Laminate and hardwood flooring are more processed than hardwood options and some types of bamboo, though all modern flooring does have a fair amount of processing done. But the advantage of this is how the end result can be modified to suit our situation. Engineered flooring can be made very resistant to warping, and laminate can have any decorative pattern that we wish.
Sydney Engineered Flooring
Engineered flooring is a plywood; it is comprised of many different woods in several layers. This multilayers approach not only allows greater strength, with the grains running at 90 degree angles, it also means the top layer can be a wood chosen for aesthetic appeal alone. This makes for a wooden floor that is both unlikely to warp over time and quite resistive to damage, all with a pleasant appearance.
Engineered wooden flooring is also environmentally preferable to solid hardwood. There is far less wood wasted in the cutting process for engineered wood, and only the top veneer needs to be from the expensive, slow growing trees. This means the wood from expensive hardwood trees goes much further.
Of course a veneered floor cannot usually be sanded, else the layer of less attractive wood underneath will be exposed. Some thicker veneers can be sanded once, effectively doubling the life of the floor, but unlike hardwood they will not last several centuries. Nevertheless a decent engineered floor will last many decades, and can be installed at a medium cost.
Laminate is a rather like plywood, but instead of veneering with real wood the top layer is a photographic image. Because it is a photograph almost any type of decorative surface is easily reproduced, including stone or tile. And as this surface image is protected by a hard plastic coating a decent laminate floor is quite scratch resistant. The disadvantage is that the top image on the floor will eventually wear away with steady traffic. But this is offset by the lower cost or replacing such a floor, and the many different design options.
Sydney has fairly stable weather, so moisture conditions are never more than a minor issue. Problems with floor stability are quite rare. This allows home owners a fairly wide range of flooring options. Floors can be chosen for their appearance alone, and last for many decades.