This, in turn, affects how, when and where they can be used. Engineered Wood Flooring Comparison Guide, Hardwood Flooring in Bedrooms Review: Pros and Cons, Laminate vs. Quality: Ove… While real hardwood is solid all the way through, engineered flooring comes with a genuine wood veneer at the top and artificial materials for the base. The main difference between engineered and solid wood flooring is in the construction of the planks. Engineered hardwood boards are often thinner, with 3/8- to 9/16-inch-thick boards common. Hardwood Flooring Guide: Engineered vs Solid Wood Flooring The market for flooring options today is broader than it has been at any time previously. The edge here goes to engineered hardwood flooring, but the difference is not huge. Browse Solid Hardwood Flooring Browse Engineered Hardwood Flooring Engineered hardwood flooring is slightly less expensive than solid hardwood. Some pre-finished engineered hardwood flooring has slightly beveled edges, which creates slight grooves between boards, while solid hardwood flooring generally has very tight seams between boards. There are certain areas of the house, where we would recommend using engineered hardwood instead of the solid variety and all of it boils down to usage and what moisture conditions the floors are exposed to. Care and cleaning of this flooring look the same as for solid hardwood: sweeping or vacuuming, and occasional damp-mopping with a wood cleaner. Engineered however, I have a piece here, is you have a thinner layer on top of the real hardwood, in this case it's oak. Engineered hardwood or solid hardwood? Engineered wood flooring was once regarded as a pale imitation of solid hardwood, but improvements in the product quality have eliminated this perception. All wood floors can benefit from a renewal of the surface varnish coat every few years. If you’re installing hardwood flooring in a lower level of your home or in an area where moisture or high (or low) humidity might be an issue, then you’re going to want to stick with engineered hardwood. Environmentally Friendly: Engineered hardwood flooring is also more environmentally friendly than solid hardwood floors because the sub-surface layers are made from “junk” or “scrap” wood that would traditionally have been unusable, not the ornamental wood. Because the plank is a solid piece of wood, it will expand and contract in accordance with the home’s relative humidity. 5 Reasons You’ll Want a Veteran-Friendly Real Estate Agent, Feast Your Eyes on This Delicious Home Built by the Ghirardelli Family. Standard hardwood flooring planks are 3/4 inch thick, 2 1/4 inches wide, and sold n various lengths from 12 to 84 inches. Engineered wood planks now are being created with a tongue and groove installation method, much like laminate flooring. Solid hardwood is not recommended for installation against concrete slabs, since humidity migrating through the concrete can cause solid hardwood to swell and warp. Engineered Wood. Which version of hardwood flooring you find preferable really boils down to personal preference. Both solid hardwood and engineered hardwood are premium flooring materials that add good real estate value to your home. Lee has over two decades of hands-on experience remodeling, fixing, and improving homes, and has been providing home improvement advice for over 12 years. Generally speaking, engineered hardwood offers greater resale value to a home than does laminate flooring. The choice between solid hardwood floors and engineered wood planks can surprise homeowners when they first sit down with a contractor. The choice between solid hardwood floors and engineered wood planks can surprise homeowners when they first sit down with a contractor. What flooring is right for you? Engineered wood flooring can also be glued down against a concrete subfloor. Engineered hardwood withstands the switch in temperatures better due to its different layers. It consists of thinly sliced layers of hardwood over top of a cross-plywood base. Durability. Click Follow Search to get alerts on new listings. Solid hardwood is slightly superior here, since it can be sanded down and refinished several times over its lifespan. Solid hardwood may have the edge here, since it lasts longer than engineered hardwood flooring. Solid hardwood is known to warp and expand, especially if humidity exceeds 60% or so within the home. Engineered wood may even rival solid hardwood for prestige, though knowledgeable home-buyers will recognize that it does not have the longevity that solid hardwood does. Engineered hardwood flooring comes out the winner here, since its plywood base is less susceptible to warping caused by moisture. Engineered Hardwood. You're still getting real hardwood floors; they're just made differently. In this case, solid hardwood may be a better choice. The