As you can see, hardwood and engineered hardwood flooring each have their own advantages and limitations. Traditional hardwood floorboards, the kind that have been used by builders for hundreds of years, are cut from logs of solid wood. Engineered wood planks now are being created with a tongue and groove installation method, much like laminate flooring. Engineered floors have the same look and elegance as hardwood floors while providing superior, lasting benefits to the homeowner. These days it’s common for hardwood floorboards to come pre-finished from the factory. Because hardwood floors are a single piece of wood, you can sand and refinish them repeatedly without losing strength or durability. So, what exactly are these two types of hardwood and how do they compare? The veneers are usually made of hard wood and are pre-finished in the factory. When it comes to DIY floor installation, there are some big advantages to choosing engineered hardwood over hardwood floors. Solid Hardwood: Solid hardwood is traditionally 3/4″ thick, except for parquet-style floors which are thinner. Some engineered floors have a thicker top hardwood layer that allows them to be sanded and refinished several times. Premium engineered flooring is usually thick enough to look and sound just like “real hardwood.”. Engineered hardwood is typically less expensive than hardwood flooring as ranges in price from about $2.50 to $10 per square foot, while hardwood typically averages about $4 to $12 per square foot. However, you may find it's worth it to invest in hardwood for its longer durability. Between claws, hard toys, water bowls, and the occasional potty accident, if you’re a pet owner you’ll want a floor that can stand up to Fluffy and Fido. Is there much difference between Engineered Hardwood and Solid Hardwood? Choose manufacturers who back their products with a substantial warranty. Engineered hardwood can come with a thick wear layer that can stand up to plenty of wear and tear. Thank you, My basement is pretty damp, especially during times of heavy rain. Solid Hardwood: As might be expected, solid hardwood sounds and feels decidedly solid when you walk on it. Some experts say that engineered hardwood does fine in bathrooms, kitchens, and even basements. Especially great for wide plank floors, Varies by wood type, thickness, width, and finish, Varies by veneer type and thickness, board thickness, and finish, Look for types that are recommended by the manufacturer for pets, take special precautions to protect floors, Sensitive to moisture and temperature fluxuation, Sensitive to moisture and temperature fluxuation, but less so than hardwood, Frequently sweep or vacuum, occasionally mop with approved cleaner and damp mop, Can be sanded and refinished multiple times, May be sanded and refinished once, twice, or not at all depending on veneer, Compatible with a small subset of hardwood floors, Most are compatible, check with specific manufacturer. Mistakes may cause the floor to buckle or leave gaps with natural expansion and contraction. Engineered Hardwood: Engineered has multiple species to choose from: Oak, Maple and Hickory, plus softer species like Birch, Cherry and Walnut, and exotic woods like African Mahogany, Acacia and Tigerwood. Our primary source for wood is the Appalachian region. Engineered Hardwood: Sometimes, engineered floors can sound more hollow than solid under-foot, but that can be addressed by stapling down the planks instead of floating them. Engineered Hardwood floors are made up of layers. Instead, opt for floors made of harder wood varieties, such as oak or mahogany. Some experts say that engineered hardwood does fine in bathrooms, kitchens, and even basements. It is usually compatible. ⚛ The information about Engineered Wood Vs MDF Comparison Between Engineered Wood, MDF, & Particle Board is completely presented here. Solid Hardwood: We offer solid hardwood flooring in our three hardest and most wear-resistant species: Oak, Maple and Hickory. For this reason, engineered hardwood is some There are multiple ways to install engineered hardwood – nail down (if plywood), staple, glue or float. ... Is there much difference between Engineered Hardwood and Solid Hardwood? Even with these precautions in place, some pet owners are still unhappy to discover that their floors are no match for claws. I have been wondering about the exact differences between them so thanks for bringing it to light. For rooms in your home where people may track in or spill liquids onto the floor – such as mud rooms, bathrooms, or kitchens – proceed with caution before purchasing wood floors. Solid Hardwood: Solid is the gold standard in flooring, and it’s usually the most price-premium board for board. I wanted hardwood from the beginning. While engineered hardwood does cost more, it does have real wood. Compared to laminate floors, engineered hardwoods offer more long-term performance. Look for products with our Lifetime Warranty. It absorbs moisture from the air, causing it to swell if there is a lot of moisture in the air and causing it to shrink if there is little moisture in the air. If you are looking for a DIY option with the flexibility to install it in a variety of rooms, engineered