Engineered wood or planks are also known as real wood flooring, as the whole board is made of different woods. The top layer is made of solid wood i.e. the wear factor. Below the solid wood there are layers of the wood cross ply laid at a 90 degree angle to the top layer to create the strength. The bottom layer is then laid at 90 degrees to the latter to add stability. There is a 14 and 15mm board available which in the future when worn can be sanded and re-finished up to 3 times. There is also a 20mm board available which can be sanded and re-finished several times and has the life span of a solid wood floor sometimes out lasting the building itself.
Engineered wood flooring can be installed in areas where solid wood is not compatible such as some basements, sub-floors with under-floor heating and conservatories. The engineered floors offer more choice and can be laid where there is a different sub floor in the same area i.e. exsisting floorboard with joists and concrete base for extension or vise versa. Compared to the solid wood, the engineered floor offers more choice and can be laid over various sub floors and are usually fitted with a high density foam foil backed underlay for insulation and levelling out any undulations in the sub floor.
Laminate floor is made of three basic layers; a high-density base, with a printed design on top a core, a backing and coated with an acrylic layer. There is no real wood in a laminate board.
Laminate flooring is highly durable and can be installed over nearly any kind of sub flooring. They are hard-wearing and resistant to marking, staining and heating and may be suitable for use in kitchens.