If you want to add natural beauty and warmth to your home’s interiors, wooden floors are a great choice.
While there are many solid hardwood flooring options, engineered hardwood has quickly emerged as a preferred choice among homeowners, contractors, and interior designers.
Made of three composite layers formed by binding wood particles, strands, veneers or fibres, it gives your floors a natural wooden finish, without the price tag or potential damage. Another important advantage is its dimensional stability which facilitates easy installation.
Here are a few valid reasons to choose engineered hardwood over solid hardwood floors.
7 Reasons Why Engineered Flooring Is Better Than Hardwood Flooring
While hardwood remains an evergreen flooring choice, advances in manufacturing and technology have made engineered flooring more durable and cost effective. Here are seven reasons why engineered wooden floors make a smarter choice for your home and budget.
1. It Has a Wide Range of Colours and Finishes
While solid wood flooring comes in a wide range of species and grades, it’s often quite expensive. Engineered flooring offers a greater range of colours, grades, and finishes, all to suit your taste and budget. This means you can achieve the look you want, without the high prices. And no matter your design preference – classic, contemporary or antique – you’ll find an engineered wood to match your style. Consult a flooring specialist in your area to help with your project.
2. It’s Affordable and Sustainable
Engineered hardwood is made with a layer of solid wood on top of high-quality plywood. It has a stable core of pine MDF or plywood, with only the top layer consisting of real wood. This means you can buy any wood species at relatively low cost.
It also means engineered hardwood consists of less solid timber, which helps conserve natural resources and makes it a more sustainable flooring option. It also doesn’t need as much maintenance as solid wood.
3. It’s Highly Durable
Solid hardwood floor planks are made of 100% wood, with the grain extending from top to bottom. They have a natural tendency to expand, contract, warp, or cup when exposed to different environmental factors.
Engineered hardwood planks are manufactured differently. They still consist of wood, but instead of a single plank, they’re composed of multiple layers of bonded plywood topped with a solid wood lamella (top layer). This unique construction makes them extremely tough and able to withstand heavy residential and commercial traffic.
4. It Looks Authentic
The best thing about engineered wood flooring is that it looks exactly like real wood. Being made of real wood fibreboard and veneer, it’s not easy to distinguish solid hardwood from engineered wood by its appearance or texture. Simply put, if you’re looking for flooring with the warmth and visual appeal of natural wood but not its price, engineered wood is your best bet.
5. It’s Resistant to Expansion and Contraction
One of the biggest benefits of engineered hardwood is that it doesn’t expand or contract as much as solid hardwood. This makes engineered hardwood flooring less susceptible to warping, cracking or buckling and thus a great option for kitchens, bathrooms, mudrooms and basements, where temperature and moisture levels can vary.
The reason behind this stability is its unique composition – layers of plywood combined with solid wood. Note: While engineered floors are resistant to moisture, you may still want to consider using a vapour barrier between the subfloor and flooring.
6. It’s Available in Wider Sizes
Since solid hardwood boards are milled directly from tree trunks, their thickness typically varies between ¾-inches and 7/16-inches.
Engineered hardwood boards, on the other hand, are made by joining several high-density fiberboard layers and then stacking them between a solid hardwood top layer and hardwood backing. Naturally, they are much tougher and wider than standard solid hardwood boards.
Since wide planks cover extensive areas, they require fewer joins across the floor, making them easy to install. While you must either staple or nail solid hardwood planks to install them, you can staple, nail, float, or glue engineered hardwood boards. The click-lock or glue-down varieties of the latter are quite popular with DIY flooring installers.
7. It Requires Little Maintenance
Regular vacuuming and occasional sweeping are enough to keep engineered wood from accumulating dust, dirt and allergens. As for spills and leaks, wipe away the liquid as soon as possible using a soft cloth so it doesn’t leave a stain.
Although solid hardwood floors look beautiful, their top layer tends to lose its luster over time. While refinishing is a common way to fix dents and scratches, it’s an expensive service that can create pollution and breathing hazards because of the chemicals used. Engineered hardwood floors, on the other hand, are coated with veneer or protective coats that only need occasional dusting and mopping.
Whether you’re looking to renovate your residential or commercial space, wooden floors are a safe and reliable option. However, choosing between solid and engineered hardwood isn’t easy. While solid hardwood adds more resale value to your property, it’s costly and reacts to temperature and humidity fluctuations. Engineered hardwood, on the other hand, is more flexible, affordable, and easier to install. If you’re on a budget but want something that’s classy, attractive and durable, engineered flooring is a great choice.