Essentially, there are two types of hardwood, solid and engineered. They type of hardwood you choose will depend on different factors. But first, let’s have a look at the difference.
This is a solid piece of wood and is usually ¾” thick. It comes with either a prefinished color or unfinished that can be stained to the color of your choice.
This is similar to plywood, and comes in various thicknesses, but is usually ⅜” or ½” thick. Engineered hardwood flooring is constructed in layers. It has a top layer that is a hardwood veneer. Beneath that, there are layers of wood. Usually, these are layers of wood (although they are not necessarily the same species as the top layer. The top veneer can vary in thickness. Thicker is usually better.
Choosing the right hardwood:
Subfloor – The first thing to consider is the type of subfloor you have. If you have a concrete subfloor, then engineered hardwood is usually the best choice. Otherwise, your would need to add plywood before installing solid hardwood, which adds to the cost.
Height – The height of the floor relative to other things such as cabinets and doors may have an impact on your decision.
Moisture – Do you live in an area of high humidity? Are you wanting to install hardwood in your kitchen? It is important to note that solid hardwood is more prone to warping when exposed to moisture. Solid hardwood also expands and contracts more, so you may see changes depending on the humidity; especially the wider the boards.
Installation method – Engineered hardwood is more versatile, and can be glued, stapled or nailed, or can be “floated” (fold and lock). Solid hardwood can only be stapled or nailed, and it can not be installed in areas below the ground (i.e. basements).
Sanding and refinishing – This is probably the biggest difference between solid and engineered hardwood. Solid hardwood can be sanded and refinished many times. This means that not only can the color of your floors be changed, they can be kept looking like new forever. Engineered hardwood can only be sanded once or twice, and only when glued or securely nailed.
Durability – While solid hardwood may not hold up as well to moisture, it is more durable than engineered because it is thicker. Well maintained solid hardwood can last a lifetime.
Cost – While it depends on the species and the quality of the wood you choose, in general, engineered hardwood is less expensive. Also, the cost of labor is usually more expensive for solid hardwood. Not to mention, engineered hardwood is easier to install in case you were considering doing it yourself.
Hardwood is still a great long term choice for those who want a return on their investment. Though it is generally one of the more expensive types of flooring, Columbia Floor Source is a great place to find the latest deals on hardwood. We work directly with the manufacturers and we often come across specials, and pass the savings along to you!