Engineered vs Solid Hardwood Flooring
Hardwood flooring is one of the most popular renewable flooring choices in the world today. Hardwood sourced from sustainably managed forests or from regulated plantations helps reduce the ecological impact of lifestyle choices.
But not all hardwood floors are perfect. Hardwood is susceptible to damage from pests and it is not as resistant to moisture as we would wish. Another problem with wood flooring is that some of the most beautiful woods take the longest to mature! Engineered wood is a solution to some of solid hardwood’s shortcomings.
Supporters of solid hardwood floors point out that an engineered wood floor is difficult to refinish and therefore is not quite as good as a solid hardwood floor. If you are looking for a comparison of solid and engineered hardwood flooring that will help you decide which one best suits your needs, please read on.
Advantages of Engineered Wood Flooring
- An engineered wood floor has a base layers of cheaper recycled woods. This base wood is either scrap wood or a variety of wood that grows rapidly. The base wood helps the floor plank better resist moisture. The base wood is then covered with a finish layer of the more expensive and beautiful hardwood like maple. It is the finished Maple floor top-layer that will show on the top of the engineered floor.
- Engineered wood is more resistant to moisture and can be installed in areas like the basement. Another advantage is that engineered hardwood floors can be installed as a floating floor directly over a vapor barrier without the need to glue or nail the floor in place. This saves on material, and time which saves you money.
- An engineered wood floor is easy to install and requires very little on-site labor.
- Engineered wood floors are more stable and are a better option if you have or are considering in-floor heating.
- Engineered wood floors are available in a wide variety of species and finishes.
- Engineered wood floors are generally more economical than comparable solid hardwood floors.
Advantages of Solid Hardwood Floors
- Solid wood floors consist of one single block of wood. They can be sanded to remove dents and refinished 4 to 5 times. An engineered floor by comparison only has one layer of the beautiful wood on top. Deep sanding is not possible with an engineered floor. The number of times an engineered floor can be refinished is proportional to the thickness of the wood layer on top. Even if you have chosen the thickest layer it cannot be refinished more than 2-3 times. Thus a solid hardwood floor if maintained properly lasts much longer than an engineered floor.
- Solid hardwood is more suitable for a house with children and pets. An engineered floor may become dented or scratched beyond repair.
- Solid hardwood floors are considered to have better acoustical properties and are stronger than engineered floors.
Beware of Some Engineered Floors
An engineered floor has several advantages over a solid hardwood floor. It is therefore rapidly gaining in popularity. The most important thing to keep in mind when buying an engineered wood floor is to source your flooring material from a reputed store. An engineered floor is only as good as the processes used to manufacture it. Fly by night operators are notorious for passing substandard boards as cheap but authentic engineered hardwood floors. These cheap boards are made with poor quality glues and processes. The result is that the engineered floor may start to unravel layer by layer after installation. Another important factor to keep in mind is that pictures of wood on the internet can be very different from the actual stuff. It is advisable that you physically inspect and choose the flooring finish suitable to your home and décor.
Contempo Floor Coverings has a tradition of quality and customer service. You can visit any of our stores and pick the engineered or solid hardwood floor of your choice. If you so desire, you can also use the professional installation and care services offered by Contempo Floor Coverings.