Hardwood is among the most popular choices when it comes to flooring options. It gives you the choice of a variety of colours, styles, cuts and species. Traditionally solid wood was considered an amicable choice in flooring but since then, times have changed and with the advent of newer, more reliable advancements, consumers are attracted by the idea of stretching their budgets further, while getting the same benefits as solid hardwood flooring.
What is Engineered Hardwood?
Contrary to solid hardwood, which as the name suggest is 100% top to bottom wood, engineered hardwood has a relatively thin top layer consisting of natural wood and underneath are alternating layers of plywood.
Advantages over Solid Wood Flooring
Why may Engineered Hardwood be a better choice? Let us go over a few points.
One of the most important things when it comes to flooring is durability. Over the years, engineered hardwood has become increasingly better with emerging technologies and manufacturing methods, and can withstand a lot. Super solid hardwood is an excellent example of this, and is very much comparable in durability to solid floor types.
Aesthetically, you generally can’t see the difference between both varieties, as the top layer in engineered hardwood is made up of 100% natural wood while the layers below are composed of five or more layers of high-quality plywood. In the case of solid wood, the thickness just adds to the cost because what you are essentially paying for are two things looks and strength. Looks can be attained by just the top layer, while the strength can be achieved by using plywood, which saves you a lot on costs in the end.
As a benefit of using engineered hardwood, you don’t have to be afraid when it comes to moisture because the plywood is dimensionally stable causing less warping and flexing in damp environments while solid wood in some cases does not do well with moisture.
Engineered hardwood is thinner than solid wood flooring which is traditionally 3/4’’ thick but the former allows for fitting in existing spaces – for example, matching the height of the adjacent flooring or to get the appliances to match the same height as the countertop.
Another significant benefit is the ease and variety of installation methods. In the case of solid wood, you have to go with the old method of nailing or stapling them down on a solid basis while engineered wood gives you the choice of fold and locks or even gluing, in addition to the conventional method of nailing.
Lastly, price is a huge factor when it comes to flooring. Solid wood is the premium choice when it comes to flooring and is not for those looking for a practical bent. With engineered hardwood, however, you may be able to get a few extra rooms floored at the same price, which is an excellent bonus. Rather than spending a lot on solid wood flooring, engineered hardwood flooring delivers the same appeal and attraction but at a fraction of the cost.
In summary, many consumers will continue to opt for traditional solid floors. However, given their many benefits, and relative similarity across many dimensions, engineered hardwood floors are an excellent option for those who want the same look and feel as hardwood, with easier installation methods and lower costs.