Which is better, Hardwood or Engineered Hardwood?

Engineered hardwood flooring is very hard to differentiate from solid hardwood flooring once installed. Made from multiple layers of hardwood, each of which is bonded by adhesive under tremendous heat and pressure, engineered hardwood can with stand much more than hardwood. There are some advantages that engineered hardwood enjoys over solid wood, and in this blog post we will try to determine which the better option of the two is.

There are certain areas of the house, where we would recommend using engineered hardwood instead of the solid variety and all of it boils down to usage and what moisture conditions the floors are exposed to.

Maintenance

Taking care of solid hardwood is not a big deal at all, and once you follow a few dos and don’ts, you can easily maintain the new look of your hardwood floors for years. Maintenance of engineered hardwood floors is also not a fulltime job, and a simple sweep and clean routine with a soft broom and dustpan should be able to keep your floors free of dirt.

  • Use a soft damp mop to wipe up any water that is spilled on the floor. Don’t try to rub or scrub it vigorously. Pat dry with a towel to soak up excess water.
  • Use cleaners specially made for engineered hardwood floors to clean. It helps maintain the shine.

Maintenance instructions for both hardwood and engineered hardwood are quite similar, and in this aspect both get the same points. You don’t have to put in too much hard work in caring for these two types of flooring, so if you are thinking of maintenance, either is good enough as flooring options.

Sustainability and cost

There are various reasons why some people opt for engineered wood floors over plank floors, and sustainability is a huge issue. Depending on the quality of the engineered floor you are opting for, engineered hardwoods can last for up to 100 years. If you are looking to remodel a family home, or are hoping to put it up on the real estate market, engineered flooring is as good as hardwood.

Cost is a big issue. If you are not looking to live in the present home for too long, don’t invest in expensive engineered hardwood. Once installed, it can be refinished every few years to keep it looking like new.

Again refinishing will require a thickness of 2mm at least… anything lesser than that will damage your floors. If you have opted for budget floors, the veneer may play spoilsport should refinishing be needed any time in the future.

The Green Factor

If you consider the environmental factor, we would be compelled to tell you that using the engineered hard wood floors is a greener option. Since it uses almost half the wood compared to the solid hardwood, it is more environments friendly. Also the inner plies are made of faster growing wood, making it cheaper.            

Usage in different areas of the house

While wood and humidity are not the best of friends, engineered wood floors have a different story to tell. Wood shrinks in the dry winter months and expands in the summer reacting to the humidity. Areas like bathrooms and kitchens are prone to more humidity compared to the rest of the house, and it is advisable to refrain from using solid wood in these areas. If you absolutely must, exercise caution.

The same goes for basements. Basements are exposed to moisture, damp and mould, and it is best to use engineered hard wood flooring in these areas.

Engineered solutions can be directly lain over concrete floors like in condos or apartments. It makes the choices more versatile for engineered floors.

It really depends on what your needs are and how much you are willing to spend. But engineered and solid hard wood floors look perfect in your home, but if you have your heart set over the real hard wood, the latter is your best bet. Ask your hardwood provider for the best professional advice. Depending on your requirements, they should be able to help you make the right choice.

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