Decoration, Design trends, Flooring

Laminate vs engineered: What flooring is better? Which is cheaper? Which is easiest to install? How long do they last?

Are you planning a home renovation project but you aren’t quite sure which type of flooring is going to be best suited to you? In that case, this is the article for you. We’re going to take a look at the key differences between laminate and engineered flooring. Which flooring option is best? Which of the two is cheaper? Which one is easiest to install? And how long are they likely going to last you? Read on if you’d like to know more, as we explore laminate Vs. engineered flooring in greater depth. 

What’s the difference between laminate vs engineered flooring and which is better?

So, what are the key differences between laminate and engineered flooring? And which of the two is better? Before we get into which is the best, first let’s highlight some of their key features and differences:

  • Appearance: our engineered flooring wins the appearance round as the upper layer is made of natural hardwood giving it a stunning aesthetic appeal. Laminate on the other hand is an obvious simulation of wood and doesn’t quite have the same appeal – although it still looks great and comes in a variety of styling and colour options 
  • Affordability: in terms of affordability, laminate flooring is cheaper than engineered flooring. That, and engineered flooring is only slightly cheaper than most natural hardwood options
  • Installation: both engineered and laminate flooring are relatively easy to install. Laminate is the easiest with click-and-lock installation as a floating floor option. Whereas engineered flooring has more options with regard to installation methods, including nail-down and glue-down, though tends to be more complicated 
  • DIY or professional assistance: engineered flooring can be installed by yourself though professional assistance may be required. Laminate on the other hand, with click-and-lock and very little in the way of prep-work, is very easy to install DIY 
  • Real-estate value: quality engineered flooring offers more in the way of resale value due to its natural hardwood appearance and longevity. Laminate on the other hand is not quite as prestigious 
  • Longevity: when cared for properly, engineered flooring can last up to 30 years and more, with laminate flooring coming in between 10 and 20 years on average. 

So, which of the two flooring options is best? Ultimately, it all comes down to your personal preference and what you are trying to achieve. If you are looking to laminate multiple rooms throughout the house and would like to save as much money as possible, laminate flooring is significantly cheaper than engineered flooring. However, engineered flooring can last up to twice as long as it’s properly cared for – that and it boasts a natural hardwood upper-layer which gives it a wonderful aesthetic appeal over laminate. 

Which flooring is easiest to install, laminate vs engineered?

Which floor option is easiest to install, laminate or engineered flooring? They are both relatively close in terms of ease of installation, though laminate is easier for DIY projects. 

  • Engineered flooring: engineered flooring typically requires either nail or glue-down installations. However, there are newer options of engineered flooring that can be installed using a click-and-lock methodology
  • Laminate flooring: our laminate flooring is far easier to install. As a floating floor, not only is there little prep-work involved, but the boards attach side by side with a handy click-and-lock installation method. Additionally, laminate floorboards are very easy to cut into various shapes to fit the layout of your home. 


Which is cheaper laminate vs engineered flooring?

So, which is the cheaper flooring option, laminate or engineered? Engineered flooring is the more expensive of the two, coming in at an average of $70 and $120 AUD per square metre. Laminate flooring on the other hand is priced significantly lower at the $15 to $40 per square metre mark. In addition to that, should you go down the professional installation route you will have to pay more for engineered flooring installation as it tends to be more complicated than a standard laminate click-and-lock installation. 

Again, engineered wood flooring can last up to twice as long as laminate flooring, so while it does cost a fair amount more per square metre, if you weigh that up over the following decades to come and plan to stay in your current property forever, the affordability balances itself out quite nicely. 

Which lasts the longest laminate vs engineered flooring?

Which flooring option lasts the longest, laminate or engineered flooring? In terms of longevity, you will get almost twice as much out of engineered flooring. 

  • Engineered flooring: high-quality engineered flooring with a thick veneer will last you anywhere between 20 and 50 years, depending on how well it is maintained
  • Laminate flooring: laminate flooring has a shorter lifespan than engineered flooring, however, you can still get anywhere between 10 and 25 years out of laminate, provided it is well cared for and properly maintained. 

Which lasts the longest hybrid vs laminate flooring?

So, which flooring options will last you the longest, hybrid of laminate? This is a tough one because both hybrid and laminate flooring have a hard protective coat that will successfully repel any scratches or dents. As such, both are well-suited to high-traffic areas, such as the hallway of your home or the living area. Hybrid flooring and laminate will easily last you from 10 to 25 years, which makes them both solid contenders for longevity. That said, laminate flooring tends to be slightly more scratch-resistant than hybrid flooring, making laminate the winner – but only just! 


In conclusion, if you are looking for a quality flooring solution that looks like natural hardwood, only is easier to maintain and slightly cheaper, then engineered flooring is a viable option. However, if you want to save as much money as possible, then laminate flooring is an excellent choice, particularly given how easy the self-installation of laminate flooring is. 

If you find yourself a little overwhelmed and unsure as to which is going to be the best flooring option for your home, then please do not hesitate to contact us today. One of our representatives will gladly answer any of your questions and point you in the right direction. 


About Shaun Adams

As the lead creative for Create Macarthur, you’ll be in good hands with Shaun leading your project. Skilled in design, development, business consulting and best practices.