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How to Decide Between Solid or Engineered Hardwood Flooring

How to Decide Between Solid or Engineered Hardwood Flooring

For the first-time flooring buyer, choosing between engineered hardwood and solid hardwood can be a tough decision. A lot of homeowners are confused about how the two hardwood flooring types compare and some even think they're the same thing. In this article, the experts at Georgia Carpet are going to address a range of concerns and questions so that anyone comparing these two amazing choices in home floor coverings can choose the right hardwood flooring for their needs. If you are struggling to decide between solid hardwood and engineered hardwood, you've come to the right place because this guide will break down the similarities and differences in a way that's easy for everyone to understand.

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Solid Hardwood Flooring

Solid wood flooring has long been considered the gold standard of hardwood flooring and it comes with a price tag to match this ideal. Solid hardwood flooring comes in a variety of different types of wood, including both domestic (mainly North American species) and exotic wood species. Because of the construction, solid hardwood flooring is a bit more expensive than engineered hardwood flooring, but it has valuable attributes that may make it worth the added cost to you. For some, the expense of the solid hardwood is a factor that they get hung up on, but if you have a knack for solid wood, the added expense may be well worth it. A few bucks per square foot more could affect your budget now, but in the long run, you may not be satisfied with your flooring if you are making your decision based on finances alone rather that your personal preferences.

While solid hardwood flooring is beautiful enough that you will want to install it throughout your home, solid wood flooring is not recommended for installation in high moisture areas like the kitchen, bathrooms or the basement. Wood is absorbent and high moisture levels can cause solid hardwood to ripple or even buckle over time as it draws in moisture from the air or surrounding area. Humidity can especially be an issue during seasonal changes or if you live in a humid climate. While moisture and humidity are wood's natural enemies, many homeowners have successfully installed solid hardwood throughout their homes and make use of moisture-control measures like dehumidifiers to help keep the wood floors looking great. If you're willing to put in the time and effort to protect your flooring investment, you can successfully have hardwood flooring throughout your home without any warping, wrinkles or other types of damage.

Installation considerations aside, there are several advantages to choosing solid hardwood flooring. Probably the best advantage of choosing solid hardwood flooring is that fact that you will be able to refinish the surface many times throughout its lifespan. Sanding, staining and sealing the wood can transform old hardwood floors into something entirely new and this process can be done several times if you choose solid hardwood flooring, making it a true investment. As far as warranties go many of today's solid floors come backed by warranties that last as long as 50 years. While that's impressive, some older homes that are well over 100 years old still have the original hardwood flooring and it still looks gorgeous.

Engineered Hardwood Flooring

If you love the look of solid hardwood, but need something a little easier on the budget, engineered hardwood flooring is a great choice. The average cost of engineered hardwood floorings less than solid wood flooring. Engineered hardwood flooring is just as beautiful as solid wood flooring and it comes in a variety of finishes, but as the name implies, this wood flooring is made by man rather than by nature. Instead of consisting of solid planks of wood, engineered hardwood flooring is made by fusing several layers of wood together. Usually the core is made from plywood, with thin sheets of real wood on top. The flooring is sealed and finished before shipping, so it arrives ready to install. Engineered woods are generally less expensive to purchase, maintain and install, making them a smart purchase.

Most people don't really know how engineered hardwood floors are made and some even think that engineered hardwood flooring is the same thing as laminate flooring. This could not be further from the case though, because engineered hardwood floors contain no laminates. In fact engineered hardwood is constructed of 100 percent real wood - just not solid wood. It is actually made by gluing several plies of wood together with a decorative top layer of wood that has been finished to look just like solid hardwood. The resulting product is remarkably strong and attractive, making it a great choice for home improvements.

The way that engineered hardwoods are layered actually makes the product stronger than other types of flooring. In fact, engineered hardwood flooring is considered to be slightly more durable than solid hardwood flooring. Unlike solid hardwood flooring though, you may only be able to refinish the surface of once or twice because after the top layer is gone, you are left with just the plied layers underneath. This being said, if properly maintained, your engineered floor option has the ability to have a lifespan just as long as that of the solid wood option.

The final difference between engineered wood floors and solid wood floors is that engineered wood floors are much more moisture resistant that that of solids. This allows you to install anywhere in the home without worrying about moderate moisture in the air. And because of the construction of the engineered hardwood flooring, you will not have to worry about buckling as much if exposed to moisture for a prolonged period of time.

At Georgia Carpet, we hope that this comparison of solid and engineered hardwood floors has shined a light on which type of flooring will better serve your home and lifestyle. If you're ready to order new engineered floors for your home, check out some of the best engineered hardwood floors online at Georgia Carpet. Until next time, Happy Flooring!