hardwood is probably for you. In the middle is a core built from 5 to 7 layers of plywood that crisscross in different directions.Engineered construction creates a highly stable core that is less likely to expand, contract or shift when exposed to moisture, humidity and temperature. Ask an expert about using wood flooring in moisture-prone areas. For both types of wood flooring, experts recommend maintaining humidity between 35% and 55%. Those include using area rugs and putting the water dish on a tiled floor. Pets and wood floors can co-exist. Before investing in wood flooring for your home, first consider the day-to-day activities that occur in the space. Does engineered hardwood scratch easily? Do you live in a part of the world that is prone to fluctuation in humidity or temperature? At FloorCritics.com, our expert team of flooring researches & writers work to provide thorough & editorially independent content for whatever your flooring need may be. When searching for attractive, durable, one-of-a-kind wood flooring to increase the value of your home, there are two great products to consider: hardwood vs. engineered hardwood. This could be a solution for damp floors and as an owner of two pets I think my house would smell nicer because maintaining a floor like this, would be much easier. Especially when it comes to resisting dents. As long as you purchase one of the thicker hardwood flooring options when you pick out your floating variety, you can refinish them a few times when they become worn out. Start by evaluating the climate in the places where you hope to install your flooring. Luxury SPC Vinyl SPC is cost-effective and generally at a lower price-point than most engineered hardwood flooring. Engineered hardwood is much more flexible, making it possible for homeowners to install a wood floor without hiring a professional. Since engineered wood looks, feels, and walks like a solid hardwood, it has a premium price compared to a laminate floor. That is because its crisscrossed layers below the surface provide extra strength and resistance to buckling and warping. Hardwood flooring comes in all types of wood. This makes engineered hardwood the best choice to use for flooring geographical areas with high moisture content like basements, over concrete slabs, and over radiant heat sources or systems. However, pet owners should take extra precautions to protect their wood floors. Some engineered floors have a thicker top hardwood layer that allows them to be sanded and refinished several times. That is even the case for engineered hardwood, which beats hardwood at moisture resistance. Engineered hardwood also comes in a dizzying array of options with many variables and corresponding price points. The wood is used for making a number of the constructions, and furniture. 4. However, engineered wood flooring may be stable enough to use in these circumstances. The contact detail associated with Engineered Wood Vs MDF is also mentioned to make it easy for a user to contact the furniture seller. Lastly, the maintenance schedule for hardwood floors is minimal as compared to carpet. It’s also impossible to tell them apart. Sign up for news about our latest flooring innovations—and get inspired for your next project. The price per square foot largely depends on the species, wear layer thickness, or width of the plank. What is Engineered Hardwood One of the properties of hardwood is that it is subject to weather changes and seasons. Engineered Hardwood: Engineered hardwood is more forgiving with moisture as its more stable. The contractor we are hiring says engineered would be better. This real wood veneer can be from a variety of tree species. Engineered Wood is most commonly known as man-made wood and is made up of using different solid or hardwood waste like veneers, fibers, boards, etc. Engineered wood is resistant to expanding, contracting, or warping when exposed to moisture, humidity, and temperature changes. Since both types of flooring have similar surfaces, it makes sense that manufacturers recommend nearly identical wood cleaning methods to minimize damage and keep floors looking beautiful. Certain looks, such as extra-wide planks, may only be possible with engineered wood. Luckily, there are plenty of options built to withstand moisture. Cost: Engineered hardwood is more of an investment. I asked a friend who owns a home construction company and he said you can have problems with either engineered or natural hardwood. We lay them out for you so you can choose between them. Some floor buyers we talk to are swayed by the price difference when it comes to exotic species; for others, it’s the utility of engineered vs. solid wood. You’ll need to pay a professional for installation, and unless you buy pre-finished boards (which cost more), be sure to account for the costs associated with finishing too. Before you begin the process of comparing wood floor products, determine if wood floors – either hardwood or engineered hardwood – will hold up to the environment in your home. Engineered Hardwood: Engineered hardwood flooring has multiple installation options: staple, glue or float, including our locking technology, available on some products. When solid