Solid wood flooring in a corporate office space

The Pros and Cons of Each Type of Wood Flooring

Wood flooring is a popular choice for commercial environments, and it's easy to understand why. Wood brings charm and character to a space that can be hard to achieve with other flooring types. But with countless natural, engineered, and laminated wooden flooring options available, deciding on the right one can take time and effort.

We've done the research for you by compiling a condensed list of the pros and cons of the different styles of wooden floors. Before we begin, let's make sure we understand the differences between natural, engineered, and laminated wood.

What is the difference between natural, engineered, and laminate wood floors?

Natural, engineered, and laminate wood flooring each have unique properties that set them apart.

Natural wood: Natural wood floors, also known as hardwood or solid wood, are made from solid wood. The natural wood is taken from a tree trunk, cut, and shaped into flooring planks.

Engineered wood: Engineered wood looks almost identical to natural wood on the surface, but its structure is not the same. Instead, it's made of a high-quality plywood core with a layer of hardwood on top.

Laminated wood: Laminate wood is a synthetic material designed to imitate real wood's appearance. Unlike natural and engineered wood, laminate flooring includes no authentic wood.

Pros of natural wood floors

A long-term investment
If well-maintained, natural wood floors can last up to a hundred years without needing to be replaced. Although it may be the most expensive type of wood, natural wood is a long-term investment that won't need to be replaced every 10-20 years like its alternatives.

Always in style
Natural wood floors have been an interior design staple in residential and commercial properties for the past 400 years. As the wooden planks in your facility naturally age, they'll add unique character and give a charming, timeless feel.

Adds value to a space
Natural wood floors increase the appeal of commercial spaces and their value. That is why solid wood floors are mentioned in countless estate agents' descriptions as a main selling point.

Cons of natural wood floors

Prone to termite damage
Natural timber is prone to termite infestations (some types more than others). If you've overseen the installation of natural wood planks in your facility, it's a good idea to inspect the floor every few months to ensure it is termite-free and healthy.

If an organization is on a tight budget, natural wood flooring may not be the best choice. Although a long-term investment, this type of floor can be expensive to purchase and install. Installing solid hardwood floors can take weeks, depending on the size of a space.

Prone to scratching and gouging
Over time, it's very common for natural wood floors to fall victim to scratches, dents, and gouges. But hardwood floors will need to be refinished by a professional to restore the surface.

Pros of engineered wood floors

Engineered wood floors are much cheaper to purchase than natural wood, and they're also the more cost-effective option for installation. Most engineered wood floors can be laid in less than a day thanks to their tongue and groove edges.

Engineered wood flooring comprises layers of plywood bonded together and topped with a layer of natural wood. This way, engineered wood flooring boards are incredibly durable and withstand heavy footfall in commercial spaces.

Variety of options
Engineered wood flooring comes in a wide variety of colors, designs, and textures to suit the individual style of any commercial environment. This wood flooring also comes in different thicknesses, widths, and species.

Cons of engineered wood floors

Mixed quality
To save time and money, some engineered wood manufacturers may use cheap flooring materials, leading to floors with poor structural integrity. It's essential to carry out thorough research before choosing a manufacturer.

Susceptible to fading
Engineered wood becomes susceptible to fading if exposed to sunlight for extended periods every day. Blinds or curtains will be needed to protect against this exposure.

It isn't moisture-proof
Although engineered wood flooring is more moisture-resistant than natural wood, it is still prone to swelling from too much moisture. Excessive moisture can cause a bowed or raised appearance that can affect the entire appeal of the commercial environment you care for.

Pros of laminate wood floors

Easy maintenance
One of the best features of laminate flooring is its ease of keeping clean. Spills and marks can simply be wiped away with a microfiber cloth, and it's easy to sweep or vacuum out any dirt and dust.

Laminate wood floors are perfect for high-traffic areas and are highly resistant to scratches and small amounts of water – meaning they can cope with the pressures of day-to-day life in commercial settings.

As imitation wood flooring, laminate flooring is affordable to purchase and install, and when compared to natural and engineered wood, it is the cheapest option. It allows for creating an attractive commercial space on a budget.

Cons of laminate wood floors

Sensitive to liquids
Laminate floors are sensitive to liquids. Overexposure to any liquid, not just water, can cause the planks to buckle, peel, and break down if left untreated.

It can't be refinished
Due to their makeup, laminate floors can't ever be refinished. Once damaged or worn out, they'll need to be replaced entirely.

Not genuine wood
The biggest drawback of laminate wood flooring is that it is not authentic. It may look and feel like natural hardwood, but in the end, it isn't and won't increase the resale value of your home.

Give your wood floors the specialist care they deserve

At Corporate Care, our expert technicians support your janitorial team with deep restorative cleaning and customized care plans for your wooden floors.

With a thorough cleaning, removal of marks and stains, scrubbing, and buffing, our wood surface specialists maximize return on your wood floor investments.

If you want to learn more about our wood floor cleaning and restoration services, contact us today!


About Corporate Care – A sustainability company

Corporate Care exists to improve the appearance, performance, and longevity of every surface in the commercial buildings you manage – reducing capital expenditures, stress, and management burden on facility managers from coast to coast.

As true surface care experts, we understand the unique properties and cleaning protocols every surface needs (or doesn’t) to look amazing and comply with manufacturer warranties. We’re here to support your existing janitorial crew with cadenced deep restorative cleaning and tailored maintenance protocols – performed by IICRC®-certified cleaning technicians.

We are firm believers in restoration over replacement. Let’s reduce waste together!