Engineered, Pre-finished, Laminate...Wait, What?

Do you get confused between the types of flooring and deciding what's best for you?  What do they mean by engineered?  Does that mean laminated?  No worries, we are here to clear up the confusion and help you make the best decision.Here we'll discuss some options other than site finished, solid hardwood floors.

Pre-finished Hardwood

These are also referred to as factory finished and are solid wood floors that are sanded, stained and finished at the factory, rather than on site.  Each board has a slightly beveled edge to help hide minor irregularities.  Pre-finished floors can be sanded and refinished multiple times because they are made of solid wood.


Engineered Hardwood

This is a layered product made with a thin slice of hardwood on top of a base of high-quality plywood.   Most engineered wood floors are pre-finished. Because of the thinness of the wear-layer (actual finished wood) it usually can only be sanded (lightly) and refinished one time.  The resale value for site finished, pre-finished and engineered hardwood is very good.  They are all real wood products and are attractive to potential buyers.

Laminate Wood

Laminate is thin fiberboard topped with an image of wood.  It is then topped with a transparent wear layer.  Laminate flooring has come a long way in the last 15 years.  Today's laminate floors are durable, scratch, stain and fade resistant, easy to clean and maintain, hypoallergenic and perfect for busy households with pets, children and daily traffic. 

Luxury Vinyl (LVP)

Kentwood LVT Collection
This product comes in planks and tiles; usually abbreviated to LVP or LVT.  Luxury vinyl planks look like real wood and luxury vinyl tiles, like tiles.  They are installed piece by piece rather than rolled out like traditional vinyl sheet floors.  Most LVP and LVT are water resistant or waterproof.  If you love the look of wood but have a house full of kids and animals, this may be the way to go.  They are very easy to clean with a mild cleanser and damp mop and hold up to a lot of activity. 

Engineered Vinyl Plank (EVP)

This is a step up from LVP.  The look and feel of EVP is very realistic.  It is constructed in layers, like engineered hardwood and is exceptionally durable.  This product is waterproof and installs easily over most surfaces, including radiant heat.  Style-wise, you'll find many more options, such as a weathered or reclaimed look.  

We hope this makes things a little clearer and will help you make a decision when considering new flooring.