Wood flooring has a timeless look, and it gives a warm feel. And not only is it beautiful, but it is a good investment too. Wood flooring is a classic choice that will add value to any home. Homes with wood flooring have proven to have a higher resale value.
When you choose a wood floor, you’ve got 3 main choices:
1.) Solid hardwood,
2.) Engineered wood,
3.) Laminate flooring.
When considering engineered vs. solid hardwood flooring, you first want to find the features of each so that you have some basis to compare these two types of flooring.
Solid Hardwood Flooring (Hardwood Floor)
The main advantage of solid wood flooring is its ability to be re-sanded and refinished over many years. It is not uncommon for solid wood floors to last 50 years or more, helping balance some of the environmental problems associated with some wood floors.
Usually, they are fabricated from 3/4″ thick solid wood and have tongue and groove sides to join the boards. It is also a thinner version that is 5/16″ thick.
The main issue to consider with these floors is because they are solid wood, they are susceptible to expansion and contraction due to humidity changes in the home. Because of that, solid hardwood can’t be installed (or isn’t recommended) in high moisture rooms, like the kitchen, bath and basement. The high moisture content in air, or even in floor, can cause the wood to ripple or buckle, which will destroy the flooring. Alternatively, in the winter the wood dries out and can shrink, leaving visible gaps between planks.
One popular hardwood is bamboo flooring (a grass rather than a hardwood, nonetheless it’s usually classed as a hardwood). Bamboo flooring is highly valued for its environmentally friendly qualities.
Engineered wood flooring is an exciting alternative to solid hardwood flooring. Engineered wood flooring is actually sheets of wood layered on top of each other in opposite directions.
It’s the plywood that distinguishes engineered wood flooring from solid hardwood. Each ply runs perpendicular to its adjacent ply, giving dimensional strength to the sandwich.
The cross-layering of the wood sheets provides a dimensionally stable floor which stands up to moisture much better than solid wood. Engineered hardwood is resistant to expansion and contraction from temperature changes and moisture, offering superior strength and resistance.
The flooring can be glued directly onto concrete, an existing floor, an acoustic underlay or even a subfloor with radiant heat.
Another great thing about engineered wood is the range of installation options. These floors come tongue and groove and can be installed non-floating, using nails or full adhesive spread, or some manufacturers offer interlocking engineered floating wood flooring that requires no adhesive. These interlocking floating wood floors are the easiest to install and require no specialized tools.
Engineered wood flooring’s greatest weakness is its thin top layer. Anyway, this 1/16″ to 1/8″ finish layer can be sanded, but it is recommended to seek the advice of a flooring company before sanding.
Unfortunately, unlike solid hardwood, deep scratches and dents in engineered wood cannot be sanded out.