October 24, 2022

Solid vs. Engineered: Get To Know Your Hardwood Flooring

Trendy house styles and elements are a great way to add more value to your home, all while showcasing your creativity and personality as a homeowner. But even with such advantages, trends come and go, and not all can make a comeback. One good solution to avoid your property value's downward spiral is to have a timeless home element that can adapt to every upcoming house trend, like hardwood flooring.

However, the rising number of choices available on the market can complicate things for beginning remodelers. With the help of technology, more hardwood species and types are entering the industry, and are they a better option for budget-friendly home improvement projects?

Hardwood Floors and Its Two Main Categories

Unlike decades ago, modern hardwood floorings are not limiting themselves to natural or solid wood planks. The emergence of engineered hardwood flooring is one of the reasons for this flooring option's comeback to house styling, which also led to the creation of the two main categories of hardwood floors available.

Traditional solid hardwood flooring makes up the first category. Solid hardwood is a single piece of a plank of any wood species of your choice. They often come in 3/4-inch-thick blocks or strips with a width between 1 1/2 and 2 1/2 inches. But solid hardwood planks often measure around 4 to 8 inches.

Wood species for hardwood floors also increased over the years. Now homeowners can use different types of exotic hardwood species depending on their availability, apart from domestic wood species like maple, cherry, and oak.

Engineered hardwood has a veneer layer or thin strip of solid hardwood glued on top of plywood or an HDF (high-density fiberboard) core. Hardwood floors in this category are available in wood strips or planks over 12 inches wide and around 1/2 to 3/8 inches thick. Engineered hardwood planks have wider measurement options than solid hardwood as they aren't prone to warping.

Solid Hardwood: Advantages and Disadvantages

Solid hardwood flooring has had decades of experience in the market and is one of the oldest flooring options still available today. Many builders and remodelers have their favorite wood species to use and can vouch for the numerous advantages of installing these flooring options in your homes.

Despite that, they still bear disadvantages industry newbies should take note of.

Advantage #1: You Can Refinish Solid Woods How Much You Want

Because solid hardwood is pure wood throughout, you can sand and refinish them time and time again. It makes them a versatile home addition as you can choose a refinish that pairs well with the current trends. Moreover, proper maintenance and treatment can make them last over a century.

Advantage #2: Solid Hardwoods Have Amazing Textures

Many households love installing hardwood floors not only because of their appearance and durability but also for their great textures. While engineered hardwood floors can imitate color and texture, solid hardwood feels better on your feet.

Experts state that the graining and aging of solid hardwood species allow smoother textures. But with many quality engineered varieties available, not many people can tell the difference.

Disadvantage #1: Powerless against Water and Dirt

Solid hardwood floors may look unbeatable in many ways, but in the face of their kryptonite, they can be a real problem. These floors are weak against water, humidity, and dirt.

Hardwood floors can be temperamental and prolonged contact with water or dirt can mold, warp, or break them.

Disadvantage #2: Solid Hardwood is Expensive

In general, all hardwood floors are more expensive than other flooring options. But planks or blocks of certain hardwood species are costlier. Wood quality and availability are some of the reasons that affect the prices of solid hardwood planks.

Engineered Hardwood: Advantages and Disadvantages

They may be newer to the scene, but engineered hardwood is making itself known to builders and many homeowners in the US. Here are some pros and cons of installing engineered hardwood in your homes.

Advantage #1: They're Less Sensitive to Temperature and Humidity

As engineered wood is a veneer layer over a tough HDF or plywood, they become more tolerable to the temperature changes around your home. In short, solid hardwood floors' biggest disadvantage is this wood's strongest selling point.

Advantage #2: More Room Choices to Install Them

Their high tolerance to environmental changes makes engineered hardwood easier to install in humid and water-prone areas. Often, homeowners stick to granite or tiles for their kitchens and bathrooms to avoid water seepage in hardwood floors. But engineered wood is an easy fix for these concerns.

Unlike solid wood, they're water-resistant and can withstand regular contact with water and moisture.

Advantage #3:  Engineered Hardwood is More Affordable

Home improvement projects with limited budgets can use engineered wood instead of solid hardwood planks. In addition, these planks also offer a variety of choices that is also available in solid hardwood floorings and are the newest addition to sustainable wood floorings.

Disadvantages of Engineered Hardwood

While engineered hardwood possesses numerous benefits, there are still cons when choosing this flooring type. One of which is related to water.

Engineered wood is water-resistant, but it is not waterproof. People often mistake these two qualities and complain when their engineered hardwood gets damaged from floods. Hardwood, solid or engineered, is weak against water. While engineered wood can handle longer exposure to this element, it will still wear down.

In addition, you can't sand and refinish engineered hardwood the same way as solid hardwood. Remember that engineered wood only has a thin veneer layer of hardwood and can only handle limited refinishing services. Too much sanding or refinishing can lead to the replacement of damaged engineered hardwood planks.

Knowing Your Hardwood Floors

Installing hardwood floors can help add more value to your property. It also matches today's on-the-go lifestyles of households as it needs little maintenance for years-long service.  Nonetheless, not all hardwood options available are similar. By knowing the main categories of hardwood you can install in your homes, you can narrow your choices to complete your home improvement project without overspending. Solid and engineered hardwood floorings offer you a higher ROI but dealing with and handling them can be different. Check with Kelly Hardwood Floors now to get professional consultation for your hardwood floors at home.