There are many wood flooring options to choose from. The hard part is determining which is the right option for your home. Here are major differences between hardwood and engineered wood to consider.
1. How They’re Made
Hardwood is aptly named because the boards are a homogenous product from top to bottom and side to side. Each individual plank is milled from a solid piece of hardwood measuring 3/4” and covered with a clear, thin layer of a protective substance like acrylic or polyurethane. As a result of its composition, this type of wood flooring can be sanded and refinished over and over again to restore its original look. However, hardwood flooring will thin out over time, therefore compromising its structural integrity.
Engineered wood is made up of several layers of thin slices of hardwood on top of a base of high-quality plywood. With a thickness measuring 3/8” to 1/2″, engineered wood is proven to be highly resistant to humidity, moisture and heat when compared to hardwood. Engineered wood flooring can be sanded, but it should be done lightly. Too much sanding will make the thin upper layer wear away easily. There is more information on the Relative Space website that you may find helpful.
2. Style and Design
There is a wide variety of solid hardwood available that will reflect your taste and personal style. Available options include hand-scrapped wood, traditional hardwood, and on-trend colours. The standard width for solid hardwood is 3.25”.
Engineered wood also offers an array of styles including traditional looks and specialty designs with features such as multi-tonal colours and handcrafted tool markings. As will solid hardwood, it has a standard width of 3.25”, with plank sizes starting at 5”.
3. Where to Install
Hardwood flooring is installed using nails or by stapling. However, it is impossible to install solid hardwood using a floating basis. The best place to install hardwood is on the first and second floors of the home. It enhances the aesthetic value of living spaces such as living rooms, bedrooms, kitchens and dining rooms.
Engineered wood has a greater range of installation options. These include glue, staple or float. Engineered wood can fit perfectly in places where solid wood can’t. These areas include over concrete floors, in the basement, or over radiant heating systems.
4. Wood Species
Hardwood offers greater options of wood species when compared to engineered wood. Some of the most popular include maple, pine, hickory, red, and white oak.
Engineered wood offers fewer choices. Common species include hickory, red oak, and Brazilian Cherry.
When it comes to value, solid hardwood flooring is the highest priced. Given its different wood and style options, prices vary. There are different indices that determine the prices of solid hardwood floors. These indices include protective finish, warranty and the number of finishing processes used to achieve a particular look. Unique, custom-made designs and styles will be costlier.
Generally, engineered wood flooring is less expensive. However, there are some collections that can be pricey. These include flooring with a thicker hardwood top layer and custom-made designs. Highly durable and high-performance engineered wood products may have the same market value as solid hardwood.
With these few points, you can make a more informed decision when it comes to choosing the right wood flooring option for your home.