In today's society, where people are increasingly choosing all-natural and less processed options for everything from their food to their clothing, you might assume that plain, natural, solid hardwood flooring is the best option. Engineered hardwood might sound like a modern cop-out. But this is not the case at all. Engineered hardwood is, in many ways, an improvement on its older cousin solid hardwood flooring. Here are some of the benefits of choosing engineered hardwood flooring over other options.
It's More Affordable
Engineered hardwood flooring is a layered flooring material. The base layers are made from cheaper wood, such as pine or cypress, and the upper layer is made from the more attractive hardwood, like walnut or cherry. Since cheaper materials are used in the underlayers, you can buy engineered hardwood flooring for significantly less than you would have to pay for solid cherry, walnut, or another nice wood. The look, though, is the same quality, or maybe even better.
It Does Not Bow and Warp Easily
When you have solid hardwood floors installed, you need to constantly monitor your home's temperature and humidity levels to prevent damage to the hardwood. If the air gets too dry, your floorboards will shrink. If it gets too moist, the boards will bow and warp.
This is not a problem with engineered hardwood. The layers are put together in a way that compensates for some expansion and contraction. You still won't want to let your home get to 90 degrees and 80% humidity, but normal fluctuations won't be anything to worry about.
It's Easier to Install
Installing solid hardwood is quite a process. The wood needs to sit on-site or a few days or sometimes even a few weeks to acclimate before it can even be installed. The installer first needs to put down an underlayment, and if the floor surface is uneven, they have to even it out before proceeding. Installing engineered hardwood is much, much easier. It does not need time to acclimate, and it does not require an underlayment in most cases. The installer can compensate for some unevenness during the installation process, too.
Engineered hardwood is not a new, lower-quality alternative to solid hardwood flooring. Rather, it is an improvement on this traditional option. Talk to a flooring contractor to learn more about your options and to further explore any engineered hardwood products as a choice for your home.