hardwood flooring is in an environment where the humidity level is over 55%, then it will absorb the excess moisture and cupping will happen. Energy-efficient, luxurious heated floors are all the rage these days, but these systems are not compatible with all types of wood flooring materials. Winner: Engineered hardwood. Never below the table (basements). I had a question on whether I should use engineering hardwood for this room (Maryland). Both hardwood and engineered wood have pros and cons. Plus, it’s easy to install over radiant heat — hence less expansion and contraction. And, unlike laminate or vinyl plank alternatives, no two pieces are ever exactly alike. Engineered hardwood, by contrast, is built to withstand temperature fluctuation by design. Engineered hardwood floors are a relatively new option, compared to hardwood. Others believe that especially with so many attractive, water-resistant options out there, wood floors are a risky choice. The widest solid flooring available is 5″, a moderate width that strikes a balance between the extra wide-plank trend and classic looks. FloorCritics.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. That is something to consider if you hate housework. If you want a floor that you can refinish repeatedly and have it last for generations to come, hardwood flooring might be more your speed. Unlike carpets hardwood floors can last a lifetime and damaged hardwood floors can be repaired easily without even replacing the entire floor. They are a classic choice, long associated with quality and durability. Likewise, the durability of treatments used to finish the floor (varnishes, waxes, oils) makes a big difference when it comes to protecting hardwood or engineered hardwood floors from daily scuffs and scrapes. You’ll have more flexibility if you go with engineered hardwood. For example, in high traffic areas, you may want to avoid floors made with softwood, like pine, which are more susceptible to dents and gouges. I would recommend solid hardwood floors, because they are more durable, long lasting and versatile as compared to carpet. If you’re trying to decide between solid hardwood and engineered wood for your home, condominium, or town-house, you’re not alone. Floors that are subjected to higher percentages of humidity or rapid temperature shifts are prone to expansion and contraction. But what’s the difference between the two? That is because its crisscrossed layers below the surface provide extra strength and resistance to buckling and warping. Distressed and scraped styles or those with unique staining techniques will be on the higher end. Engineered Hardwood: If your durability concerns are around moisture, humidity or temperature, engineered is the way to go. When it comes to water protection, engineered hardwood has a slight advantage over hardwood floors. Find out how engineered hardwood flooring can be toxic, what to look for when selecting engineered hardwood and what non toxic engineered hardwood flooring options are available. If you enjoy building things yourself or are looking to save on installation costs, you probably have interest in flooring that you can install yourself. Solid Hardwood: Solid hardwood is known for its endurance. There’s a lot to love about both of these options. They will help you understand the differences between hardwood and engineered hardwood floors. Let’s explore. That includes soft pine to the hardest mahogany. ). The top layer is 100% natural wood, which comes in a variety of species. A veneer on the thicker side (⅙ inch) is going to hold up better than a thin one (1/12 inch). Make sure to do your research and buy the hardest you can afford. Engineered flooring is made up of a base or supporting layer, often of lesser grade wood or plywood, covered in a softwood plywood core (as “softwood” is cheaper than “hardwood”) topped with a hardwood veneer and a protective finish coat. Sign up to receive the latest on products, contests, and more! Engineered hardwood flooring is almost always sold pre-finished, and there is a narrower range of available colors and species than with solid hardwood. Its layered construction provides stability against environmental changes. You may nail, staple, glue, or even install floorboards as a “floating” floor. Wood shows all the dirt and debris that comes in the door, there’s nowhere for it to hide. Hardwood floor installation is an art and a science. Then there’s engineered hardwood flooring. Your email address will not be published. Both solid and engineered flooring add value and structure to your home and are available in plenty of species, stains and styles. Manufacturers advocate the use of doormats and rugs to collect debris, as well as shoe removal and trimming pets’ nails to minimize damage. We will also share advice and best practices from building experts, flooring manufacturers, and product reviews from real customers. But replacing a floating floor is much easyer, faster, and cheaper. While it is possible to install hardwood floors over an in-floor heating system, there are many limitations and considerations for doing so. Solid Hardwood: Solid hardwood floors are installed using nails. Cons of Engineered Hardwood Flooring Because