Laminate vs. Engineered Wood Flooring

I'm an older retired guy living in the SF Bay area in a small 750 sq.ft. home built in 1933. Have had the kitchen and bath remodeled last year and now am doing the bedrooms and front room.
My quandary is; Price is a major part of what I can do. I need something that will last 15yrs even 20 if I last that long.
I plan on staying here until they carry me out but have to make sure I don't spend money needlessly.
The current floors are wood, slight cupping in many areas so it might have to have a bit of sanding. Total 0f 560 sq.ft to replace.
The contractor I have been talking to had said he won't install laminate because its not as good as engineered wood. There are tons of styles and colors in laminate and the cost to install is minimal. I do not plan on doing any entertaining either. Contractor said its noisy but that's not really an issue since I will be using area carpeting.
So, what's the general consensus of opinion? Is laminate that bad for someone on a very limited budget? Out here its 1/3 of the cost of engineered wood.
Thanks to all for you previous help. I appreciate it.
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Jacksf wrote:

I have just completed my own laminate floor project last fall and I'm very satisfied with what came out.
Price was an issue as well as resistance to scratches as I have two large dogs in the house. One obvious downside is: you cannot poor water on laminate floor without consequences, but if you are planning on installing it in a generally dry area (living/family room etc.) you should be fine. Noisiness depends on the type of underlayment you choose but it is generally higher than other types of floor I think because the surface is very hard which is, of course, what makes it so scratch-resistant.
I've done 750 sq. ft in about 5 days with the help of my family members so you should be able to do your 560 sq. ft in an extended weekend.
Make sure you have fine cut carbide blade for your saw, by the way. The stuff is so hard it dulls a regular steel blade in just a couple of cuts. I've gone through two carbide blades on my 750 ft.
As far as pricing, try to stay away from the cheapest laminate as the quality is not there. All it takes is to look at the way edges are profiled, and you'll know the difference right away.
And the last thing: 560 sq. ft. is not really that big an area (you are going to need something like 16-18 cartons) and so you might get lucky and snatch a good deal at H.D. or Lowe's on remainders of colors that are being discontinued. I got a good deal on a cherry color I liked and L was going to discontinue. Obviously, makes sense to buy a carton or two spare just in case.
Good luck with your project!
D~
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What kind of wood? Could you just sand them and have them refinished. That would be cheaper than replacing.

Generally speaking that's true. Some laminate is very poor quality - it amounts to a photograph of wood pasted to some recycled board with plastic coating. At the other end of the range you can get 21mm thick Engineered Oak which is typically 5-6mm of solid wood on an 11 ply plywood. Some Engineered Oak is more expensive than solid oak. It's more stable so you can lay wider boards with less risk of cupping.
As I understand it laminate is next to impossible to repair if the surface wears. Engineered wood can frequently be sanded and refinished 3 to 5 times before the T&G fails.
There are tons of styles

In which case I suspect a good laminate might be better... I suspect real wood will change colour differently under the carpet vs uncarpeted areas. Make sure you use anti slip mats as a regular carpet on laminate is asking for a broken hip.
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a company by the name of AMTICO makes an excellent flooring called "vinyl planking" strips of vinyl that look like wood, the "spacia" series are heavy duty and quiet and lay easier and faster than wood yet last at least 10 years, or more...i just installed about 500 s.f. in a luxury condo and it's getting all kinds of oohs and aahs... price wise probably about 25 percent less than wood and people will not be able to tell the difference...AMTICO

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