Let’s take a look at both sides of the engineered vs. hardwood flooring debate. Engineered wood flooring has some advantages over solid wood, but each comes with its own set of pros and cons. If you love the look of real wood, there’s really nothing that’s going to appeal to you from a purely aesthetic standpoint as much as a hardwood floor. However, if you have radiant heating, want to install in an area where there’s a lot of moisture or if you’re very concerned about the environment, you may want to consider engineered hardwood flooring.
Engineered Wood Flooring
Let’s look at some of the advantages of engineered hardwood floors when considering engineered flooring vs. hardwood. Engineered flooring is made out of a layer of hardwood placed upon a plywood layer. The advantage to this environmentally is that only the first layer of wood is actually hardwood. Plywood can be made out of just about anything, is very strong and, in one of these floors, you’ll never see it. The layers of compressed wood used in plywood are pressed together cross-grain, which makes the plank incredibly tough.
Engineered wood floors can be installed over radiant heating. A hardwood floor will generally not stand up to this – a minus for hardwood flooring in the debate. It can also be installed in areas where solid wood floors would be prone to significant damage. You can, for instance, install engineered hardwood in a kitchen or a laundry room without worrying about the moisture ruining the wood – some types of laminate flooring are also suitable in these areas, though their thickness is not as great. Some of the products available come in very attractive prefinished designs, as well, which makes them suitable for most any room.
The process of installing these floors is sometimes very easy and, in some cases, you don’t even need to use glue — much less nails — to do it. This flooring can also be taken up easily if you need to repair one of the planks at some point. Solid wood floors, however, definitely do have their appeal, and in the minds of some people considering hardwood flooring, there is no substitute for solid wood.
Solid Wood Flooring
Next, let’s look at hardwood flooring’s place in the engineered versus hardwood debate. A hardwood floor has a timeless appeal and, while an engineered floor can be very attractive, there’s really nothing that looks quite like wood. Solid wood flooring involves a more complex installation procedure, by far, and it cannot hold up to some of the rigors that engineered hardwood floors can shrug off. For instance, you don’t want to install a hardwood floor in a bathroom or a kitchen, as the moisture will inevitably cause problems with the floor in the future. To make sure that your floor is installed correctly, you’ll also have to invest some time in making sure that the subfloor is prepared correctly, which can take quite a bit of time to do.
Whatever your opinion is on engineered vs. hardwood floors, and no matter what product you choose, there are plenty of options. You can get a hardwood floor in many different types of materials and, between the many choices, you’ll be able to find a color and a texture that suits you perfectly. You’ll also find that a hardwood floor can stand up to more refinishing than an engineered wood floor, which may appeal to those who want to get the maximum lifespan out of their flooring. No matter which side you fall on in the debate, you’ll be sure that either option can definitely be a big improvement to any home.