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need input: hardwood v. engineered hardwood for condo

kikikay

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#1
I'm at the stage of having to decide on upgrades for my 645 sq ft condo. I'm looking at upgrading from laminate flooring in the living/dining and den and carpet in bedroom.

Here's what I've come across in my research:

- true hardwood may shrink or expand due to moisture buildup (especially if not installed properly, something which is impossible to supervise as the installation would be done by the builder)
- more susceptible to scratches/dents (although I don't have kids or pets)
- upgrade cost ~$7,000 v. ~$4,000 for engineered wood

Does anyone know the pros and cons of true hardwood v. engineered hardwood flooring in condos? (i.e. resale value, issues with long-term maintenance, etc.) Thanks in advance!
 

carturo15

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#2
Stick to the laminate, that is the best for Condos, easy maintenance and looks great. just upgrade you bedroom carpet to laminate. there are very good laminates for Condos, no need to spend $4-7k in that.If you have a good laminate, there is not any effect in resale value if you have laminate or eng. hardwood. or true hardwood
 

simuls

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#3
I completely agree with carturo15. In my experience, for condos, laminate is not only equal to, but better than hardwood and there is absolutely zero effect on price. If you pay the extra for hardwood you will not get a penny more than if you'd had laminate. If you have carpet, you will get less. Tons of choice and laminates that are really really well made now. It shouldn't cost you more than $2000 including labour for a good laminate for your size of place. Use the rest to pay down your mortgage!
 

taxman

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#4
If I were a buyer, I would pay less for laminate. And Im pretty sure Im not the only one. So Im not sure how people can say there is no difference in resale value.

Laminate is less maintenance, but also does not look as nice as hardwood. So it depends on whether you are living in or planning on renting your unit. If renting, I would go laminate.
 

JayBee

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#5
If I were a buyer, I would pay less for laminate. And Im pretty sure Im not the only one. So Im not sure how people can say there is no difference in resale value.

Laminate is less maintenance, but also does not look as nice as hardwood. So it depends on whether you are living in or planning on renting your unit. If renting, I would go laminate.
I don't think it's worth the extra money. Good laminate looks nice...and I'm sure the average buyer can't tell the difference.
 

KA1

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#6
Here is my take on laminate v engineered hardwood as told by someone at Home Depot.

Laminate is not at all wood. It is printed to look like a wood.

engineered hardwood is a top layer of actual dried out hardwood. Underneath is pressed wood. Since the top layer is actual wood, you will have to wipe moisture from the floor asap.

Engineered wood gets scratched easily as compared to laminate floor.

In terms of looks, most of the individuals would not recognise the difference between laminate and engineered floor.

I have engineered wood all over the apartment -- a standard feature given -- since 2006. It has not year warped. Last year, there was a small leak of water from the floor above. Condo corporation had industrial strength fans going on 24 hours a day for quite a few days -- a real pain -- to dry out the water and prevent mold setting in. Eventually, they had to replace a few boards to remove wet underfloor. Since the wood pieces are tounge-in-groove, they had to start from the edges to all the way to the middle of the floor just to remove wet underpad.

My suggestion, if I may: unless you have strong reasons to go for engineered hardwood, go for laminate flooring.
 

taxman

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#7
I don't think it's worth the extra money. Good laminate looks nice...and I'm sure the average buyer can't tell the difference.
Most people can spot the difference between laminate and hardwood. They look and feel very different. And even if they can't tell, they will more than likely ask about the floor. Then what? Lie and say its wood?
 

cdr108

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#8
I don't think it's worth the extra money. Good laminate looks nice...and I'm sure the average buyer can't tell the difference.
they sound completely different when you walk on them ... engineered wood sounds like hardwood, while laminate sounds hollow.
visual wise, some may/may not be able to tell the difference.

as KA1 noted, engineered wood has a hardwood top layer (thickness varies) which can be sanded and refinished; while laminate is a photo of hardwood adhered to fiberboard substrate that cannot be sanded / refinished.

personally, i would discount a unit with laminate vs hardwood (engineered or real)
 

simuls

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#9
I have never seen a premium for hardwood/engineered hardwood vs. laminate in a condo that's up for sale and I've seen virtually identical units on numerous occasions with this as one of the few differences.

Condo's are actually much better off with laminate as moisture is a real issue and affects laminates much less than hardwood. Laminate is only a picture of wood, but many many many people can't tell the difference especially now that many laminates also include a texture on the surface. I would also add that laminate doesn't pock mark like hardwood, so if anyone's in heels your floor will be much better off if it's laminate.

If I was in a home, it would be completely different and I would go with engineered hardwood all the way and there would be a price premium for it.
 

iSlutsky

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#11
Wow! I am really surprised by what I am reading.

Without a doubt, IMO there is a difference in the feel and look between laminate and engineered hardwood. And, without a doubt, I would discount a suite that has laminate. Yes... laminates are getting better, but they are not the same as wood!

Pictures are for my walls, not my floors.
 

cityboy

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#12
I have had both laminate and engineered wood..........it's not difficult to tell the difference. When you walk on them you can tell right away. It's true a good laminate is ok but for a small place the difference is worth it. If you can afford it...go with engineered wood.

Don't get it done by the builder....the cost is usually close to double. I was quoted 12K for 900 sq ft (builders best upgrade option). I can get the job done for $7K (equivalent floor).
 
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JackHerer

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#13
i have engineered hardwood and it scratches so easily,drop something and the floor is damaged, i do not think u can get hardwood in condos because they have to be nailed in, i would prefer e hardwood over laminate
 

kikikay

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#15
So how is the OP getting hardwood in his condo?
This builder is offering hardwood.

IMG_2854.jpg


My guess is that it would be installed on top of a subfloor to avoid moisture being trapped between the concrete and wood, and to prevent or minimize a whole slew of other issues. I have yet to confirm the installation process though.

But unfortunately they are not offering cork or bamboo, just laminate, eng. hardwood and hardwood. I'm still not sure what to go with. Like some of you, if I was looking at resale, I think I would pick hardwood over laminate. But for my budget's sake, I'm leaning towards the engineered flooring because even though it will get scratched/dented more than laminate, at least I have the option of sanding and refinishing it at least once when it's time to sell. Now I just have to decide on the shade. In theory I like the look the look of espresso(ish) shades but I:

- don't want to be best friends with a swiffer constantly getting rid of dust
- don't like any of the mid-tone shades
- am wondering if in a few years, the dark look may be on its way out
- like the look of the very light/almost white floors
- but don't know if going with a similar shade of kitchen cabinets would make the entire place looked to washed out.

So...does anyone want to share their opinion on that???

Thanks in advance! (again)
 

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