Are you looking to add a timeless appeal to your home, along with warmth and a sense of refinement? Then engineered hardwood floor is the right way to go.
It’s a practical variant of natural hardwood, the primary difference being that it isn’t completely solid. While this might sound like a negative, each plank has a top layer of real wood. This way you can enjoy the appearance and feel of natural hardwood with greater structural integrity and a lower price tag. Furthermore, its installation and maintenance are comparatively easier than natural hardwood flooring.
If you’re unsure whether engineered hardwood flooring is right for your home, this comparison of its pros and cons may help you decide.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Engineered Hardwood Flooring
Read about the pros and cons of engineered hardwood flooring.
1. It’s resistant to temperature fluctuations and moisture
Thanks to the multiple layers of wood used in its construction, engineered hardwood planks can withstand sudden changes in temperature and resist moisture much better than natural hardwood. This means you can install it in high-humidity areas that are regularly exposed to heat and steam (like kitchens and bathrooms) as it won’t contract or expand. Hence, homeowners don’t have to worry about their floor warping or cracking.
2. It can be refinished multiple times
Since the top layer of engineered wood is real hardwood, it can be sanded and refinished many times, greatly prolonging its life. Additionally, scratches and dents aren’t as visible as on other materials, so you don’t have to change the flooring as frequently.
3. There are many installation options
Engineered wood flooring is easier to install than laminate, carpet, or vinyl. It can be effortlessly fitted by being glued down, stapled, floated, or locked, depending on the type you purchase.
Of course, it’s best to have your flooring fitted by an expert to ensure the job is done properly. They will take accurate measurements and take spacing constraints into consideration before installing the planks.
4. There are many styles to choose from
The wide range of options available when it comes to engineered hardwood flooring means homeowners can find something suitable for any interior style, ranging from traditional to modern. For instance, you can purchase 2- or 3-strip planks, or ones with a parquet appearance to create an authentically rustic vibe. Planks also come at varying price points to ensure there is something for every budget.
5. It’s easy to maintain
A damp mop is enough to clean engineered hardwood floors. Alternatively, you may also use a vacuum cleaner.
As engineered hardwood doesn’t have to be stained like traditional hardwoods, this reduces the need for chemical cleaners.
1. It may fade if exposed to direct sunlight
Like natural hardwood, engineered hardwood flooring is susceptible to fading with daily exposure to direct sunlight. This cannot be fixed easily, especially if exposure occurs over a long time.
You can minimize the damage by investing in suitable window treatments and drawing them closed during the day. Alternatively, you can use area rugs to protect areas that receive more sunlight than others.
2. There are only basic wood grain and staining options
While engineered hardwood mimics the appearance of natural hardwood, it doesn’t have the same structure or qualities. There is no need to stain it as the planks come with a pre-existing wear layer. So, the grain is noticeable but not as much as it is in natural wooden planks. But then again, the differences aren’t as apparent unless you compare them side by side.
3. Some types are stronger than others
Though there are numerous varieties of engineered hardwood flooring, some manufacturers use inferior products to make their planks. They may look good, but they will be structurally weaker and more unstable, meaning you may have to change your flooring sooner than if you’d purchased a higher-quality alternative.
4. Walking on it may produce a hollow sound
Certain types of engineered hardwood flooring, which produce a hollow sound when stepped on, need to be installed by professionals for a perfect fit.
As you can see, the advantages outweigh the disadvantages when it comes to engineered hardwood flooring, making it a worthwhile investment. However, whether you choose this material for your home will depend on your location, purpose, and budget. Consider these factors along with the pros and cons to ensure you make a smart purchase.