Wood flooring makes an excellent addition to your home, adding a touch of beauty and warmth to any room. When it comes to choosing wood flooring, however, you have two options: solid and engineered hardwood. They’re both made from 100% natural wood, ensuring your floors receive the textured grain and the unique appearance of real timber.
However, both options come with a variety of colours, looks, and styles. Which should you choose? If any of the following factors resonate with you, then engineered hardwood may be the better choice for your new floor.
Different construction methods are used to create solid and engineered hardwood boards. While solid wood boards are milled from a thick piece of wood and come out with a thickness of between ¾ inch to 7/16 inches, engineered hardwood boards are constructed by joining several high-density fiberboards together, layered inside a solid hardwood top and bottom layer. At the end of the day, engineered hardwood boards are stronger and tougher, which make them a good choice. Their enhanced stability and resistance help them better withstand wear and tear.
2. Less Expansion and Contraction
Solid hardwood floorboards respond too strongly to fluctuations to humidity and temperatures, leading to floorboards that may buckle and gap. In the winter, when the air is dry, solid hardwood floors will shrink, while in the summer, when there’s more moisture in the air, the hardwood will expand. This drawback to hardwood floors also makes installation trickier. The person installing the floors must have the experience and expertise required to leave enough space to allow for the wood’s natural expansion and contraction over the year; otherwise, gaps and buckling will occur.
Engineered hardwood, on the other hand, can be installed on any level in your home, including your basement, because it won’t be affected by humidity changes. This is one of the key benefits that make homeowners choose engineered hardwood over solid hardwood time and time again.
3. Less Maintenance Required
Although all hardwood floors age gracefully and tend to look even more appealing with time, the surface of solid hardwood does eventually dull and develop scuffs and scratches. You will need to re-sand and re-finish solid hardwood flooring multiple times over its lifetime. Engineered hardwood, however, will likely on require refinishing once or twice during the same time period.
4. More Cost Effective
When it comes to the cost of material, labour costs, as well as installation costs, engineered hardwood flooring is more cost-effective than solid hardwood. Rather than paying for a big piece of solid oak, for example, you’re paying for only an oak veneer on the top layer, making the material more budget-friendly. If cost is a concern of yours, then engineered hardwood is likely the better choice.
5. More Resistant to Moisture
Solid hardwood flooring can be finicky, particularly when it comes to moisture, making them a poor choice for basements and many other rooms. You may face water damage and mould if the boards get wet, and you may need to rip up the floors and install new boards if this occurs.
Though all hardwoods don’t mix well with water, engineered floorboards are more resistant. They are the better choice for rooms with a higher potential for moisture, such as the kitchen, the laundry room, and bathrooms. Engineered hardwood can also be applied directly over concrete, such as in condos, and can either be left floating or glued down, making it a better choice in many instances.
6. More Eco-Friendly
Because solid wood is only used for the top and bottom layer of engineered hardwood floorboards, you’re using less wood as opposed to solid hardwood, which results in a lower environmental impact.