Replacing carpets and other aged flooring with wood is a wise option for homeowners across North America. But consumers wonder which option provides the best value and ponder the question of solid vs engineered wood flooring. What are the major differences in these popular products? And how can you choose the ideal wood flooring for your home?
Major Differences in Solid Vs Engineered Wood Floors
Although they provide the same beautiful, natural look in your home, solid hardwood and engineered wood floors are manufactured differently. Formed from a single plank of wood, solid hardwood floors provide an attractive, durable surface for rooms on the main and upper floors of your home.
Engineered wood floors, on the other hand, are manufactured with a plywood base of overlapping pieces and topped with a layer of solid wood. This combination provides the look of solid hardwood with improved stability and more applications.
Where Do You Want to Install Wood Floors?
Your choice of solid vs engineered wood floors may be determined by location. Solid hardwood performs well in rooms above grade. High levels of humidity and the need for a wood subfloor make basement or below-grade applications very costly.
If you are looking at installing wood floors in the basement, engineered wood lines are installed as floating floors, using either glue or a click-lock design. Engineered wood also works well in other rooms where moisture may be an issue, such as the kitchen and laundry. Installing wood floors in the full bathrooms are not generally recommended, although a good quality engineered wood product provides a gorgeous finish in modern bathrooms.
Solid hardwood floors remain the ideal option for above-grade applications in detached homes. Condominiums and apartments often need to install floating engineered wood flooring because sound and fireproofing guidelines do not allow solid hardwood to be nailed down, and engineered wood floors are much less susceptible to moisture from the concrete slab.
Longevity and Flexibility
Wood flooring requires a substantial investment, but also significantly improves your property value. It only makes sense to spend your money wisely, installing wood flooring that’s made to last.
Well-chosen solid wood floors installed by a professional contractor could last more than a century. The solid design allows you to resurface the flooring multiple times, whether to change color or simply freshen up the space. Engineered wood floors last a long time, but a thinner wear layer and softer composition reduce the longevity by a few decades.
Far superior to laminate and vinyl flooring, wood flooring provides an upscale look and enhanced comfort in your home. Deciding between solid vs engineered wood flooring requires careful thought and consideration. Depending on the location and desired appearance, one may emerge the better choice. But both provide excellent performance for years to come.