpets are filthy. What should I get? Laminate, engineered wood or hardwood? I need something that is durable and easy to upkeep. Also for the kitchen and bathroom areas I need something waterproof.
Hardwood will look better in comparison to laminate and engineered but it's less durable than other two and more expensive.
I'd suggest to go with engineered which will look better than laminate and yet cheaper thanh hardwood.
It really comes down to your personal preference and budget
Laminate products have come a long way over the past years. You can get a quality laminate product for almost half the cost of hardwood or engineered hardwood.
You may also want to consider durability if you have kids or pets
They all come with pros and cons
Hardwood scratches easily, but can be refinished. Its also expensive
Engineered hardwood, is great for basements, because it is less susceptible to water damage. It wont cup or swell like hardwood. Underlayments can also be utilized with engineered products.
Laminate products tend to be water resistant, NOT water proof. There is a difference.
They can also be more durable and less susceptible to scratches from pets and kids. It is also less expensive. I would recommend upgrading the underlay for added comfort.
LVP, Luxury Vinyl Plank is a great product for kitchens and bathrooms.
Hope this info helps.
All the best!
There might be a slight misunderstanding about the choices you have offered up.
"Hardwood" flooring is strips of wood cut from a hardwood tree. It is not waterproof however factory applied finishes are quite durable and resistant to moisture, the underlying wood is not sealed and will be affected by water.
As it is solid wood it is susceptible to expansion and contraction with varying degrees of humidity. It will expand and contract throughout the seasons. If the wood is not prepped and installed correctly you can get cupping when humidity increases and gaps between boards and even potential cracking in dry seasons.
Regardless of how thick the hardwood flooring is, it can only be refinished on the portion above the tongue.
"Laminate" flooring comes in a variety of thicknesses leading to claims of varying durability. It is a photograph of wood adhered to HDF or High Density Fibreboard. It is not waterproof however the finish on the surface is quite water resistant and with certain installation methods can increase the systems resistance to moisture.
While the HDF is very resistant to expansion and contraction due to humidity the thinner nature of the material is more prone to opening joints over uneven surfaces over time.
"Engineered" flooring is in fact Hardwood flooring adhered to a plywood substrate. The advantages to Engineered flooring are you get a real hardwood floor that can be refinished just like "hardwood" floors and the same number of times but you are not wasting solid tree parts on 2/3 of the thickness and that 2/3's is what leads to the expansion and contraction due to humidity changes.
Engineered Flooring was created to address both the gaps and cupping experienced in hardwood flooring and to be easier on the forests.
Typically Engineered wood flooring is more expensive than hardwood flooring though not always, as it is a more involved process to make. You can also get it factory finished or unfinished for site finishing. It is far more suitable for basements or over hydronic infloor or under floor heating.
The vinyl flooring mentioned above by another contributor is "waterproof" and arguably more durable than some of the other choices.
I hope this helps.
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