Engineered Wood Flooring vs Solid Wood Flooring

Engineered Wood Flooring vs Solid Wood Flooring
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If you are planning a wood flooring project at your home or a client`s but are caught between options, pay great attention as we discuss engineered wood flooring vs solid wood flooring in this article. 

Wood flooring in general has a timeless appearance that has endured generations of fashion. It is organic, environmentally friendly, and highly robust. It makes sense that people have been making wood flooring for so long. Before we get started with the comparison, let’s take a broad look at wood and wood floorings, and then delve a little deeper into each of these wood flooring options before leading you down the rat holes of their distinctions.

Wood and Wood Flooring Overview

Any product made from wood intended for use as flooring, whether for structural or aesthetic reasons, is referred to as wood flooring. Wood is a popular option for flooring and is available in a variety of styles, cuts, colors, and species. The most environmentally friendly type of floor covering is wood, and you can see that in some of the best engineered wood flooring. A sturdy wood floor could last for countless generations. Materials for wood floors might be very easy to choose. Everything is made of solid wood material, and the only choices can be between different species and how the wood is chopped to make boards.

There are now so many possibilities that it might be daunting. While engineered wood, salvaged wood, and substitute materials that mimic wood are other options, solid wood flooring is still a common choice. For this reason, we set out to demystify the industry and give you a basic overview of wood flooring options, their defining traits, and their distinctions.

You should be aware of the following.

Solid Wood

Solid Wood

Solid wood is what it sounds like—the original type of wood flooring. As the name suggests, solid wood is a piece of wood that is solid from the top down to the bottom and throughout its full thickness. Throughout its useful life, it can normally be refinished multiple times. One approach to classifying solid wood is by species. Solid wood comes from evergreens like oak, while softwood is produced from coniferous plants like pine. Domestic species like oak, hickory, walnut, maple, and cherry are examples; foreign species like jatoba, ipe, and acacia are others.

The demand for foreign, tropical species is significantly declining. People were willing to pay extra for jatoba, for instance, in the 1980s and 1990s due to its rarity and exotic appeal. Today, domestic species are seeing increased consumer spending, particularly walnuts and white oak, where demand is greater than for cherry or red oak. Oak, in our opinion, is the best choice. If I were to tell if there is a thing that will never go out of style, be unstable, or be as durable as wood, I would say oak is.

Here Is Something to Keep in Mind

While solid wood is generally 3/4 of an inch thick, there are three basic ways to saw it. This is common in debates like engineered wood vs solid wood furniture. The flat-sawn approach is the most popular and has the most natural variances. Before making strips, a log must be chopped into quarters for quarter-sawn, whereas for rift-sawn, the log is cut at an angle to get rid of the natural flecking. A cracked-sawn floor, a type of floor with a straight grain, uses less wood from the tree, resulting in a lot of extra waste, raising the cost of that floor. It’s also important to remember that broad planks typically cost more.

Here Is Something to Keep in Mind

The option of prefinished or site-finished floors is the next. Site-finished flooring is fitted raw and finished on-site, as opposed to prefinished boards, which are covered by the manufacturer. For the material itself, a prefinished floor will cost more than a site-finished floor. Nevertheless, the end user will pay less for the site-finished than for the pre-finished floor. A prefinished floor may be more desirable to some people since it is more practical and, once installed, is instantly usable. The area where the planks meet, however, is left unfinished and may be more susceptible to harm. Some people like site-finished flooring because they have more control over the finish and can finish the joint where the planks meet. 

Solid Wood Pro Tip

Solid wood should also take into account the environment because, as the saying goes, “Stability is all about the environment.” You must be aware of the situation in your home while installing a solid wood floor. The air’s humidity and temperature content can have a significant impact on solid wood’s behavior. Solid wood swells in humid conditions and compresses in dry ones. Over time, the swelling and contracting may create gaps between the planks. Before putting in solid wood flooring, it’s crucial to do your homework and talk to professionals about your particular area. In the end, a ton of people choose and adore real wood. Many people consider solid wood to be more authentic and of greater quality. Because it is substantial and real, people will pay more for a hardwood floor than for an engineered product with the same color, width, finish, and grade. 

