When selecting hardwood floors for your home you have several decisions to make. You have to select the wood species, the type of finish, whether it will pre-finished or site-finished and several other factors to get your desired wood floors. One of the decisions you will have to make is whether you want solid wood or engineered wood floors.
Now you may be wondering, “Are engineered wood floors actually wood floors?”. And the answer is yes! Engineered wood floors are made from real wood, but it was made in a way to provide some benefits that solid wood floors do not have. There are pros and cons to both to be sure. We will go more into the benefits that each one brings.
Solid wood floors are the traditional wood planks. They are, what the name implies, a solid piece of hardwood and they are typically ¾ of an inch thick. The beauty of solid hardwood floors is that they can be sanded and refinished many times, allowing them to last a long time in your home. Even if you want a color change then you can have those same hardwood floors sanded and refinished to either lighten up your room or bring in the darker, bolder colors.
Solid wood floors are more sensitive to moisture and will expand and contract based on the moisture content in the room. As a result, it is not recommended to put solid wood floors in basements, bathrooms or any room that will have continual changes in moisture. This is one of the restrictions for solid wood flooring.
On the other hand, engineered wood floors are also made with real wood, but they are made in a way to help withstand changes in moisture content. Engineered floors are made with plywood that has been layered and compressed together in such a way that causes it to be less susceptible to changes in moisture content. Engineered wood flooring has made it possible to have wood flooring in the basement.
Another perk about engineered flooring is that it can be laid on top of many surfaces. Solid wood flooring needs a plywood base, but engineered wood flooring can be put on top of several surface types including concrete floors.
Engineered wood floors, however, cannot be refinished as many times as solid wood floors. If your floors have been damaged or your wanting to change the color, you are limited in the amount of times it can be sanded and refinished (if at all).
Discuss your needs with a professional hardwood flooring contractor and they can lead you in the right direction to help you get the wood floors that will best meet your needs.