The Difference Between Solid and Engineered Hardwood
Wood is a staple material in the construction and design of a home. When it comes to choosing flooring, many homeowners opt for natural wood for its warmth, richness and durability.
Typically referred to as hardwood, due to the strength of the material, solid wood planks are made from the same species of wood throughout the entire thickness (usually ¾”). It is important to consider the properties of each different species of wood for thermal expansion & contraction, colour, scratch resistance and general maintenance.
The advantage of solid wood planks is that they can be sanded and refinished several times. They are typically narrower than Engineered planks and typically have a longer lifespan. Solid hardwood is also more susceptible to temperature and moisture changes in the environment.
Engineered wood planks are a composite material made from a thin layer of hardwood species joined to premium plywood substrate, between 3/8-1/2” thick. This composition allows for greater strength and versatility in plank lengths and widths, as well as greater resistance to thermal expansion and warping from humidity. Considering the thickness of the hardwood layer, sanding and refinishing of this material is limited.
The advantage of engineered hardwood is its more modern plank sizes and thickness, as well as increased dimensional stability. Typically engineered hardwood is easier to install, and less costly than solid wood, however with heavy wear and tear will need replacement sooner than traditional solid planks. Another main advantage is this type of flooring can be installed floating overtop concrete, which makes it a popular choice in condo buildings.
Care and maintenance for both materials is the same, using soft pads and mops to sweep and avoid scratching and the occasional wood cleaner.
Overall, both materials make for excellent choices to add value to your home and create a welcoming space. Take into consideration your budget, lifestyle and other homes in the area when making your decision and always consult with a professional.