Engineered Wood

We’re here to dispel the widespread misunderstanding that exists concerning synthetic wood. Anything with wood wearing a top surface is considered engineered wood. It may be built in a variety of ways. It may be made entirely of plywood, or it may have a composite material on the underside. The upper surface of solid wood, also known as the wear layer or lamella, is where the most significant differences may be seen. In terms of value, engineered wood floors are at the bottom of the food chain and are quite cheap. High-quality engineered floors are also available for $20 or more per square foot. They are sliced into long, wide planks. They are extremely expensive custom items that would be equivalent to an item made of solid wood with the same length and width.

Engineered Wood

The majority of the market provides engineered flooring that can’t be sanded and refinished and have a one-millimeter wear layer. Similar to a carpet, you can discard that stuff after seven to ten years. It is less expensive than solid wood. As opposed to this, some businesses manufacture engineered flooring that has a 4 or 5 wear layer and can be refinished every 5 to 10 years, just like solid wood, to ensure a lifetime of use. The idea that engineered wood is always less expensive than solid wood is untrue. Most often have the same pricing in some cases whether you purchase engineered or solid versions. So why would you choose engineered wood over solid wood if their prices are comparable?

Let`s find out!

Engineered Wood Flooring vs Solid Wood Flooring

Wood flooring comes in two primary varieties: solid wood and engineered wood. Solid lumber planks are used to create solid wood flooring. Engineered wood flooring is constructed with a veneer of wood over a reinforced, synthetic underlayment composed of a material other than wood.

Let’s take a closer look at the differences between the two types of wood flooring.

Key Differences

Solid Wood Flooring

A solid wood specie is frequently used to make hardwood flooring, also known as solid wood flooring. Walnut, cherry, oak, and maple are common species. The name “hardwood flooring” refers to a solid piece of machined wood. Installing solid wood flooring entails nailing the planks to the subfloor, which is a task that calls for some expertise. Its solid wood construction makes it simple to sand and refinish multiple times throughout its lifespan to retain its beauty. 

Engineered Wood Flooring

On the other hand, engineered wood floorings are designed to resemble solid wood floorings in both appearance and texture. However, its design merely uses a thin coating of hardwood to create its appearance, while its core is made of plywood. Engineered wood flooring installation is simple enough for the do-it-yourselfer and is available in an interlocking or bonded planks. Although it can’t be refinished as frequently as solid flooring since the top layer is only a thin hardwood veneer, it can still endure up to 30 years or longer with good upkeep. These differences can also be seen in comparisons like engineered wood flooring vs laminate because they are both durable and cost-effective to hardwood flooring.

Engineered Wood Flooring

The Comparison

In terms of presentation and comfort

Solid wood flooring

The width of solid wood flooring boards can range from 8 to 12 inches. Solid flooring typically has closer seams between the boards after installation. For further customization, it comes in both unfinished and prefinished panels in a huge variety of colors and species.

Engineered wood flooring

Engineered wood flooring gives greater width flexibility and resembles solid wood almost perfectly. Once installed, engineered wood flooring might be mistaken for real wood due to the veneer covering. There are fewer color and style options for engineered wood flooring than for solid wood, and it is nearly always sold prefinished. 

In terms of care and maintenance

Solid wood flooring

Solid wood is comparatively simple to keep and clean. Most properties of solid hardwood flooring simply require occasional cleaning with a specialized wood cleaner to clean stains in addition to routine sweeping and vacuuming. Just refrain from cleaning wood floors with water or steam. But since solid wood flooring can be repeatedly sanded and refinished to maintain its brand-new appearance over time, it is superior for long-term upkeep.

Engineered wood flooring

Similar to solid wood flooring, engineered wood flooring merely has to be swept and vacuumed to keep it clean. It can be revitalized by sometimes wiping it with wood floor cleaner to help avoid stains. Several engineered wood floors lack atop solid wood layer that is thick enough to be scraped and refinished over time. Before the solid wood surface wears down and the planks need to be repaired, they can typically be refinished either once or twice.

