So, you’ve made the big decision by choosing to go with hardwood flooring. Next, you’ll be faced with another choice. Solid hardwood or engineered wood? Which should you choose? There are definitely positives and negatives to both materials and you should really take these into consideration when deciding between which type of hardwood flooring your home should have.
Solid Hardwood Flooring
The most obvious benefit to solid hardwood is the simple fact that it’s real. Manufactured from a single piece of wood, it’s 100% natural. No matter how much engineered wood looks like real hardwood, it will never be the real thing. Despite the wonderful look of natural wood, it does respond to air humidity variations. During warm and humid summers, the wood may expand and during the cold and dry winters, it may contract. Indoor humidity should be kept around 50% throughout the year to avoid seasonal gapping. Real wood ages. The wood’s true beauty enhances as it gets older so the longer you have solid hardwood installed, the more distinguished your interior will look. This flooring option is also flexible because it can be sanded and re-finished if needed. This peace of mind is big for homeowners because if change is needed, remodeling can be done relatively easily and affordably. Of course, this maintenance is required every 15-20 years, so that could prove to be a hindrance. Solid wood is available in a variety of wood species. Depending on the look you’re going for, you can opt for the staples like oak and maple to the regional specific species like pecan and mesquite. You can even choose the rare exotic woods from places like Brazil or Africa. Engineered hardwood just can’t compete with the character and authenticity that real wood provides.
Unlike solid hardwood floors, engineered planks feature multiple layers of wood that are bonded together under extreme heat and pressure. These layers are not as affected by humidity levels as solid hardwood, so often, engineered wood is preferred in kitchens and bathrooms where humidity levels are prone to change. Installation for engineered hardwood can be easier than solid hardwood because of the tongue and groove installation method. Like laminate flooring, engineered wood can be installed without nails or glue in a floating floor format. Thus, engineered hardwood can be installed at all levels of the home.
Both solid hardwood and engineered hardwood are extremely durable. Whichever option you choose, your floors will last a long time. Also, both are available in the same range of finishes and stains. They can virtually look the same in appearance. Although generally cheaper than solid hardwood, the cost of engineered hardwood can often be in the same range when you take into consideration plank size and lumber. Ultimately, your hardwood choice is going to be determined by where you’re going to install the floor. The bottom line is that both solid hardwood and engineered hardwood will increase the value of your home. Just make sure to maintain properly. Call us at Floor Coverings International of Concord, CA for a free in-home estimate.