HARDWOOD Vs. ENGINEERED WOOD FLOORING & HOW TO CHOOSE?
Hardwood flooring vs Engineered wood flooring, are two of the most popular flooring choices. Deciding on the right type of flooring can be a time-consuming and challenging task. Making a choice about the type of flooring that will meet your requirements most effectively might be difficult considering the broad variety of options available on the market.
We’ll take a glance at the distinctions between the two and outline how to identify which is best suitable for your house.
1. ESSENTIAL DIFFERENCES - HARDWOOD FLOORING
Hardwood flooring is composed of solid wood planks, every one of which is around 3/4 inches thick. Most hardwood floors come in more narrow planks like the classic 2 1/4″ and 3 1/4″ as well as 4 and 5 inches wide. As they are made from a single piece of wood, the planks are totally made of a natural, real tree. Hardwood flooring is sturdy and long-lasting, and it can be refinished up to 10 times which is one of its main benefits of it. Many homeowners value the classic, timeless aesthetic it offers and consider it one of the most luxurious floor covering.
2. ESSENTIAL DIFFERENCES - ENGINEERED WOOD FLOORING
On the other hand, engineered wood flooring is developed of various hardwood & softwood veneer layers that are glued together to form a plank. The lower layers are made of plywood or high-density fiberboard, whereas the top layer is made of solid hardwood. Engineered wood planks take much more effort to be made and they are a lot more stable to changes in temperature and humidity.
For areas of your home that are likely to be exposed to some moisture, or heat (like radiant heating systems) engineered wood flooring is the option to choose. Another attractive characteristic of engineered wood floors is that most planks come in an extra wide size, like 7″, 9″, and 10″. This gives it a very luxurious, designer look. Engineered wood can be refinished however it grately depends on the quality of the plank and the installation method.
3. WHICH FLOORING IS THE BEST IN TERMS OF COMFORT AND STYLE?
Solid hardwood flooring vs engineered wood planks have distinct looks and benefits, and each is great in its own way. The choice between the two ultimately depends on personal preferences, budget, and the specific needs of the space. When considering the style, hardwood is seen as a more traditional, classic option, vs engineered wood flooring is frequently regarded as a trendier and more unique choice.
4. CARE AND MAINTENANCE
To ensure that your hardwood flooring vs engineered wood floors continue to look at thier best, both require systematic cleaning and upkeep. And yet, over time, hardwood flooring tends to require more frequent refinishing due to being more susceptible to damage from dents and scratches. Solid hardwood requires a constant humidity level, most manufacturers rocomend between 35-45% humidity at all times.
Engineered wood, being more stable doesn’t have this requirement, however maintaining an optimal humidity level is recomended. When it comes to cleaning, in both cases it is recommended to use natural cleaning solutions like The Murphy Oil soaps and a slightly damp mop. We have an entire page dedicated to cleaning and maintaining wood floors.
6.EXPECTED LIFE SPAN
With the appropriate maintenance and care, both hardwood flooring and engineered wood flooring are known for their resilience and can last decades. Considering a high quality engineered wood flooring that was installed and maintained corectly, it is predicted to last up to 50 years. The cheaper options, installed using the floating method can be expected to last between 20-30 years.
One of the key advantages of solid hardwood flooring is that it can be refinished multiple times, which can help extend its lifespan and maintain its original beauty and character. On average, high-quality solid hardwood flooring can last for several decades. Here, in the Chicago metro area, it is not uncommon to see original hardwood floors that are over 100 years old.
Solid hardwood flooring typically comes in standard plank sizes that range from 2-1/4 to 5 inches in width, and from 3 to 8 feet in length, although longer planks may be available as well. Although it might vary, solid hardwood flooring normally measures around 3/4 inch thick.
As a result of the way it is made, engineered wood flooring, on the other hand, may be found in a larger range of sizes. While the core layer is composed of several layers of plywood or fiberboard, the top layer of genuine wood, or veneer, is typically 1/16 to 1/8 inch thick, thinner than a solid hardwood plank.
Engineered wood planks can range in width from 2-1/4 to 7-1/2 inches, and in length from 12 to 84 inches, depending on the manufacturer and the specific product. Although it might vary, engineered wood flooring typically measures around 1/2 inch thick.
Engineered wood flooring comes in a larger range of widths, which can increase design flexibility and alternatives for making distinctive and aesthetically appealing patterns and layouts.
8. HARDWOOD FLOORING VS ENGINEERED WOOD COSTS
Hardwood flooring is usually more expensive than engineered wood flooring. However, the cost might vary considerably considering the wood choice, thickness, and surface. Hardwood is one of the most expensive flooring options available on the market. Prefinished Hardwood flooring on average is estimated at around $8 per square foot. Typically, the cost of hardwood flooring ranges from $8 to $15 per square foot, depending on the species of the wood.
Engineered wood flooring is a more cost-effective alternative. Per square foot, engineered wood flooring ranges between $2.50 and $10 per sqf. Yet, the majority of styles range from $4 to $7 per square foot. The price varies depending on the style, species of wood, width, overall thickness, and thickness of the top veneer layer.
9. INSTALLATION METHODS
There are several ways to install hardwood and engineered wood flooring with one small difference between the two. Some Engineered wood can be installed using a floating method, which is usually the cheapest option, however, this type of flooring can’t be refinished afterward. Both types are usually installed using glue, nail, or glue and nail methods. The wider the plank the more labor intensive it is to secure it properly.
10. THE IMPACT OF WATER, HEAT & THE ENVIRONMENT
The exposure of hardwood flooring to moisture and humidity can result in warping, buckling, and other deterioration. Engineered wood flooring is more moisture-resistant which could make it a better option for your home’s spaces that are more prone to humidity, for example, a basement area. Extreme temperatures may have a significant impact on both types of flooring, so it’s essential that you take your climate and habits into consideration when selecting your flooring.
11. VALUE AT RESALE
Hardwood flooring is a high-end flooring option that could maximize the value of your property. Some data predicts as much as 2.5% value increase. As a popular choice among buyers, both engineered wood and solid hardwood flooring can increase the worth of your property.
There is no definitive winner when comparing hardwood flooring vs engineered wood flooring. In the end, it comes down to your personal preferences, financial circumstances, and the particular look & needs of your space.