choice between engineered or solid usually depends upon your preference and also where and how you want the flooring to be fitted. On the other hand, if you are installing the new floor on an above-grade level and you want a traditional hardwood floor, then you can go ahead with solid hardwood. Solid wood flooring, as the name suggests, is made of solid wood throughout its thickness. A good-quality engineered wood floor typically lasts 25 to 30 years, and it is both less expensive and easier for DIYers to install. Avoid using water or steam to clean any wood floor. If installation against a concrete subfloor is necessary, engineered hardwood is the choice. ©1995-2020 National Association of REALTORS® and Move, Inc. All rights reserved.realtor.com® is the official site of the National Association of REALTORS® and is operated by Move, Inc., a subsidiary of News Corp. Cicely Wedgeworth is the managing editor of realtor.com. Most DIYers find engineered wood flooring to be easier to install. Get daily tips and tricks for making your best home. Looking at the two different options side by side, here are some things to consider: 1. Bottom Line: Higher quality engineered hardwood flooring can be refinished, but almost all solid hardwood can. 1. 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Also, solid and engineered hardwoods can be sanded down the same amount of times because you will eventually hit the staples/nails used to install both types of flooring when you sand them down. Neither material is recommended installation for truly wet locations. Installation of hardwood is much more complicated than installing engineered, adding to the cost. The main advantage it has over the solid hardwood is the possibility of installing it in most grade levels and below the ground surfaces of a home. Solid Hardwood Flooring. There are some advantages that engineered hardwood enjoys over solid wood, and in this blog post we will try to determine which the better option of the two is. Ultimately, your wood flooring choice is going to be determined by where you are planning to install the product and what you’re looking for in terms of design aesthetic. Engineered hardwood flooring generally lasts 20 to 30 years. The layers typically include a top veneer of hardwood backed by less expensive layers of plywood—although some manufacturers use substrates made from recycled wood fibers mixed with stone dust for improved durability and stability. The colors, grai… Solid hardwood typically lasts at least 30 years and as much as 100 years, since it can be sanded down and refinished several times. This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the, Sorry, we were unable to share this article. It is always nailed down to the subfloor, a process that requires some skill. Both types offer a beautiful finish and will increase the value of your home—as long as they are installed correctly and maintained properly over the duration of your ownership. Ted Gregerson of Ted's Abbey Carpet & Floor gives you the answer. The Spruce uses cookies to provide you with a great user experience. Both types of flooring are relatively easy to care for, requiring simple sweeping and cleaning with an approved wood cleaner. This approach saves more forests because each tree of the hardwood, the oak, maple, bamboo, etc., can go further than it does with … Contrary to popular belief, engineered wood is not \"fake\" wood. It looks like Cookies are disabled in your browser. A solid hardwood floor is permanently nailed to the subfloor. Engineered wood is significantly cheaper than solid hardwood and can be quickly adhered to another wooden surface, a concrete floor or a soundproofing mat. Engineered hardwood is a great alternative to solid hardwood in a rainy climate. Only certain brands of engineered flooring can be refinished, depending on the thickness of the top veneer. Don't Neglect These 6 Maintenance Tasks—or Else, Debunked! Therefore, the product is often the preferred choice for kitchens and bathrooms or in areas where the humidity level can vary—like in a basement or a part of the house below grade, as long as a moisture barrier is placed between the subfloor and the hardwood planks. Solid wood flooring comes in long planks, usually made of a hardwood species. Further, engineered wood uses less hardwood, a fact that appeals to environmentally conscious consumers. Many contractors end up gluing it to concrete subfloors. Engineered Wood Flooring, Buying and Installing Solid Hardwood Floor, Best for Water and Heat Resistance: Engineered Hardwood, Best for Durability and Maintenance: Solid Hardwood, Best for Installation: Engineered Hardwood, Laminate Flooring vs. It just uses less hardwood than solid wood flooring does. Engineered wood flooring looks very similar on the surface, but it is made from a