Hardwood flooring from National Floors Direct

Engineered vs. Solid Hardwood Flooring: Which Is Best for Me?

In May 2021, the USDA granted over $15 million in assistance to wood-focused industries.

This is part of a move to promote wood products as a sustainable solution. At the same time, this initiative supports those involved in forestry at every level.

So, nowadays, when you support wooden construction materials, like engineered or hardwood flooring, you know you're doing your bit to boost the economy from the ground up.

Not only are these flooring materials an important economic driver, but they're also an excellent aesthetic addition to any home. Here's how to make the most of these flooring options.

What Is Solid Hardwood Flooring

Solid hardwood flooring comprises planks of solid wood nailed or stapled in place. It's never installed as a floating floor.

Typically, this type of floor is around ¾ -inch thick and between 2½ and 5-inches wide.

You'll need a specialist installer to put this type of floor in place, which can result in high costs. They'll come to your home and fit it precisely in place, sand it, and finish it on-site.

Nowadays, you can also order pre-finished planks, which save time and cut down labor costs.

Once your floors are in place, you'll get to enjoy their exceptional beauty for as long as you stay in your home.

You can refinish solid hardwood as many times as you like to get rid of scratches and scuffs, depending on how thick the planks are.

About Engineered Hardwood Flooring

Engineered hardwood flooring is a cost-effective alternative to solid hardwood flooring. Unfortunately, it doesn't boast the longevity of the latter option.

An engineered hardwood floor can last for a maximum of 30 years, and you can only refinish it a couple of times.

This type of flooring consists of several layers, with a top layer comprising a veneer of hardwood.

The best quality engineered floors have sawn or sliced hardwood veneer with an authentic appearance. Cheaper options use rotary cut hardwood, which often looks like plywood.

The lower layers comprise wood or plywood glued together to create a dimensionally stable plank of between 3/8 to ½ inches thick. Most planks are between 3¼ and 5-inches wide, but you can order wider planks, too.

Manufacturers finish these planks at the factory. You can choose from all your favorite hardwood species as well as different finished effects. These include distressed, wire-brushed, or hand-scraped wood finishes.

Engineered hardwood flooring suits a floating floor or a glue-down installation, as nails will damage the planks.

When Is Solid Hardwood Flooring Best?

There's no denying the beauty of hardwood. The best way to take advantage of it is by opting for a solid hardwood floor.
These durable floors are an excellent choice for dramatic appeal in a hallway or high-traffic areas like living rooms.

Hardwood floors withstand heat well, but high humidity can cause the wood to swell and warp. For this reason, you can't use solid hardwood flooring in bathrooms, kitchens, or basements.

They're an excellent warm option for bedrooms though and have a wonderful firm feel underfoot.

Finally, if you're environmentally conscious, you can give a gorgeous, reclaimed hardwood floor a second life in your home. Due to its exceptionally long lifespan, it's possible to recycle hardwood floors several times over.

Hardwood floors release no harmful chemicals into your home. Like engineered hardwood floors, they decompose naturally in landfills.

When Should You Choose Engineered Hardwood Floors?

While hardwood flooring falls short on some benefits of hardwood, it's a good option if you're shopping on a budget. The best quality engineered hardwood planks can cost more than lower quality solid hardwood, though.

Its short lifespan cannot compare with that of solid hardwood, but it does offer superior resistance to moisture and humidity. For this reason, you can use top-quality engineered hardwood flooring in your kitchen, or basement.

Engineered hardwood flooring isn't suited to very high moisture areas, like bathrooms, though. You'll need waterproof luxury vinyl flooring for that.

You can install this type of floor as a floating floor, which is convenient if you're renting a home and want to enjoy the aesthetics of solid hardwood flooring.

Although it closely resembles solid hardwood flooring, you can tell it's not the real thing on closer inspection.

Engineered flooring stands up well to high traffic areas, but you'll need to refinish these planks more often, or even replace them before the rest of your floor.

Fortunately, it's relatively quick and easy to replace a damaged engineered wood plank if needed.

Due to its cost benefits and water-resistant properties, engineered wood flooring dominates the wood flooring market, with a CAGR of 4.6%.

The Ins and Outs of Wood Floors

Both engineered and solid hardwood floors require a little extra care when compared to some other types of floors.

It's best to avoid drenching your wood floors with water by mopping. You'll get the best results when you use an approved hardwood cleaner on these floors, although sweeping and vacuuming are all you need to keep them looking their best.

Wood floors are a durable choice, but it pays to take care when moving heavy furniture. Dragging heavy objects across your wood floors can cause unsightly scratches and scuffs.

Subfloor preparation is a vital consideration when installing hardwood and engineered hardwood floors. These surfaces last longer when installed over a level, smooth surface, with no moisture issues.

Find the Best Floors For Your Home

Thanks to modern innovation, there's an ideal flooring solution for every room in your home. The best way to discover your perfect floors is by getting an expert installer to help you decide.

Hardwood flooring is a timeless choice for many homeowners, but we can introduce you to many other value-adding options too.

We can help you discover the best ones for your home and budget. Reach out for a free home estimate today!