Solid vs. engineered hardwood flooring

For years, people automatically thought of solid wood floors when they heard the word "hardwood," but all that’s changed in recent years. Another version, called engineered wood flooring, takes a significant share of the wood flooring industry because it appeals to people who want both beauty and practicality. No one version is better than another, so your decision will ultimately come down to your own needs and priorities. Here is a comparison.

Subfloors: solid vs. engineered

Solid hardwood is installed with a tongue and groove first; then, it’s nailed or glued. There is some waste because the material below the tongue and groove isn't usable. If installed over a cement floor, there are vapor barriers, felt paper, plywood, sanding, and refinishing. Engineered can be the faster and less complicated installation: the floating floor. Pieces click together to the mat and then hover over the subfloor with no nails or adhesives needed. Subfloors need to be clean, dry, and level, and there's no mess to clean up.

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Construction makes a big difference

Solid is, as it sounds, one thickness. Engineered is a layered construction with the top layer being genuine wood and displaying knots, undertones, grains, etc. Underneath are three or more authentic timber layers combined with a little resin and placed in a crosswise position. This results in a more stable floor that handles water better; it can be installed in some higher-than-normal moisture areas, such as basements.

Solid will expand and shrink to adjust to the weather, and this is handled through a simple process called acclimation. The hardwood boards are left in open boxes for three to five days in the room where the floor will be installed, giving the boards a chance to adjust. While it’s simple, it must be done since most of the solid wood damage results from the expansion-contraction. Engineered boards will not move, so they do not require it.

Thickness is important to both because it determines how often a floor can be sanded and refinished. The ideal thickness for solid is ¾-inch, and it can be sanded up to six times. Engineered has a range from ⅝-inch to ½-inch, and can be sanded four or five times. It is important to think this one through carefully because most floors require sanding only every ten years.

We will help you select the best for your needs and give you a free estimate as well. When shopping for hardwood flooring in Beech Grove, IN, Indianapolis, IN, Greenwood, IN, Franklin, IN, Whiteland, IN, Shelbyville, IN, New Palestine, IN, Cumberland, IN, Grenfield, IN, and Fairland, IN, feel free to speak to one of the wood flooring experts at Griffith Flooring Service LLC. Visit our showroom in Beech Grove, IN today. We’re family-owned and operated and have over 20 years of experience.