Originally Posted by twaddle
I prefer "engineered" wood flooring over laminates. A laminate is basically a picture of wood glued to MDF. Engineered flooring is a real wood veneer glued to MDF and finished with a tough ceramic coating.
I'm with twaddle on this one. Kids wanted laminate (pergo) in their bedrooms. I just couldn't get past the artificial look of it (OK, I am a snob about some things).
Found an 'engineered' product at IKEA. Pretty cheap, and about 3/16" of birch over the MDF substrate. All pre-finished. Tight fit, it was kind of a pain to install. Looks good, but not as flat or as solid feeling as 3/4 hardwood.
We have 3/4" T&G red oak in several rooms downstairs. Night and day difference, but this engineered stuff was pretty good for an older kids room. Personally, unless you are really good, I would leave the sand/staining of a hardwood floor to the pros. The experience pays off in getting a nice even finish w/o hills/valleys. I don't think they charge all that much compared to the cost renting the sander, and of a substandard finish on all that expensive hardwood.
Just my 2 cents. - ERD50