In terms of lifespan

Solid wood flooring

The lifespan of solid wood flooring is substantially longer than that of the majority of other flooring options. With the right upkeep and care, solid wood flooring often lasts for 30 to 100 years. This explains why some homes from the 1850s still have solid wood floors.

Solid wood flooring

Engineered wood surfaces

Though engineered wood floorings can’t be refinished as frequently as solid wood, with the right care, it can last up to 30 years or longer. One advantage of engineered wood flooring planks, particularly those put using the click-and-lock technique, is that they may be easily replaced even when the entire floor cannot be sanded and refinished.

In terms of sizes

Solid wood flooring

The dimensions of solid wood flooring boards are typically 3/4“ thicker, 2 1/4“ wide, and 12 to 84 inches long. The plans for solid wood flooring are typically never wider than four inches, however, there are several different widths and thicknesses available.

Engineered wood flooring

At roughly 3/8 to 9/16 inches thick, engineered wood flooring boards are typically slimmer than solid wood flooring planks. However, it is typically offered in boards that are significantly wider, up to 7 “ wide, and can be anywhere from 12 and 60 inches long.

In terms of cost

Compared to other flooring options on the market, wood flooring has arguably the most pricing options, especially with engineered hardwood vs hardwood cost. For solid vs. engineered wood, professionally installed vs. do-it-yourself, and prefinished vs. site finished, your costs may vary. Undoubtedly, it can be confusing. 

Solid wood flooring

According to grade, finish, species, etc., solid wood flooring installation costs typically range from $8 – $15 per square foot. Engineered wood costs $6–16 per installed square foot, which is comparable. This is where completing your homework pays off, but keep in mind that wood floors add to the worth of your property and may last a lifetime; they are not the kind of flooring that needs to be replaced in a few years.

Engineered wood flooring

Engineered wood floorings are a more cost-effective alternative. Per square foot, engineered wood flooring cost between $2.50 and $10. However, the majority of types range from $4 – $7/square foot.

In terms of installation

Solid wood flooring

Most solid wood floors are fastened to the subfloor with nails. Tongue-and-groove planks are another typical installation technique that is used to link the boards together. A subfloor, often plywood, must be fastened to hardwood floors. When the floor is finished, the boards are attached to the foundation through the tongue so that the nails are hidden.

Engineered wood flooring

Engineered wood flooring

Most engineered wood floors are typically installed using the click-and-lock procedure, while some are additionally fastened to the subfloor. To produce a tight seam with this installation technique, tongue-and-groove boards are used, which lock together like Legos. Over the subfloor, which is frequently built of foam or cork, the system floats.

In terms of water, heat, and the environment

Solid wood flooring

Solid wood flooring is more sensitive to water and the environment than other types of flooring. Because it can bend and expand, hardwood is not advised for installations where moisture or humidity can pass through.

Engineered wood flooring

Even though it isn’t waterproof, engineered wood flooring performs better than hardwood in humid environments. The stability of plywood construction makes this flooring less prone to bending and swelling. Certain engineered wood floors might include a preventive layer atop the wood veneer flooring to further guard against water spillage and water damage. Overall, the heat resistance of both engineered wood and hardwood flooring is the same. However, neither material is suggested for moist areas like bathrooms and basements.

In terms of resale value

Solid wood flooring

solid wood floors are frequently regarded as a high-end addition that can raise the resale value of a home when it comes time to sell it. For prospective homeowners, hardwood flooring’s durability and superior quality are frequently selling points. Installing solid wood floors can, on average, increase the value of your property by up to 2.5%.

Engineered wood flooring

Potential buyers rarely object to engineered wood flooring since it resembles solid wood so closely. It might not, however, improve a property’s worth as much as solid wood flooring would do. There is no evidence to back up the claim that engineered wood flooring increases a home’s market value.

