There are three basic kinds of wood flooring; there is solid hardwood, engineered hardwood, and laminate. Laminate flooring isn’t actually wood flooring but is, instead, a type of synthetic material made to look like wood. If you want authentic wood flooring, you’ll choose either solid hardwood or engineered hardwood. These two different types of flooring have many pros and cons.
The Simple Difference
The difference between solid hardwood and engineered hardwood is fairly simple. A solid hardwood plank is made from one tree. It’s cut from the tree trunk and shaped into a solid piece of flooring. In contrast, an engineered hardwood plank is made from multiple pieces of wood. Typically, the plank has a thin veneer of authentic hardwood. Underneath that, it might have thin layers of plywood glued together. Other types of engineered hardwood might have pressboard underneath, which is sawdust and wood chips glued to form a solid board.
Which Is Better? Solid or Engineered?
Neither solid hardwood or engineered hardwood is better than the other. They simply have different pros and cons. A solid hardwood floor is going to be more durable than engineered hardwood; it will also last longer because you’ll be able to sand or refinish it from time to time. If you want to change the way solid hardwood looks, you can stain it a specific shade. Alternately, you can sand away blemishes or scratches to keep the wood looking brand new. The veneer on engineered wood is so thin that you likely won’t be able to sand it.
However, engineered hardwood is often prefinished. A prefinished wood is injected in the factory with a hard, protective coating that does not wear down very quickly. Furthermore, engineered hardwood is more resistant to cupping or bowing. It will not readily warp because the protective coating is so hard and the glue holding it together helps prevent it from warping.
If you are looking for a hardwood floor that will last you for decades, that you can customize, and that you can repair, you need to choose solid hardwood planks. If you want a less expensive hardwood option that is easy to clean, water-resistant, and resistant to warping, you should choose engineered hardwood.
There are many different styles of each type of wood available. You’ll likely have more diversity of options with engineered wood, but you’ll have more customizability with solid hardwood. These are just a few of the considerations when you’re choosing your hardwood floor.
The difference the difference between solid & engineered hardwood flooring really comes down to price, it’s use, aesthetics and durability.
West Coast Floor Company is a 2nd generation flooring company with a showroom in Vallejo and a satelite office in Napa, CA, specializing in hardwood flooring ready to assist you with design, material acquisition and installation.