Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Solid Hardwood or Engineered Hardwood what's the right choice for me?

Posted by Pat Gabriele, Flooring Consultant

When customers come in looking for hardwood and they haven't been in the market for a while it's common for them to already have the vision of the 3/4" thick solid hardwood that dominated the flooring industry for so many years.  While this still holds a place in the realm of flooring the most popular trend is towards engineered hardwood.  But I know when I show the engineered product the majority of the time I'm going to hear, "That isn't real hardwood!"  I always get a laugh out of it but I understand it's not what you envisioned hardwood to be. 
Engineered hardwood offers you the following advantage:

  1. It is used in areas that are not appropriate for solid hardwood.  A good example is in a basement where the wood has to be glued or in a area that has too much humidity and would cause your floor to expand and contract leaving you with cupping or boards that come apart.
  2. Engineered hardwoods are made by gluing many layers of wood together in opposite directions to make them very stable this allows them to be made in the more popular 5" widths and even the growing trend of 7" and 8" widths , a wide plank solid hardwood will often cup at the ends over time. 
  3. Engineered hardwood is also being constructed on Uniclic systems, the same systems used on cork or laminate floors, this allows you to float the floor over cement, it's an easier and quicker installation, and also allows for easier board repair should you need it in the future. Also you can move-it and re-use it for those of us that make redecorating a common practice. 
Some concerns about Engineered Hardwood:
  1. The biggest concern we come across is that engineered hardwood is often less thick than traditional solid hardwood which if you are transitioning to a ceramic floor then you have a height difference but know there are engineered products coming to market that are 3/4" thick that allows for a nice seamless transition to a higher adjacent floor.  
  2. Can it be refinished?  Solid hardwood has the advantage that it can be sanded down and refinished up to 3 times where most engineered floors can only be done once. 
In the end they both solid and engineered hardwood offer enduring beauty with a wide selection of wood species and stains to satisfy your design wants, just remember to narrow your choice by first thinking of the installation environment of your floor.

Looking for some design tips using hardwood visit the link below:
http://www.torlys.com/hardwood/décor-tips