Solid Hardwood Versus Engineered Hardwood
Hardwood floors offer timeless beauty, warmth and luxury to a home. The classic appeal of hardwood spans generations making it a top choice for many home owners, but today not only do buyers have solid hardwood options to choose from, they now have engineered hardwood options as well.
So what’s the difference between the two? What is the best choice for you?
Solid hardwood is just that; a board of solid wood right through. Usually solid hardwood is about ¾” thick and comes unfinished or pre-finished as well as in different grades. Because it is thick, solid wood can be sanded down and re-finished many times. The main problem with wood is that it expands with an increase in humidity (i.e. summer) and contracts with a decrease in humidity (i.e. winter). These climate changes can result in increased cupping and buckling of the wood. Solid hardwood is not recommended to go over concrete.
Engineered hardwood is formed from layers of bonded wood, adhered together under great pressure, a process which increases it’s resistance to humidity. It doesn’t shrink and expand as much as solid wood, thus decreasing the risk of cupping and buckling. Engineered hardwood can be installed over concrete in the right conditions, and sometimes even below grade. Engineered does come in different grades of quality, but most can be re-sanded and finished a few times.