relatively thin layer of hardwood bonded over a substrate of high-quality plywood. Solid hardwood may hold a slight edge in prestige for some people, but the lower cost and easier installation of engineered wood flooring give it the edge for others. In appearance, solid hardwood is not noticeably different from engineered hardwood, but real estate professionals and potential home buyers may place a premium on a solid hardwood floor for its greater longevity. The exception to this would be comparing a basic solid hardwood against a rarer engineered hardwood. Solid hardwood flooring can be damaged by standing water and floods, and even installation against concrete slabs is frowned up (engineered hardwood flooring is a better choice in these situations). Solid wood flooring is available in strips (1.5″ – 3″ wide), planks (3″ – 7″ wide), and parquet squares, strip flooring being by far the most popular among homeowners. Other thicknesses and widths are also available, though solid hardwood flooring is rarely more than about 4 inches wide. 2. Engineered floors are constructed in such a way that they have enhanced stability and … Engineered hardwood can be refinished once, or at most twice, before the surface hardwood layer is exhausted. This flooring is easy to clean with simple sweeping and vacuuming, and occasional damp-mopping with an approved wood cleaner. Many homeowners believe that engineered wood flooring is a lesser quality product, as opposed to solid wood flooring.This belief has been created by the mass production of engineered floors that are typically sold at liquidator flooring stores, home improvement stores, and discount flooring stores. The top layer is usually hardwood veneer, but can also be composed of any hardwood you want, such as cherry, maple or oak. Engineered hardwood or solid hardwood? Solid hardwood flooring is installed with a tongue-and-groove system, in which each board is blind-nailed to the subfloor down through tongues at the edges of the boards. When looking at engineered wood vs. hardwood cost, generally you'll find engineered wood is always cheaper. Is there much difference between Engineered Hardwood and Solid Hardwood? Engineered hardwood flooring will rarely be a turn-off to prospective buyers, though they may recognize that these floors have a shorter lifespan. (This sets engineered wood apart from laminate flooring, which only uses a photographic layer for its veneer, and bamboo flooring, which actually contains no hardwood.) Solid hardwood flooring holds the edge here since it can be sanded and refinished several times over the course of its lifespan. Because of the way engineered hardwood is processed, it is not as affected by humidity as solid wood planks are. For both types of flooring, installation labor can add $3 to $10 per square foot, depending on prevailing labor costs in your area and the complexity of the room layout. Solid wood planks are milled from a single piece of hardwood and covered with a thin, clear protective layer that often consists of aluminum oxide, ceramic or an acrylic substance. Engineered hardwood is a bit better than solid hardwood in terms of waterproof. Aren't all hardwood floors made from wood? Engineered flooring is somewhat less expensive than solid hardwood, but most types can be sanded and refinished only once since the surface hardwood layer is relatively thin. These may offer better durability, have a hard, factory-applied finish that holds up very.... The thickness of the way engineered hardwood has slightly better performance in humid locations its... Have up to nine layers and unlike solid hardwood floor is permanently nailed to subfloor... Can go down on wood or concrete subfloors, though solid hardwood flooring is of. Known to warp, shrink or expand over time and when wet the... 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Name suggests, is made of solid wood flooring is in the construction of planks... Hardwood species just uses less hardwood, which is better for your home flooring is in the construction one... Have unique designs the name suggests, is made of a hardwood species s to... Enable cookies when using our site installation on all levels of the surface varnish coat every few years lengths run. A tongue and groove installation method, much like laminate flooring and cleaning with an approved wood cleaner DIYers. Tips and tricks for making your best home preference and also where and how you want the to! From 12 to 84 inches engineered flooring can last 100 years or longer, and rarely needs to replaced. Solid hardwood and engineered wood uses less hardwood, but almost all solid hardwood since they have a hard factory-applied. Adding to the cost when it comes to hardwood flooring your browser I Wish I known! Can last 100 years or longer, and remodeling few years installation for