Solid hardwood flooring for their new builds or flooring projects is an excellent option in new construction or remodeling projects. However, it is not always the practical option. It may require special tools, and it may not work for lower levels of your home. Moisture can be a killer. Sure, you could go with vinyl but they do not offer the same natural beauty that real hardwood floors do.
Luckily, technology advancements mean you can have the best of both worlds. Engineered wood floors may be just what you are looking for to combine the beauty of solid hardwood with the functionality of other flooring options.
What is Engineered Wood Flooring
To start with, engineered wood is made with real wood. When cut the same as solid wood, an engineered wood should look exactly the same as solid wood. Look for sawn cut engineered woods instead of rotary peeled. In fact, the top layer is solid hardwood and the lower layers are made of durable plywood or other alternative cores. Laminate flooring, on the contrary, is simply an image of hardwood overlayed on a strandboard core.
The plywood core underneath a layer of hardwood on an engineered wood is much better at dealing with moisture and dryness experienced during seasonal changes. A well-constructed core will help your floors maintains its shape.
Fabrication of Engineered Wood Flooring
Engineered wood is fabricated by cross laying the sheets of wood and plywood. By alternating the grain it keeps the flooring balanced when it contracts and expands. This allows your engineered wood floors to stand up to stresses of humidity changes more than traditional solid wood. Planks can be cut in any size without compromising that stability. It seems that the current trend is towards wider planks with added length, and engineered hardwood can accommodate this.
A Different Type of Engineered Hardwood
There are as many species of engineered wood flooring as there are solid hardwood options, maybe even more. Why would anyone ever want a solid wood anymore? The reason is that solid offers a proven track record for performance and longevity. A solid hardwood can be sanded & refinished 3-4 times in its lifespan giving you a brand new floor each time at a fraction of the cost. When looking for engineered hardwoods, we recommend at least 2mm veneer. Thinner veneers are often rotary peeled and do not offer the same hardness and visual properties of traditional hardwood floors. If you are looking for the best of both worlds, look for Solid-Hybrids. This type of engineered hardwood features a super thick veneer, sandable 3-4 times along with the sturdy structure of engineered wood.
Solid-Hybrids can be installed by nailing down to the subfloor, by glue down to the concrete, or by floating over any flat surface. They can be produced extremely wide while retaining its dimensional stability and making for an easier time during installation. As if that is not enough, these floors can also be installed below grade in your basement or lower level.
For your next building or flooring project, there are several options you can choose. Make sure that Solid-Hybrids are on your list and remember all of the benefits that come with it.