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Hardwood Flooring vs. Engineered flooring

What is the difference between hardwood flooring, and engineered hardwood flooring?

Hardwood flooring is just as it sounds, it is made from solid 3/4" thick wood pieces that vary from numerous types of wood.

Engineered flooring, unlike hardwood, is made with layers. The top layer being a hardwood veneer, and underneath that are layers of either hardwood, or plywood. Engineered hardwood flooring may sound like a fake wood floor, however it is as real as hardwood flooring, just done with layers.

Hardwood advantages:

  • Hardwood floor can be fixed much easier than other floors, especially for water damage. A professional can often match up the woods, and colors, to look like the rest of the flooring.

  • Solid hardwood can be refinished throughout the years. So, if daily life puts scratches and dents in your flooring, or if you change your mind on the stain of the wood, it can always be refinished.

  • When it comes to selling your home, solid hardwood tends to have a higher resale value. Which, adds to your flooring investment.

Engineered flooring advantages:

  • Engineered flooring does not require a plywood subfloor, so the flooring can be installed directly over concrete using many different ways to install: glue, nails, click, or staple.

  • While installing flooring, it's important to think about where the floor is being installed at. Engineered floors can be installed below grade (in a basement below ground), meaning that this flooring is a more versatile flooring option.

  • Most of the time, engineered floors are more stable due to the fact that they don't contract depending on the weather. So, they are great in the winter time because the seams are tighter than hardwood.

Hardwood disadvantages:

  • Hardwood floors cannot be in areas that may have heightened moisture levels, so bathrooms and basements are usually not ideal.

  • Due to the installation process hardwood floors must have a plywood subfloor in order to install the proper way.

  • In differing weather changes, for example when the humidity changes throughout different seasons, hardwood flooring contracts, and if not properly installed with cause too much gapping, or buckles in the floor.

Engineered flooring disadvantages:

  • When picking out engineered hardwood, there are less choices of wood to decide from when compared to solid hardwood flooring. Red oak, Brazilian cherry, and hickory are among the most popular for engineered flooring options.

  • Depending on the thickness of the engineering flooring, it may not be able to get sanded, and refinished, like solid wood.

  • In terms of cost, engineered hardwood is often times comparable to solid hardwood flooring. Taking that into account, it is important to avoid poor quality engineered flooring.

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