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Choosing Between Solid and Engineered Wood.

engineered wood hardwood

Choosing Between Solid and Engineered Wood

Are you worried about making the right hardwood choice?  We are always asked what is the difference between solid and engineered hardwood.

Below are items to consider when choosing your next hardwood floor from

  1. Stability: Hardwood is quite dimensionally stable over time, but in certain climates it can swell or shrink depending on humidity changes. For instance, we see more “gapping” in the winter time when the air is cold and holds less humidity.  Homes that have modern humidifiers can help with this issue.  Engineered hardwood flooring, on the other hand, are designed to hand extreme climatic changes better by having a plywood base that increases over all stability.
  2. Thickness: It is important to consider the thickness of your flooring especially in remodel situations. It is important to take into account the height variance of door thresholds, trims, cabinets, etc.  Engineered hardwood flooring is generally come in a wider range of thickness compared to hardwood. Many times hardwood only comes in ¾” sizing.
  3. Type of installation: The type of installation is always an important issue in choosing flooring. Engineered hardwood flooring has more options when it comes to the type of installation. It can be installed using either staples, glue, or floated depending on the locking system. It can also be installed over all types of sub-floors from wood to concrete slabs. Solid hardwood flooring, on the other hand, has the limiting requirement of needing to be stapled down over suspended floors.
  4. Refinishing: Solid hardwood flooring can generally be refinished many times. Some engineered hardwoods can be resurfaced too depending on the type of manufacturing process. However, in with today’s factory durable factory finishes that most homeowners get a lifetime of use without having to worry about refinishing.
  5. Cost: Typically engineered hardwood flooring is less expensive than solid hardwood because the plywood portion of the board can be made from less expensive lumber sources.
  6. Follow The Installation Instructions: It is very important to follow the manufacturing directions closes. Hardwood needs time to adjust to your local climate before being installed.  To acclimate hardwood flooring the packaged boards should be moved into the room where they will be installed and the packaging should be opened allowing the rooms to allow the moisture levels to balance to the local conditions.  Also, it is important to follow the directions for the type of installation such as type and thickness of glues, size and spacing of staples, or other important installation instructions.