Engineered vs. Solid Hardwood: Ultimate Breakdown

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The home customizing process can be overwhelming when you are presented with so many options. The task of trying to get the desired look and feel while still maintaining practicality and staying within budget; but if you arm yourself with as much information as possible before making any decisions, you will be sure to find the perfect fit. With the information provided here, we know we can help you can make the best decision for your home.

Solid Hardwood Floors

Hardwood floors come from solid wooden planks, all from the same piece of timber with each cut. It is also one of the top most requested features of all time when it comes to home buying.

 

Pros:

Customization is easier with hardwood floors. Unfinished flooring can be chosen, and is completed in the customer’s home upon installation. The customer can see the process as it is happening, making further aesthetic decisions throughout the process. There are more choices in the type of tree that the wood comes from, allowing for a larger variety of combinations of looks and stains to mix as well. As with any investment, maintenance is crucial. Solid hardwood floors can be sanded and refinished multiple times to not only help maintain the integrity and quality of the floor but can also be used for minor changes in design.

Cons:

There are only two real downsides to having solid hardwood floors in your home: cost and maintenance. Solid hardwood is the more expensive option compared to engineered wood floors, but it also requires additional materials upon installation. It cannot be applied on concrete, so a subfloor is required under hardwood. The maintenance factor also goes into the cost. Solid hardwood is easier to dent and scratch with normal wear and tear, which would lead to increased sanding and refinishing over time. It also can warp or change shape based on humidity and temperature fluctuations, so keeping the correct conditions in your hope is essential to protect the lifespan of your floors.

Engineered Hardwood Floors

Engineered wood floor boards are layered pieces of wood or wood-like materials to create planks. They still give the appearance of hardwood planks without actually being made of solid wood.

Pros:

Each layer in the core of the plank is placed together in a way that helps account for changes in shape due to humidity, so warping is not a common problem when using engineered hardwood. It’s a great option for those areas that are more humid or encounter moisture often, such as bathrooms, kitchens, or walkways coming inside from a pool. For those who want a “greener” option, engineered hardwood produces far less waste material than its solid counterpart, including not requiring any subflooring or additional materials. This also helps with the cost factor. Engineered hardwood is significantly cheaper than solid hardwood.

Cons:

As mentioned above, wood floors can be sanded and refinished multiple times due to wear and tear or minor aesthetic changes. The downside of engineered hardwood is that this can only be done a small number of times before compromising the structure of the flooring. When it comes to price, it is clearly more inexpensive than solid hardwood, but there are still more price friendly options out there (such as carpet or laminate).

Think through all of your must-haves and preferences before making your flooring decision. As long as you are educated on the options, you are sure to find the perfect fit for your needs.