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Solid Hardwood Flooring vs. Engineered Hardwood Flooring

There’s really no substitute for the luxurious look and feel that you get from real hardwood flooring. Although modern manufacturing methods have come up with some pretty convincing attempts to replicate it, there’s nothing quite like the tactile pleasure that comes from living with and walking on genuine hardwood.

If you’re looking to bring warmth and charm to your home and you’re in it for the long haul, an investment in beautifully crafted hardwood floors will truly pay off. Hardwood flooring doesn’t just look, feel and smell amazing.

It has a wide range of benefits including:

  • It’s incredibly hard wearing and long lasting
  • Its lustrous colors never fade or change
  • It can improve the air quality in your home
  • It’s easy to clean and maintain
  • It looks great in any home and suits any decor theme
  • It adds warmth to your living space
  • It adds to the value of your property

Nonetheless, even when you have your heart set on hardwood flooring, a difficult choice still has to be made between solid and engineered hardwood flooring. “What’s the difference?” you may ask, and we’re glad you did.

Let’s take a look at the features and benefits of both solid and engineered hardwood flooring so you can make an informed decision on which option is best for your home.

Solid Hardwood

Solid hardwood is just that. It’s solid, homogenous and exactly the same, plank for plank. It provides you with a consistent look from top to bottom and side to side.

Solid hardwood planks are available either pre-finished or unfinished. They can be sanded down multiple times although it’s worth noting that eventually, even solid hardwood will wear thin after years of sanding and may not be able to maintain structural integrity.

It’s important to note that solid hardwood cannot be installed on a “floating” basis where it rests on top of your existing flooring. Solid hardwood needs to be nailed down.

As long as it’s well cared for, solid hardwood will look fantastic for decades and will increase the real resale value of your home. It comes in a wide range of hardness levels from softer woods like Douglas Fir to incredibly hardwoods like Brazilian Walnut.

It’s important to remember that solid hardwood must not be exposed to moisture. It can warp when used in bathrooms and while it can be salvaged in the event of flooding it does not return to its original shape and luster.

Engineered Hardwood

Engineered hardwood, on the other hand, is not solid but a layered product with a thin slice of hardwood atop a base of high-quality plywood. This is both a blessing and a limitation.

The vast majority of engineered hardwood is pre-finished. Because the upper layer is thin it can only withstand sanding once or maybe twice before wearing down to the plywood.

It can be installed on a “floating basis” and is usually either glued down or fold-and-locked into place. Engineered wood flooring will still add value to the home but is generally far less hard wearing than solid hardwood.

One advantage that it does have over solid hardwood is its ability to deal with moisture because of the structure of the plywood beneath.

The Bottom Line

Engineered hardwood is generally more affordable and versatile when installing in a home but solid hardwood is more durable and better suited to those homeowners who are seeking to make a long-term investment in their flooring.

Wood-n’t you like to know more?

There’s really no substitute for a one-to-one consultation with an expert who really knows their hardwood flooring. If you’d like to know more about which type of hardwood is best for your home and your needs, give The Hardwood Giant Co. a call today at (704) 251-7279. One of our highly knowledgeable advisors will be more than happy to walk you through our impressive selection!