Engineered vs. Solid Hardwood Floors

Home Flooring Engineered vs. Solid Hardwood Floors

There a lot of different flooring options in today’s market. Hardwood floors are one the most popular options, but even if you get that far you have to choose between engineered or solid hardwood. Knowing the difference between the two will help you pick the best option for your home, and help you get the biggest bang for your buck.

Solid Hardwood

Solid hardwood is usually ¾” thick, and is milled from a single piece of wood. The thickness means that it can usually be sanded down and refinished several times throughout its life. Since it is a single piece of wood, changes in humidity will cause solid hardwood to expand and contract, and could lead to warping. To prevent this, solid hardwood shouldn’t really be used in rooms that experience large changes in humidity (kitchens, bathrooms, and basements).

Engineered Hardwood

Engineered hardwood consists of three to five layers of wood bonded together using heat and pressure. Engineered hardwood tends to be cheaper than solid hardwood because only the top layer needs to be the desired hardwood, while the bottom layers can consist of plywood or other unfinished woods. The quality of engineered wood depends on the number of layers, and thickness of the top layer. The thicker the top layer, the more times the floor will be able to be refinished.

Because of its thickness and the treatment engineered wood receives, it is not as affected by humidity as solid wood is. This means it can be used in areas with high humidity with out worry of it warping. It can also be easily installed over concrete subfloors without worry about damage.

Which One Should You Use?

The first thing to consider is location. Any surface below ground level has the possibility of being exposed to extra moisture, and is not suited for solid wood flooring. Rooms below ground level, like basements or sunken living rooms, should have engineered flooring. Also consider what the function of the room is. If you know it’s a room that will be exposed to a lot of moisture, like a bathroom or kitchen, you should consider installing engineered wood over solid.

Next consider what type of subfloor you have. Solid wood and engineered wood are both good options if your subfloor is plywood, OSB, or old wood floors. If, however, it is concrete, engineered floors should be used to prevent any warping.

It is important to choose what is best for your home design and your budget. Contact the experts at 651Carpets if you need help deciding or are ready to get your new floors installed today!