Engineered vs. Solid Wood Flooring
Solid wood has long been viewed as the ideal choice when it comes to hardwood flooring because of its timeless appeal, potential to last for decades, and ability to increase a home's property value. However, engineered wood flooring is no longer relegated to the cheap wood floor alternative category. Over the years, manufacturers have made significant improvements to its design, durability and versatility. Although engineered wood flooring offers a unique set of benefits, in general, it is still generally less expensive than solid hardwood.
Solid Hardwood Floors
Solid wood has been used for hundreds of years and is still revered for its natural beauty and warmth. The versatile size options readily available make solid wood flooring a popular choice for custom floors, particularly for those that are interested in wide-width planks. Solid wood planks can be found in widths up to 12 inches and lengths of up to 16 feet. Reclaimed solid wood boards can be as big as 22 inches wide and 20 feet long.
Engineered Hardwood Floors
Engineered hardwood flooring is manufactured from many layers of veneer (thin slices of real wood). The grain of each veneer is laid perpendicular to create a floor that is unmatched in stability, which is why engineered floors are less susceptible to moisture and humidity. Because they expand and contract less than solid wood floors do, they are ideal for use in high-moisture areas like kitchens, bathrooms, and basements.
Should You Choose Solid Wood or Engineered Wood Flooring?
When it comes to choosing between solid and engineered wood flooring, you will want to consider the following:
- Thickness: There are various thickness options for both solid and engineered hardwood floors. Typically, solid wood floors are available in thicker sizes, while engineered flooring can be purchased in a wider range of sizes between ½" and 1" thick. A thinner floor isn't always a disadvantage: for example, if you were remodeling, a thicker wood floor may not fit under an existing door jamb or baseboard.
- Sanding: Both solid and engineered hardwood floors can be sanded down for refinishing or repairing (as long as the engineered floor has at least ¼" of wear layer), making them long-term options for your home or office. However, because engineered floors are typically thinner than solid wood floors, engineered wood floors may only allow for one round of sanding and refinishing.
- Flexibility: Solid hardwood flooring must be nailed down to a subfloor and can only be applied above grade. Engineered hardwood flooring can be installed above or below grade, and can be nailed, stapled, or glued to any type of subflooring, making it a highly versatile wood flooring option.
- Cost: Engineered hardwood can be more expensive than solid wood because of the manufacturing process costs involved. Unfortunately, the complex process of manufacturing an engineered wood floor also makes it less environmentally-friendly than solid wood flooring.
Call (208) 576-4283 Today to Learn More - We Offer Free On-Site Quotes!
Gate Hardwood Floors is your best source for both solid and engineered wood flooring installation in the Boise, Idaho, area. We can order any wood floor you are interested in or provide expert wood flooring recommendations based upon your vision, functional needs, and budget. We have more than 30 years of experience and are licensed. Call today to schedule your free on-site consultation.