If you want to install a wood floor, then you might not be sure whether to use hardwood or engineered wood products. Read on to learn more about these flooring options, their differences, and their advantages and disadvantages.
What Is Hardwood Flooring?
Hardwood flooring is made of solid wood planks. Popular woods here include oak, walnut, maple, hickory, bamboo, and cherry.
This high-quality flooring brings the natural beauty of real wood into your home. It is an investment that you will enjoy and that might make your home more attractive to buyers if you sell it in the future.
While hardwood flooring is strong, it does have some vulnerabilities. For example, hardwoods can get scratched and damaged, especially in frequently used areas such as hallways.
Plus, hardwood floors don't work so well in areas that are humid or moist, such as bathrooms. Moisture can seep into the wood and make it warp or rot.
Hardwood floors are premium products, so you'll pay more for them. While they will last for years, you will have to commit to regular maintenance to keep your floors in good shape. For example, you'll need to refinish or recoat your floors every few years.
What Is Engineered Wood Flooring?
Engineered wood flooring also contains hardwood. However, these floors are a composite material. They have a thin hardwood veneer layer on their surface. This layer is attached on to a different material such as plywood or fiberboard.
Engineered wood flooring is cheaper because it contains less hardwood. However, its surface layer still gives you a real wood look and feel.
This flooring also has better moisture resistance. It is less likely to suffer from moisture damage. So, you can use it in rooms or spaces where hardwood floors aren't a viable option.
However, while engineered floors have the same look as hardwood products, they might not feel the same when you walk on them. Their sandwiched layers don't have the density of a full hardwood plank. They might sound more hollow when you walk on them.
The top layer of engineered wood is just as likely to scratch or dent as a solid hardwood floor. After all, these woods are the same on a surface level. However, engineered wood can be tricky to maintain. You can't usually refinish or recoat these woods more than a couple of times. Some products can't take a refinish at all.
To find out more about both these options, ask a flooring supplier for advice.