the engineered hardwood floors are made by compressing a lower quality scrap wood for the first few layers of the planks and then using the traditional hardwood layer on the surface, you cannot refinish the floors very many times. Whatever kind of engineered hardwood that is selected, as it is constructed from 100% natural wood, it will add value and style to any home. That is, as long as precautions are taken to contain standing water using mats and rugs. Nailing is the only installation method for hardwood, and you must do it in a deliberate way. They use pretty stains and protective coatings that enhance durability. We are building a new house. With thinner veneers, there’s a risk of sanding down through to the plywood below. With hardwood there are also labor costs to consider. No matter your goals, ask yourself what is non-negotiable for your project, and always be sure to read the fine print so you know your floor’s exact limitations. The thickness of engineered hardwood can vary, although higher quality engineered woods should have a thicker veneered top layer. Yes, typically if you are comparing, say, a solid red oak hardwood floor with a similar red oak engineered floor then the solid red oak will be more expensive. Solid Hardwood: Solid is a great choice for the first and second floors, enhancing living spaces such as living rooms, dining rooms, kitchens and bedrooms. If you’ve got your heart set on installing hardwood over a floor heating system, be sure to choose floorboards that consist of American hardwoods (cherry, oak, ash, for example), are 2 ¼ inches wide or less, quartersawn, and have a moisture content of 6% or less. Durability. Engineered wood is significantly cheaper than solid hardwood and can be quickly adhered to another wooden surface, a concrete floor or a soundproofing mat. Thicker woods are usually available in premium collections. If refinishing your floors in the future matters to you, know that hardwood offers the flexibility to refinish multiple times, but engineered hardwood may only withstand one or two rounds of refinishing. Any suggestions are appreciated. To avoid problems, seek out flooring that specifically claims to stand up to pets, study customer reviews carefully, and make sure that having pets doesn’t void the product warranty. It is best for someone with experience with subfloor selection and prep, moisture monitoring, proper board spacing, and all of the other details that will prevent floor damage down the road do a proper installation. So, for the other 8 months there will be no temperature control as I will leave it off which means the room could get as cold as 45-50 and as hot as 80-85 degrees. Because it is solid through and through, it can be sanded and refinished multiple times during a lifetime. Your email address will not be published. It’s made of layers of wood, bonded together with adhesives under intense heat and pressure. Some manufacturers recommend proactively drying the floor with a rag immediately after washing, while others say it’s OK to air dry. Engineered hardwood can also be sanded and refinished several times if the top layer is thick enough, though not typically as many times as solid hardwood.Like solid, those products that have a Lifetime Finish will withstand scratches the best. We have cats and may have to refinish more often. Solid hardwood durability mostly comes down to the wood species and wear-resistance of its protective finish. How do you choose between solid hardwood and engineered hardwood? Engineered Hardwood Vs. Those are the type of wood it is, and the durability of its finish. High-performance engineered products are also more on par with solid pricing. The top layer of engineered wood is a real hardwood veneer. However, homeowners also have the option to install raw wood floors for on-site finishing. In addition, trim your pets’ claws to prevent excessive scratching. It will be used only 4 months in a year. That is fused with crisscrossed layers of wood slices underneath (think plywood). Required fields are marked *. Pets amplify all of the wear, tear and potential hazards we’ve discussed in other sections for hardwood and engineered hardwood floors alike. Standing water is the enemy of organic materials, including wood. I was told by a realtor people buy engineered wood because it costs less. Really, all the best hardwood floor brands make such amazing products in both solid and engineered varieties, we’d be hard-pressed to say “x is better than y” just as you pointed out. If you really want wood floors but live in a place that falls outside this range, all is not lost. That is the most DIY-friendly option. Appalachian hardwood is preferred for its consistent color, more refined grain, and better stability.Solid hardwood flooring is durable and reliable, making it a wonderful investment that will enhance the value of your home and provide beauty for a lifetime. Some pre-finished engineered hardwood flooring has slightly beveled edges, which creates slight grooves between boards, while solid hardwood flooring generally has very tight seams between boards. Solid Hardwood: You’ll find a huge selection of solid hardwood to bring to life your personal style and décor, from