There is a popular question: which one is better, solid hardwood flooring vs engineered wood flooring? Before we answer this, it is important that we understand the difference. Solid wood flooring is a single plank of wood. The material has been in use for ages in the flooring industry. However, its prohibitive features like high cost and water absorption has made some shrug off.
Whether wood is a renewable resource or it’s a sustainable flooring option is always a concern. But do you know that hardwood flooring is considered one of the most environmental-friendly options? How you may ask. It takes around half a century for most trees to reach full maturity. Most harvesters ensure there is faster replacement than harvesting. Wood milling also uses fewer chemicals compared to manufacturing other flooring materials.
Engineered wood is characterized by higher resistance to abrasion and at a lower cost. The material is man-made from plywood and hardwood material together to form a block of wood. Though the material solved some of the drawbacks of natural hardwood, some problems arose from the invention. To help you understand this, let’s look at the characteristics of each material.
Characteristics of Solid Hardwood Flooring
The material is 100% natural and is cut from a single piece of wood. Hardwood is known for its aesthetic value and improvement of the value of property. It is also highly durable when well maintained. Some of the most common species of trees from which the wood is obtained are oak, maple, rosewood, hickory, pine, teak, and mahogany. Some manufacturers may import the material from countries like Canada while others are found locally.
Natural wood flooring is not the best for moisture-prone areas because of the high porosity. It is not also ideal for underground floors where it is difficult to control moisture. Solid wood installation requires you to leave a space between the wall and the floor to allow for expansion and extraction when exposed to varying humidity. Solid hardwood works best for living rooms and bedrooms. To improve the warmth of your apartment, you can install under floor heaters to complement the material. The material is not suitable for bathrooms, mudrooms, laundry rooms, and kitchens because of its low resistance to moisture.
Solid wood flooring cost is relatively higher but you will get value for your money because it can last for decades. The cost of installation is also higher because it requires a subfloor for nailing. Hardwood planks have a thickness of around 3/4 inches and the width varies and may get up to 11 inches.
Hardwood flooring has more sustainable sanding properties and can withstand several sanding. However, the thickness reduces and may call for an overhaul but this may come after several years. The “sandability” is also dependent on the type of tree used to mill the planks.
Characteristics of Engineered Wood Flooring
Some people call it fake wood but the material is 100% wood. It is composed of slices of hardwood stuck together with a plywood base. The material is thinner than solid wood but has a better resistance to moisture. Therefore, it is a better option for damp areas like kitchen than solid wood. Engineered wood installation cost is relatively lower because it is tailor-made to fit the modern houses.
However, there might be limited varieties of the material. Because the material is thin, at most ¾ inches, it is not ideal for regular sanding. Therefore, its life-span is shorter compared to solid wood flooring. Once the top layer is worn out, engineered wood loses its integrity and aesthetic value. The width of the material is around 3 inches.
The material is ideal for kitchens, living rooms, and bedrooms. However, it requires proper care to withstand kitchen spills and last long enough.
Which one is better solid wood flooring or engineered wood flooring?
This is a popular question and easy to answer once you have understood each material and you know what you want. First, engineered wood flooring will go slow on your pocket in purchasing and installation costs. It is also ideal for most rooms and comes in handy when you want uniformity in your apartment. However, the durability of the material is lower compared to solid wood.
On the other hand, hardwood flooring cost is relatively high in installation and purchase. However, it can last for decades without losing its integrity. The only drawback is you will have to choose different material for moisture-prone areas and underground floors. Having said this, the choice between solid wood flooring and engineered wood flooring is dependent on your preference: durability, uniformity, or cost.