Laminate or wood flooring: a side-by-side comparison

Wood vs. laminate: how do I choose?

Trying to figure out whether laminate or hardwood suits your flooring needs best can be difficult, as both are qualitative, good looking options. That’s why we’re here to help you compare the benefits of both.

Laminate and wood flooring: a side-by-side comparison

Composition: HDF vs engineered wood

Both laminate and wood flooring are wood products, meaning their cores consist of wood. For laminate, the body is HDF – a plate of high-pressure compressed, fine, recovered wood fibres. To this HDF core, a balancing layer, design layer and transparent, water-resistant overlay are added.

Quick-Step hardwood floors on the other hand are made from engineered wood, which means that planks consist of 3 layers of solid wood, covered with a protective finish.

Appearance: attention to detail

Laminate and wood flooring: appearance

By paying attention to the smallest details, we ensure that all Quick-Step floors breathe refinement. Subtle surface textures with fine grain structures create a natural wood or stone effect. Quick-Step’s Signature collection takes this to the next level, offering unmatched levels of realism that make the floor nearly indistinguishable from real wood.

Of course, we also provide the real deal: hardwood floors, which excel in both authenticity and fine detail and are available in a wide range of colours, gradings and wood species – a natural variation that can only be found in real wood floors. The secret? A true passion for design and a rigorous sourcing process that ensures we only work with the highest quality materials.

Performance: a floor that’s built to last

Comfort and sound

Laminate floors are made from wood fiber with a hard melamine surface and tend to make more noise than wooden floors due to their hard surface and light weight. Additionally, they can feel a little hollow underfoot compared to real wood floors and tend to transmit noise, although adding a foam underlay such as SilentWalk helps with both issues.

Engineered wood flooring on the other hand consists of thin layers of solid wood. Therefore it is more weighty, has a resilient surface and tends to be quieter than laminate. To optimize its acoustic qualities, we advise the combination of a hardwood floor with a SilentWalk underlay.

Underfloor heating

Both flooring types are compatible with underfloor heating. However, laminate floors boast a slightly lower thermal resistance, making them slightly more efficient as thermal conductors.

Moisture resistance

Water-repellent technology, combined with the patented Uniclic click system, prevents water from damaging your laminate floors. Most Quick-Step laminate floors have HydroSeal coating in the grooves, locking water out and making it suitable for use in bathrooms and kitchens, for example.

All Quick-Step wood floors have a moisture-repellent layer, protecting and preserving your floor’s attractive and authentic appearance. Although we’ve gone to great lengths to increase the moisture resistance of Quick-Step hardwood floors by introducing our ‘Surface & Edge Protect+’ technology, they are not waterproof and therefore not suitable for use in wet areas like bathrooms.

Wear and tear

Quick-Step laminate floors top the charts in terms of impact resistance, durability and scratch resistance. Smart technologies such as the patented Scratch Guard top layer provide a tenfold increase in scratch resistance.

Hardwood floors are traditionally slightly more sensitive to scratches and scuffs. However, Quick-Step’s lacquered wood floors are treated with 7 layers of UV-cured, water-based lacquer as well as the moisture- and dirt-repelling ‘Surface & Edge Protect+’ layer, making them more robust than other wooden floors. Our oiled floors are well-protected too, thanks to two layers of first-rate oil.

Installation: click away!

Both types of floors are easy to install, thanks to our innovative Uniclic click system. When it comes to laminate, we advise a floating installation with an underlay. For hardwood flooring, it’s your call: floating or glued down.

Of course, if you prefer the help of a professional, we’re happy to help you find the nearest certified Quick-Step installer.

Laminate and wood flooring: installation

Maintenance: easy, easier, easiest

Laminate and wood flooring: maintenance

Both laminate and wood floors are easy to clean, although wood requires more maintenance. For laminate, regular vacuuming and mopping with a damp cloth along with cleaning products from the Quick-Step cleaning kit will suffice.

A hardwood floor, on the other hand, needs some tender loving care to preserve its beauty. Lacquered wood flooring only requires standard cleaning thanks to the combination of ‘Surface Edge & Protect+’ technology and the layers of lacquer. Oiled wood flooring needs some extra care: it should also be treated regularly with the manufacturer’s cleaning products and maintenance oil.

Budget & warranty: a floor for life

Laminate is hardwood flooring’s more affordable sibling. Because there’s no endless supply of wood, an authentic wood floor comes with a higher price tag.

What’s more, both Quick-Step Laminate and Parquet come with extremely long warranties, with up to 25 years for Laminate and lifelong coverage for Parquet.

Help me choose

Still having trouble choosing between Laminate and Parquet? Check out our FloorExplorer. After you answer 4 easy questions, our tool will guide you towards your ideal flooring type and select your ideal floors within our range.

Try out our FloorExplorer

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