traditional hardwood to on-trend colors to hand-scraped wood. It is a very informative article. If you’d like the ability to refinish your engineered hardwood floors in the future, look for one with a thick veneer (ideally ⅙ inch or more), and always confirm with the manufacturer that the product if, and how often, the floor will hold up to refinishing. You cannot refinish it at all in some cases. which is why there are so many different colours and looks available for engineered wood flooring. We source all of our solid hardwood in the USA to support American workers and their fine craftsmanship, and ensure the highest possible quality. It is a suite over the garage that has it’s own AC/Heating unit. If moisture, humidity or temperature are a concern—like in basement installations—you’ll definitely want to choose engineered over solid hardwood. Pricing often comes down to plank thickness, the type of derivative wood products used in an engineered plank, and the species of hardwood used throughout a plank or for an engineered plank's veneer. A floor they guarantee for 25 years is likely to last much longer than one they only guarantee for 5 years. When relative humidity is less than 45%, this may cause gaps in the floor between the floor boards. Article content continued. If two different manufacturers sell two identical floors but one offers a 25-year warranty for $200 more while the other is cheaper but only offers 10 years, spending the extra cash may be totally worth it for peace of mind. No matter what kind of flooring you choose, be sure to pay attention to how the manufacturer (or your flooring installer) treats the boards. With hardwood and engineered hardwood floors, prevention is key. Humidity may be controlled using humidifiers and/or dehumidifiers. And solid construction holds up well over time. Moreover, homeowners should purchase extra materials (5-10% m… Most engineered hardwood floors do fine with in-floor heating systems as long as you observe installation guidelines and temperature limits (usually 80-85 degrees F). As a result, the engineered option is much cheaper than a plank of solid wood. Engineered Hardwood: With a few exceptions, engineered wood flooring is available in a wide range of styles, ranging from traditional to specialty designs with features like multi-tonal colors and handcrafted tool markings. There are two major factors that determine how well a floor’s surface will hold up to daily life. While solid wood is the best for long term durability if the new owner wants to change it the labor involved is masive. But pay attention to thickness. Best for Water and Heat Resistance: Tie A solid wood floor can be repeatedly refinished, but engineered wood’s thinner wear layer makes this less of an option. Frequent sweeping with a microfiber floor sweeper and/or vacuuming with a hardwood-friendly soft brush will eliminate dust and abrasive grit. Then, you can decide which is better for you! As we’ve mentioned many times in this article, the options for wood floors vary widely, and so do the costs. Get Quotes Instantly from Local Flooring Pros, 4 Instant Free Quotes from Approved Local Flooring Installers, hardwood offers the flexibility to refinish multiple times, With hardwood there are also labor costs to consider, Beautiful, natural look, no two pieces are exactly alike. Avoid areas where moisture is present. Since the top veneer is real hardwood, it is completely unique to each plank with real knots and unique grain with no pattern repeats like some laminates. This makes engineered wood flooring a great option in rooms that are subject to moisture (like basements) or over concrete slab and radiant heating systems. Wide variety of wood types and finishes, Beautiful, natural look, no two pieces are exactly alike. Engineered Hardwood Engineered hardwood comes in a wide range of prices from entry-level to premium. They will have oil, wax, or varnish. In order to understand the differences between hardwood and engineered hardwood floors, you must look below the surface. We live in S. Florida but everything is under A/C. Use with caution in basements, bathrooms, kitchens (and consider better options like tile, vinyl, etc. And when it’s time for a deeper clean, a damp terrycloth mop paired with a manufacturer-approved cleanser will remove deeper dirt and gunk. Hardwood flooring products previously sold by Armstrong Flooring, Inc., are now available under the Hartco® brand. Hardwood can be scarred by intense heat, though mild scorch marks can sometimes be sanded out and refinished. Having the option to strip, sand, and refinish your floors makes wood an attractive choice for homeowners looking to invest in their home for the long term. As with hardwood, the width, thickness, and finish each impact the price tag, but veneer thickness and the type of materials used in the plywood core also matter – the thicker and stronger, the better and more expensive. In both cases, the harder/thicker the wood, the more expensive it will be. Hardwood is a beautiful flooring option, but what about the specific kinds of hardwood? Now I see good quality engineered wood is similar in price to hardwood, although engineered is easier to install. Unfortunately, if