Hardwood floors look beautiful and can add pizzazz to your house. Hardwood flooring are synonymous with luxury and elegance. However, installing a hardwood floor can be difficult and expensive. There are a plethora of options available, but one standard material is the hardwood. Both engineered, and solid wood floors are made from 100 % natural hardwood.
However, there are some differences in their overall construction.
Engineered wood is made from stable layers of plywood, or high or medium-density fiberboard, that are bonded together with adhesives under heat and pressure. The top layer is made of a sheet of veneer; the inner layers are made of high-density hardwood or fiberboard, or plywood. Engineered hardwood has layers of wood positioned in a different direction that prevents it from warping under humid and moist conditions. The higher engineered woods have thick top surface, whereas the cheaper ones have a thin one.
Difference between Engineered and Solid Wood Flooring
- Solid wood is a solid piece of wood, made from a solid plank of wood. The engineered wood floor has a core made of hardwood or plywood and a layer of hardwood veneer fixed on the top.
- The main difference between engineered and solid flooring is the size of the planks. The individual engineered wood planks are broader and longer than the typical solid wood floors.
- Engineered floors are typically prefinished and therefore are much quicker to install than the solid wood floor. A solid wood floor is finished on the site and will take several days to install, stain and protect. Solid wood flooring is stapled down or glued and therefore is time-consuming.
- Solid wood lasts for many years. As it is made of natural wood, it can be sanded down and refinished a lot of times than the engineered wood. The solid wood can be refinished 6 to 10 times, depending upon the thickness of the board. Whereas you can refinish engineered wood floors just once or maybe twice at the most, as their top layer is very thin, but the engineered wood floors come with so much of texture and character that scratches are not conspicuous.
- Solid wood is generally installed over one, or two layers of plywood. This can raise the height of the floor and may marginally reduce the ceiling height. Engineered wood flooring can be fixed directly to a concrete slab.
- Engineered flooring is more environmentally friendly than the solid wood flooring as the veneer is sliced rather than cut with a saw.
- With changes in moisture, temperature, solid wood expands and contracts whereas engineered wood floor is a resilient flooring option which is resistant to moisture and heat.
- Solid wood flooring is more expensive than engineered wood flooring. But the premium quality engineered wood flooring with thick top layers can cost the same as solid wood.
Pros and Cons of Engineered Wood Flooring
- It curtails moisture problems and provides stability to the floor.
- It doesn’t warp or swell and is usually low maintenance.
- Engineered flooring can be installed using different methods. The engineered wood floor can be glued, floated or stapled, without any fixatives or nails.
- The top layer of the veneer is so thin that it cannot be refinished and sanded a lot of times.
- If exposed to sunlight or UV rays, engineered wood fades.
- It is vulnerable to scratches and dents.
- Some manufacturers may use low-quality core material and a thin veneer to cut down the cost. If the top veneer layer is too thin, it cannot be sanded or refinished.
Wooden flooring add value to your home, whether engineered or solid wood. They both are beautiful products, and 100 % natural wood. It would help if you weighed their pros and cons carefully before making the choice that is right for your needs and puts you at ease. Solid and engineered wood floor virtually look the same; the decision comes down mainly to climatic conditions and price.