Engineered vs Solid Hardwood Floors
When people consider which type of flooring is perfect for their home, they have often performed at least a basic search to see what types of hardwood flooring are available to them. The majority of what they find is what is called “Engineered Wood.” While the word “engineered” may lead you to think it is fake, don’t let that fool you. Both engineered and solid hardwood are 100% real wood. Let’s take a look at the composition of both types of flooring to better explain what we mean:
This is 100% real wood plank taken directly from a tree log. It is usually made from hardwood species like oak, maple, or walnut but can come in almost any type of wood imaginable.
This type of wood consists of a thin layer of real/solid wood (the veneer) bonded to a sublayer of high-quality plywood. The plywood may or may not be the same wood as the veneer, so be sure to check with the manufacturer!
While the type of flooring you choose will affect the durability of the floor itself, there are other factors involved including where you live and what type of subfloor you have, the skill of your installer, the type and thickness of wood species you choose, and the type of finish.
However, when considering solid wood and engineered wood without the above variables, there are a few differences. Both types have good resistance to heat, but engineered wood is recommended for flooring with radiant heat. Neither is recommended for exceedingly humid locations. That’s not to say you can’t install them successfully, because you certainly can. But if it rains every day and you don’t have a dehumidifier, you might want to consider tile or another flooring type.
Engineered wood handles humid conditions a little better since the sublayer makes it more stable and less likely to expand and contract. Some installers also recommend engineered wood over solid wood if you are installing over concrete. However, if solid wood is treated and installed properly, it can do just as well being installed over a concrete slab. We have had a lot of success in this area, so if you are interested in learning more, check out our blog “Hardwood Over Concrete.”
Since it is solid wood all the way through, it can be sanded and refinished more times than engineered wood. This is something you want to think about if you are someone who likes to redecorate and switch things up from time to time. A solid wood floor will give you more flexibility with style changes throughout the years.
If you can refinish engineered wood depends on the thickness of the veneer. Veneer thicknesses usually range from 1/12 (wallpaper thin) to ¾ (more like solid wood thickness). The thicker the top layer is, the more chance you have at being able to refinish it. Just keep in mind that the thicker the top layer, the more expensive it will be!
Many people who want to try and install flooring themselves prefer engineered wood over solid since it is easier to install. Installing solid hardwood floors requires some skill and special equipment, so it’s best left the professionals. However, unless you have some skill already, it’s best to leave either type of installation to the professionals.
Solid hardwood is usually nailed or glued to a subfloor while engineered wood can be nailed, glued, stapled or simply used as a floating floor with it’s click-and-lock design.
The installation method depends on the type of wood, the thickness of it, the subfloor, and the moisture level. With so many variables, again, it’s best to have a professional installation.
There are so many factors that go into the cost of both types of hardwood flooring. However, on average, engineered wood flooring costs slightly less than solid wood flooring unless you want thicker engineered wood flooring, then solid is slightly cheaper.
Which One is the Best?
While engineered hardwood flooring certainly has its pros, we believe solid hardwood flooring is the best all around choice.
One reason we think it is the best is because it lasts longer. When you install solid wood flooring in your home, you are making an investment that will outlive you. It has a proven reputation for being a good investment and adds value to your home if and when you decide to sell.
It is also easier to match to any existing wood flooring in your home. With solid hardwood, you generally have more customization options, including the ability to match colors on site. In comparison, engineered wood can be hard to match and repair. This can sometimes lead to having to replace the whole floor if you have damage.
Overall, with solid hardwood’s longevity and durability and how it allows home owners to be more flexible with customizing their interior design, we believe it is the superior product.
Call or send us a message today to see which type of hardwood flooring fits your needs the best. Auten Wideplank Flooring installs both solid and engineered hardwood floors.