If you are looking to renovate your home, one of the biggest decisions will be which type of flooring you want to install. Wood flooring is a great option for most of the rooms in a home, including the bedrooms, family room, living room, and basement. When searching for flooring options, you may come across two different types of wood flooring: Hardwood and engineered wood flooring.
From afar, hardwood and engineered wood do look similar, but there are a few differences between the two options that could persuade you to choose one type of flooring over the other. The main difference is that hardwood flooring is made from a species of hardwood. They are usually made from maple, oak or walnut. Engineered wood, on the other hand, is created from a thin layer of hardwood that is bonded to plywood.
In this article, we will go further in-depth about these two types of flooring options; and, hopefully by the end, you can make an informed decision on whether hardwood or engineered wood flooring is the best option for you and your family.
As mentioned above, hardwood flooring is made from a hardwood species, and are cut into planks with grooves and tongues, which makes it easier and quicker to install. During the installation, you will still need to nail the boards to the subfloor. To ensure that the installation goes as smoothly as possible, you may want to hire a contractor for professional help. Hardwood can also be sanded and refinished many times during its lifetime, allowing you to freshen up your space without needing to replace the planks. If you take great care of your hardwood flooring, it can last up to 100 years.
Engineered wood flooring as a similar look to traditional hardwood flooring, however, it is constructed completely differently. Wood is still used in the construction of each plank, but it is a fairly thin layer that is secured over plywood, giving it great stability. This type of flooring will generally last between 20 to 40 years. The two main advantages of engineered wood are that it is generally less expensive than hardwood and it is easier to install if you are looking to upgrade your flooring by yourself.
Now that you know a little bit more about each option, let’s go through some of the main elements that your flooring will go through every day and see how each option compares.
Engineered wood and hardwood flooring are both great at resisting heat, but they aren’t great with water. If you have to install your flooring on concrete, choosing hardwood probably won’t be the best idea because moisture from humidity can work its way through concrete, which can make the hardwood warp and swell.
A better option for this scenario is installing engineered hardwood on concrete. Since engineered hardwood floors are made with plywood, it does stop the effects of warping.
Cleaning and Upkeep
One of the biggest benefits of upgrading your flooring to hardwood is that they are fairly easy to clean. The cleaning process for hardwood and engineered wood floors are similar; all you need to do is a quick sweep and vacuum with a soft-bristled attachment. You can also mop the floor, but be sure to use a damp mop and a high-quality wood cleaner. Always avoid using a lot of water or steam when cleaning your hardwood floors.
Engineered wood flooring can be installed a few different ways. The most common and easiest way is the “click-lock” method where you will piece the floor together without nails. This is considered a floating floor. You can also glue the floor to a concrete subfloor for extra support.
For solid hardwood floors, you will need to nail each board to the floor through the tongues. For the most part, installers and DIYers find the installation process for engineered wood flooring a lot easier than solid hardwood.
Since engineered hardwood only uses a thin piece of wood, it can only be sanded once or twice during its lifespan. On the other hand, solid hardwood can be refinished and sanded a handful of times and can last up to 100 years. If you are looking for a flooring option that will last a long time while staying strong, solid hardwood may be the best option for your home.
As you can see, both solid hardwood and engineered wood flooring are great options to enhance your home’s aesthetics and comfort. The decision is solely on your preferences. If you want to install the flooring yourself, you may want to consider choosing engineered hardwood. If you don’t mind paying a little extra for a longer-lasting option, then solid hardwood flooring will work the best.