There are so many decisions to be made when designing your new home, major renovation or addition. Hardwood flooring is a popular choice amongst homeowners as it provides the home with a warm and inviting feel. We are going to help you with your decision making process by providing you with some helpful information on solid hardwood floors verses engineered hardwood floors and the pro and cons between them.
Solid hardwood floors are made from planks of single pieces of wood with tongue and groove edges.
They are available in a variety of sizes, 3/8 to ¾ inches thick, and commonly found widths are anywhere from 3.35 to 5 inches. Wider widths are also available, anywhere from 5 to 11 inches or greater and are referred to as plank flooring. Red oak, white oak and maple are common hardwood flooring choices.
Pros for Solid Hardwood Flooring
- Solid hardwood floors are extremely durable and will last a very long time
- Can be sanded and stained many times
- Wood can vary in length and width, but usually comes ¾ of an inch thick
- This solid wood comes unfinished. It is then installed, sanded and finished on site
- Many types of wood to choose from (red oak, white oak, maple) etc.
- Depending on the type of wood, colour can deepen and look richer over time
- Since the floor will be completely sanded before finishing, it can be made perfectly smooth and flat.
(There will be no ridges between the boards when laid)
- Can choose whatever finish, colour, stain and number of coats as well as sheen levels
- Solid wood floor can be sanded and refinished over and over again, restoring the surface to its original
- Very durable and will last for generations
- Easily cleaned and maintained.
- Simple to repair
- Not appropriate for all areas. Can warp or buckle when it is humid or come in contact with moisture
- Not ideal in rooms such as basements, bathrooms and kitchens for that reason
- Sanded and finished onsite, the job can take several days for staining and drying time
- Can hold up other trades from working
- Dust and chemical fumes can be unpleasant and unhealthy
Engineered Hardwood Floors
Engineered hardwood flooring is a combination of several layers of wood/plywood glued together in an overlapping pattern. This overlapping pattern makes the flooring strong and very durable. The top coat is a layer of real hardwood glued onto the top and is finished at the factory with many coats of a highly durable finish. On site is where the flooring is nailed or glued into place.
- Ease and speed of installation.
- Engineered flooring can be installed almost anywhere, including over concrete.
- The flooring is either nailed or glued into place. This is a rather quick and clean process
- The cross-grain pattern resists expansion and contraction caused by changes in temperature and
- This product is very durable
- It looks like solid hardwood because the top layer is solid wood.
- Can be refinished once or twice.
- This product has many coats of a very durable aluminum oxide finish which is applied at the factory.
Will last for many years
- If the subfloor has any irregularities such as height variations, the engineered hardwood will not lay flat.
- Customers are limited to the manufacturer’s choice of colours and finishes
- Hard to repair. Difficult to match the look of the damaged floor with the same colour and grain of new
- Life of the floor is not as long as a solid wood floor. Can only be refinished once or twice.