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Solid vs. Engineered Hardwood Flooring

Having hardwoods in your home will completely change the look and feel of your home; they will give you a modern and cozy feeling, or even a traditional feel while increasing the value of your home. Once you have decided to upgrade your flooring you may not realize that you now have a second big decision to make: are you going to install solid hardwoods or engineered hardwoods? Both types are made of real and natural materials but constructed, and act, a little differently. This guide will help you determine which type is right for you.


As mentioned both types are made from real and natural materials but there is one key distinct difference: solid hardwoods are made from one, single solid piece of wood whereas engineered floors are comprised of multiple layers of plywood piled on top of each other with a hardwood piece on the bottom and a solid piece of wood on top.


Engineered floors can be installed in any area of your home: bedrooms, living room, kitchen, hallways, basement and so on. Solid wood floors, however, cannot be installed in areas that are prone to dampness like basements. Solid floors are sensitive to moisture and, if exposed, may expand and contract or even warp. Engineered floors are much more robust and handle a variety of environments much better than solid floors.


Your floors, much like the rest of your home, are meant to be lived on. Both types of flooring here are durable and can stand up to the wear and tear your family will put them through. With this in mind, engineered flooring is just as durable as solid floors and will show every day wear the same as solid hardwood.


Either flooring type can, really, be installed by either yourself or a professional team. Solid floors can be glued, nailed or stapled to a wood sub-floor. Engineered floors can be stapled or nailed but they can also be installed as a floating floor where they are installed over the existing subfloor without actually being secured to it. If you are going to install an engineered floor yourself, it is recommended that you buy flooring that lock together for easier installation.


Both solid and engineered flooring can be refinished if you wish to change the colour or stain of your floor, but there are some differences. Solid wood floors, depending on the thickness of the plank, could be refinished up to 10 times in the lifetime of the flooring whereas engineered floors should only be refinished once or twice before the whole floor will need to be replaced.


Solid wood floors can cost more less than engineered hardwood. There are some colours or finishes that will cost more than a solid wood floor; it all depends on the finish you select. The cost is not just about materials, although that will be a large portion of your budget, but there are also items like installation, delivery, removal of old flooring or replacing the subfloor to consider. If budget is a big issue for you then selecting an engineered floor where you can lock and secure the planks together yourself and install as a floating floor might be a better option for you.

Overall, engineered wood floors can really be much friendlier on your budget and can stand up to daily wear and tear as if a solid wood floor. If you do not plan to ever refinish your floors and like the idea of a floating floor, than that might just be the best option for you. No matter which type you choose there is no doubt that hardwood floors will drastically improve the look of your home, and the value. They will also extend the joy and pride you take in your home every day.

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