SOLID VS ENGINEERED
Whether you’re looking to renovate your residential or commercial space, hardwood flooring is a reliable and attractive choice. Safe, easy to clean and sustainable, hardwood floor has always been a popular choice in the construction circuit. When it's time to choose the type of wood, the question always come up, "Should I choose solid hardwood, or engineered hardwood?"
As the name implies, solid hardwood is solid wood, all the way through. It generally is 3/4″ in thickness. Engineered hardwood flooring is done in layers. The top layer is a hardwood veneer and then beneath that, there are layers (or plies) of wood. Generally, these plies are perpendicular in direction and laminated together (similar to plywood), and generally (but not always), these plies are made of wood (although they are not necessarily the same species as the top layer. The thickness of the top veneer can vary, and generally higher quality engineered woods have a thicker top layer, and cheaper ones have a thin one.
Advantages of Solid Hardwood
1. Solid hardwood be sanded and refinished many times. So, when you get scratches in the floor, or if you want to change the color later, you can. This is an especially important consideration if you plan on living in your home for a while, have kids/busy household and/or if you have pets.
2. If you have other hardwood in the house, chances are it’s solid and this could be matched up to it from a height perspective and sometimes from a color perspective.
3. Solid hardwood is generally much easier to repair, especially if you have water damage (e.g. from a flood, broken pipe, broken appliance) or pet stains. When this happens (and it’s only on part of the floor), it’s often easy for a professional to match the wood (especially if it is oak) and then sand and refinish the whole room. Engineered hardwood flooring is often hard to match as well as repair, and you may need to replace the whole floor, if you have damage. Also, solid hardwood is easier to work with if you are remodeling and/or expanding your area. Sometimes, customers remove walls (especially in kitchen area) and they will have small missing sections of hardwood. With solid hardwood, it’s easy to add more wood and/or weave it into the gap.
4. Often, solid hardwood is less expensive…this all depends on what you are comparing it to, but sometimes, solid is less expensive than a sandable engineered product. Sometimes, this is simply because the solids are more popular and sell more and hence are put on special more often. Yes, it’s possible to find cheap engineered flooring, but if comparing mid to good engineered flooring, often the solid wood will cost a bit less (unless you are looking at very wide widths. (Many are surprised to learn this).
5. Comes in both pre-finished and unfinished forms. So, if you have hardwood in other areas and want to match the color exactly (or almost exactly), this can be a great option for you. You can get smoother edges and test/blend colors when it is site finished, or you have the option of installing pre-finished for a faster/easier installation. Different customers have different preferences base on style preferences, lifestyle choices and timing. With solid, you just have more flexibility.