Hardwood Flooring – Solid vs. Engineered

Solid vs. Engineered
by Candela Moreno

Hardwood is one of the most popular types of flooring in residential homes, yet many people may not know the essential differences between solid hardwood and engineered hardwood. They are both very beautiful but have particular differences when it comes to holding up over time. Let’s look at the pro’s and con’s of the 2 most widely used hardwoods so you can make your important decision with confidence!

Solid HardwoodPros
Solid hardwood is distinct in that it can be repaired and refinished multiple times, further increasing its life expectancy, meaning if taken care of properly, it can last for generations. Solid hardwood will most likely increase the value of your home.

Although solid hardwood is beautiful and genuine, it has its downsides. One of them being that solid hardwood is extremely sensitive to temperature, causing it to expand, gap, and contract when it’s not in the proper climate year-around. (Consider your electricity bill) when purchasing solid hardwood. Another con about solid hardwood is that it can only be nailed down so that eliminates any areas of the home that have a concrete subfloor, like a basement.

Engineered HardwoodPros
Unlike solid hardwood, engineered hardwood doesn’t have as many moisture problems. Meaning it does not gap, expand, or contract as much as solid hardwood. It also requires less maintenance. Most engineered hardwood has a multi directional core. This core expands and contracts in different directions limiting the movement of the hardwood itself. Engineered hardwood can be glued, nailed, or floated, so you can install it in virtually any room of your home (Including on concrete subfloors). Another pro is that engineered hardwood comes in a large variety of plank sizes, unlike solid hardwood.

In terms of life expectancy, engineered hardwood isn’t as great. It’s thinner wear layer limits the amount of times, if any, it can be sanded and refinished while still leaving an appropriate amount of usable wear layer. Which can affect the life expectancy of the wood.

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