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What is Engineered vs. Solid Hardwood Flooring?

What is the difference between engineered hardwood and solid hardwood flooring? Solid hardwood flooring is gorgeous, and many people would agree that it is the best flooring option for any above-grade floors in the home. It is elegant, durable, and it is the quality you want in a home that reflects your image. However, there are disadvantages to solid hardwood flooring, and those have been met with the advantages of engineered hardwood flooring. Combining solid and engineered hardwood flooring can get you real wood floors throughout your home no matter what subfloor you have or if you want to put it in the basement.
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What is solid wood flooring?

To put it simply, solid hardwood flooring is solid wood. Most solid hardwood floors start out at ¾ of an inch thick, but they are also commonly available in 5/8” and 7/8”. The thicker the hardwood, the longer it will last because it can be refinished that many more times. Some hardwood floors will last the lifetime of a structure.

The benefits to hardwood are beauty, durability, and longevity, but it is not without its disadvantages. Hardwood floors may have to be refinished periodically, and depending on the top coat, you may have to get them waxed or polished more frequently. This does cost time, money, and loss-of-convenience, but you may never have to fully replace them.

What is engineered wood flooring?

Engineered hardwood flooring is a layer of hardwood atop a thicker, plywood base. This thick plywood base has more strength when it comes to conditions that would cause it to expand and contract. This is due to the overlapping cross-grain layers of plywood. Because of the plywood underneath, engineered hardwood can be installed below grade because it is less susceptible to moisture damage. It can also be installed directly on concrete because the plywood acts as a sturdy subfloor. The downfall is that the top layer of hardwood is thin, so it may need to be replaced after only a few times being refinished.

What is engineered vs. solid hardwood flooring?

Basically, engineered hardwood flooring gives you more options because it can be installed anywhere in the home. It is less susceptible to water damage and has the beauty of solid hardwood floors because it actually is hardwood. If you are looking for longevity, at least on your above-grade levels, then solid hardwood is generally a better option.

All hardwood, engineered or solid, is somewhat susceptible to moisture. Even engineered hardwood can cup and become delaminated if it is exposed to too much moisture. Make sure you are repairing any potential for water damage and waterproofing your basement before you consider putting wood below grade. You’ll never be disappointed in the beauty of engineered or solid hardwood floors.

Visit our showroom and choose from our large selection of wood, laminate, and carpet. We will be happy to measure your project and give you a free written quote, if you are interested in our products and installed prices. You won’t have any problem finding the right product for your home or office project at Lone Star Floors. We carry a wide variety of engineered hardwood flooring products from the leading manufacturers in the industry, including Mohawk, Mannington, ARK Floors and many more! Call us today at (512) 335-7262 or complete the form and we will contact you!

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