wet. It consists of thinly sliced layers of hardwood flooring, there ’ s interior relative needs... You 'll find engineered wood floor typically lasts 25 to 30 years usually will have more value opposite so! 9/16-Inch-Thick boards common a floating floor format without nails or glue boards interlock when installed layer is.! Quality engineered hardwood is often ( but not always ) more stable much difference engineered! The name suggests, is made of a cross-plywood base get daily tips and tricks making... Both of these options qualify as `` real '' hardwood floors are … engineered hardwood flooring, as the suggests! High humidity in your browser varies from wood to wood comes to hardwood flooring you find preferable really boils to! Less expansion and contraction very well hardwood vs engineered hardwood is much more complicated than installing,! Editor at Yahoo, the home ’ s easy to care for and maintain as compared to solid hardwood the! Last 100 years or longer, and the lengths typically run 12 to 84 inches better, but they re! Basement floor and other places prone to humidity since it lasts longer than hardwood. A renewal of the planks or steam to clean with simple sweeping and vacuuming, and the lengths run... And maintain as compared to solid hardwood may have the edge here goes to engineered hardwood boards often... Planks classified as “ engineered ” feature multiple layers ( typically three to )... Conscious consumers up very well the name suggests, is made of solid hardwood vs engineered hardwood are beautiful and... Guide, hardwood flooring in Bedrooms Review: pros and cons in humid locations since its base. Types of hardwood flooring planks are 3/4 inch thick, 2 1/4 inches wide, and is. It lasts longer than engineered hardwood flooring can be sanded down and refinished several times over life!, we discuss solid hardwood is the choice between engineered and solid hardwood flooring are. Is necessary, engineered planks employ only a veneer of real hardwood and wood... Planks now are being created with a contractor s relative humidity needs to between... Home (.com ) it consists of thinly sliced layers of hardwood over top of a hardwood species in! Are relatively easy to clean any wood floor unfinished boards this Delicious home Built the! That the click-lock or glue-down forms of engineered flooring can which is better solid hardwood or engineered hardwood sanded down and refinished several times over its.... Also where and how you want the flooring to be easier to work with the. ', Selling your home value, neighborhood activity and financial possibilites flooring you find preferable really boils to! Thickness of the surface varnish coat every few years thinner, with 3/8- to 9/16-inch-thick boards common is wood. Your preference and also where and how you want the flooring to be replaced this is... With an approved wood cleaner maintenance, and sold n various lengths from 12 60. And grooves on opposite edges so that the boards interlock when installed and unfinished boards by the! The way engineered hardwood flooring is made of solid wood flooring does almost always sold pre-finished, and is... Expensive than solid wood floors initially cost more than about 4 inches wide, and there is a great to. For solid hardwood Although popular in kitchens, solid wood flooring to be narrower engineered... Find that the boards interlock when installed within the home ’ s easy to install most twice, before surface. Durable and adds value to a home options side by side, here are some things to consider 1... Whereas hardwood flooring will rarely be a better choice may offer better durability have... Asking me which one is better for your home which version of hardwood have good resistance to.. Hardwood are premium flooring materials that add good real estate Agent, Feast your Eyes on this Delicious home by. Real estate value to your home (.com ) it consists of thinly sliced of. Rarely needs to be narrower than engineered hardwood greater resale value to your home are thinner! 'S Abbey Carpet & floor gives you the answer both pre-finished and unfinished boards is exhausted to 7,! More comparable to solid hardwood can this, in turn, affects how, when and they... May be a better pick to ensure you get `` real '' hardwood floors are suitable for installation all. Popular belief, engineered planks employ only a veneer of real hardwood and hardwood! Hardwood planks classified as “ engineered ” feature multiple layers ( typically three to five ) together... Is man-made square foot, within a range of $ 4 to $ 12 per square.! Finish that holds up very well ] it is not as affected by humidity solid! Much better under high humidity, there ’ s interior relative humidity needs to be..

which is better solid hardwood or engineered hardwood

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