Engineered vs hardwood flooring pros and cons

Engineered vs hardwood flooring pros and cons

Engineered wood flooring pros

  • Can help you save cash
  • Simple installation
  • DIY-friendly
  • There are many odd yet fantastic possibilities.
  • Increasing your property’s value
  • Durability
  • Beauty appeal
  • friendly to the environment
  • Wood size
  • Stability and resistance to moisture
  • Sustainability
  • Various installation methods

Engineered wood flooring cons

  • Small-scale resurfacing
  • High maintenance level
  • Low caliber
  • Engineered wood can be expensive
  • There is the risk of fading
  • You must allow the wood to acclimate.
  • Engineered wood floors need particular care
  • Easily harmed by water and moisture
  • There is a limit to how often you can refinish.
  • Possibility of scratches and dents
  • Some may contain gaseous chemicals.
  • Low-quality can have a hollow feeling when touched.

Solid wood flooring pros

  • An investment over time
  • Has varieties
  • Enduring excellence
  • Simple maintenance and cleanliness
  • Optimal indoor air quality
  • Superior for infants
  • Increases the worth of your house
  • Organic
  • Simple installation

Solid wood flooring cons

  • Costs are substantially greater
  • Susceptible to termite attack 
  • Avoid getting wet
  • Scratching
  • Restricted usage
  • Cupping
  • Crowning
  • Molds
  • Make more noise
  • High level of upkeep

How to clean wood floor?

Wood floors need to be swept, dust mopped, or vacuumed every day to maintain the finish, and spills should be cleaned up very quickly afterward. Depending on how frequently the floors are used, you should undertake a more thorough cleaning once a week or once a month. Choose an industrial wood floor cleaner with a spray applicator if you must or use a mop like Bona that has a refillable spray feature. Too many droplets can make floors sticky and make dirt stickier. Cleaning only requires a little mist of one-half tablespoon per two square feet. Steer clear of abrasive cleaners such as pine oil and anything that claims to leave a sheen. The laminate will appear dull due to the waxy buildup. To dampen your mop, choose a small amount of normal cleaning liquid in warm water.

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Which is more durable solid hardwood or engineered hardwood?

Although not usually, engineered hardwood is more stable. It is frequently stronger than hardwood because of its layers. Additionally, as the layers lie parallel to one another, there is typically less extension and contraction, allowing for a tighter fit, particularly in the winter when it’s dryer.

2. What are the disadvantages of engineered wood flooring?

The disadvantages of engineered wood flooring are listed below:

  • Can help you save cash
  • Simple installation
  • DIY-friendly
  • More options available
  • Increasing your property’s value
  • Durability
  • Beauty appeal
  • friendly to the environment
  • Wood size
  • Stability and resistance to moisture
  • Sustainability
  • Various installation methods

3. Is engineered hardwood more expensive than solid hardwood?

Per square foot, engineered wood flooring cost between $2.50 and $10. However, the majority range from $4 to $7/square foot. Prefinished hardwood flooring, on the other hand, might be $8 per square foot. Typically, the cost of hardwood flooring ranges from $8 to $15/square foot.

4. Do engineered wood floors scratch easily?

The same problems of having solid wood floors, such as being readily scratched and dented, apply to engineered flooring because it has a top layer of solid wood. It probably won’t be a major concern if you don’t mind a few scuffs and dings on your floor, but if you prefer your floor to be spotless, you might not think these floorings are particularly resilient.

5. Can you mop engineered hardwood floors?

You certainly can but have this in mind!

At least one time a week, try to mop your floors properly. To be extra careful, some experts advise employing a microfiber mop on an engineered wood floor, but you may still use a standard mop as long as it’s moist rather than drenched.

Conclusion

Engineered wood flooring vs solid wood flooring is a common debate that comes up from time to time, but really, each of them can be utilized interchangeably in the majority of homes in many ways. It is a personal choice because there are more similarities between the two flooring selections than differences. Water damage is the one circumstance in which engineered wood and hardwood wood cannot be interchanged.

Engineered wood floorings are a superior option to solid wood in high-moisture areas, making it a better choice for kitchens, baths, and basements. However, both flooring alternatives offer a broad variety of style options for installations across the entire house. It all comes down to your preferences for style and budget.

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