Let’s get right to the point, which is the composite flooring, and what it is not, hybrid wood flooring. Hybrid wood flooring is different from a solid timber floor. There are many people that will get confused between the two, but in reality they are both synthetic, vinyl flooring. The truth is, there is no difference in the fact that they are all the same synthetic material that is produced with a wood grain structure in mind.
As a consumer you should know that hybrid wood is not waterproof, so do not even think about installing your new laminate flooring. Not even a little bit. Hybrid wood floors are just as water tight as solid timber flooring is waterproof.
Even the plastic laminate flooring is not waterproof, even though it is touted as being water proof, that plastic is still just plastic. A lot of the plastic laminates that you find today are constructed from a petroleum based polymer, and after a couple of years of usage, they become almost impossible to clean, because they start to merge together and the chemicals found in the oil base polymer of the plastic start to degrade. They simply do not perform like any type of solid timber flooring.
Laminate flooring, that is made from laminate, is cheaper than the real solid timber flooring. For that reason, a lot of homeowners will use plastic laminate flooring, because they are cheaper, and are easier to install. When installing a laminate floor, you will find that the installation techniques are not as stringent, which is why there is a higher risk for leaking or sticking when using adhesive. The problem with laminate is that if you get a laminate that has cracks in it, you will find that the glue does not hold up, and in fact you will find that the laminate starts to crumble.
Hybrid wood and laminate are actually a better investment than solid timber flooring. Just because they are cheaper to install, does not mean that they are a better value. In actuality, laminate flooring is a good alternative to solid timber flooring. When the laminate is installed properly, it can actually be installed in a far more efficient manner than solid timber flooring.
Waterproofing, while it may sound too simple, is very important to those that want to be sure that their floor is waterproof. Using an underlayment, on a wooden floor, helps to give the floor a much more resilient water resistant foundation, so that it will last much longer than those that use regular products. The underlayment will make sure that the moisture in the wood is held at bay, and the side of the floor that is made from laminate, will keep the water out of the area where the actual solid timber flooring is. You will find that the quality of a laminate floor is not nearly as high as it is in a solid timber floor.
Of course, a water resistant underlayment will cost you more than a laminate flooring, but you will also find that you get much more value from the underlayment than you will with the laminate. In actuality, you can purchase a moisture barrier underlayment at a discount price, and it will work much better than the one that comes with laminate.
Laminate will still have a lot of the moisture control features, such as the moisture seal, but the quality of the laminate floor is going to suffer because of it. That is because the laminate is manufactured with synthetic materials, which are far less durable than wood, which is why it is so hard to clean up a few pieces of loose laminate that has stuck to it.
Laminate is a little better in this area than solid timber flooring is, because laminate is much more rigid, and will not warp in the same way that solid timber flooring will. The one major difference that you will find in a laminate floor, is that they tend to crack when they are sitting around and the joints start to corrode from the resin used to build the laminate, which is a higher form of cement.
Composite wood and laminate are both going to give you the same kind of look, but they are not the same as real wood and real laminate flooring. That is because there is one main difference, and that is the composition of the wood itself. Another major difference is that the composite is an alloy, which will not weather as well as real wood does, if it is exposed to a lot of moisture.