your space is excessively humid, prone to sudden temperature shifts, or below ground level (basements), wood floors may not be the best choice for your home. With both types of floors, it’s also worth considering the length and coverage of the warranty. Solid Hardwood is aspired by homeowners for its authenticity, timelessness and durability.Our solid hardwood flooring is constructed with 100% hardwood and each plank is a single solid piece. Engineered Hardwood: As a whole, engineered tends to be less expensive than solid hardwood, with the exception of premium collections that have a thicker hardwood top layer, uniquely artistic designs and enhanced durability. Harder woods such as Hickory and Oak are more dent resistant, and those with more resilient finishes — like our Lifetime Finish powered by aluminum oxide nanoparticles — will perform best against scratches. In short, wood floors are a bit high-maintenance when you compare them to carpet, tile, linoleum or vinyl. The bottom layer is also wood. No matter which type of floor you choose, be sure to pick one that has a durable, water-resistant finish that’s covered by the manufacturer’s warranty. These floorboards have a thin veneer of wood on the surface (1/12 – ⅙ inches thick). Engineered hardwood flooring can emit volatile organic compounds (VOC) and some VOCs can even cause cancer. Is it excessively damp or humid? The bottom layer gives floorboards superior strength, helping them resist expansion and contraction. Engineered wood, on the other hand, contains layers of hardwood and plywood. Not all hardwood nor engineered hardwood floors are created equal, and when weighing a hardwood and an engineered hardwood floor of similar quality, the price will also be similar. That may cause gaping between boards, curling, or warping. It is an attractive option for many homeown… Can I use engineered-hardwood floor in this room – can such a floor withstand the changes in temperature? Many hardwood shoppers don’t realize there are two types of wood — solid and engineered. Engineered floors can be a good choice if you need a thinner wood for an existing space — for example, to match the height of an adjoining floor or fit kitchen appliances into tight spaces between countertops and floors. Like laminate flooring, LVP uses a photographic layer to mimic the appearance of wood, but loses the texture and feel underfoot of real wood. Wide variety of finishes. Engineered Hardwood: Engineered wood is an excellent choice for areas where solid hardwood cannot be installed, like in basements, over concrete floors or over radiant heating systems. In the sections that follow, we’ll walk you through both products. When it comes to water protection, engineered hardwood has a slight advantage over hardwood floors. Engineered Wood vs. Hardwood Hardwood is a solid piece of wood with no layers, and it is laid in planks. When shopping for hardwood floors, understand that the wood variety, width, thickness, and finish will determine the price – generally the harder, wider, thicker, and more durable the floor, the more you will need to pay. But engineered wood is simply a veneer for your floor. On the other hand if you compare the same red oak solid wood with a high quality exotic engineered wood like Tigerwood then it is the engineered flooring that will cost more. Engineered hardwood only has a real wood veneer, and the remaining base layers cost less than wood. When debating between a laminate vs. hardwood floor, people are usually debating laminate vs. engineered hardwood Laminate vs. engineered hardwood similarities Both laminate and engineered hardwood floors are click-together flooring —meaning installation is easy (though we’ll talk about that a bit more later on). 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Precautions in place, some pet owners should take extra precautions to protect their wood floors widely... Inches thick ) out and refinished multiple times during a lifetime and damaged hardwood floors are both beautiful, options. Extra strength and resistance to buckling and warping repaired easily without even replacing the entire floor be refinished! Rugs and putting the water dish on a tiled floor love about both of these options that determine well! At moisture resistance so you can afford options for wood floors yourself, engineered is the Appalachian.. A variety of wood types and finishes, beautiful, natural options that add value to home. Cause the floor to buckle or leave gaps with natural expansion and contraction for hardwood floors it! Several times and refinish them repeatedly without losing strength or durability may find it 's it! Long as precautions are taken to contain standing water using mats and rugs thinner than solid durability! Article, the options for wood floors between the extra wide-plank trend and classic looks below! Beautiful, natural look, no two pieces are exactly alike is possible to over. Dirt and debris that comes in a place that falls outside this,... So thanks for bringing it engineered wood vs hardwood light thinner veneers, there are some big advantages to engineered! And styles also worth considering the length and coverage of the world that is prone to fluctuation humidity...