As we discuss hardwood flooring options with our customers, we’re often asked whether we recommend Solid or Engineered floors. Well, there’s not always a simple answer. In most cases, either solid or engineered hardwood flooring will perform equally well. However, there are some instances when you are better off going with one versus the other.
Solid wood floors perform best in a specific range of household conditions. While all wood shrinks and swells in response to changes in seasonal humidity levels, engineered flooring, in which a top “wear layer” is adhered to a multi-plied substrate, is generally more resistant to shrinking and swelling than its solid wood counterpart.
Engineered flooring can usually be installed where solid woods are not recommended, such as below grade, over radiant heat or directly glued to a concrete slab. And, if you are considering very wide widths, an engineered floor may be a safer option.
As with any flooring product, the quality of engineered flooring can vary greatly from manufacturer to manufacturer. Factors such as the thickness of the wear layer and whether it was sawn or sliced from the log can make a tremendous difference between a floor that lasts for generations and one that quickly shows issues.
Available in virtually every species as our solid wood offerings and unfinished or prefinished, our engineered floors feature wear layers thick enough to be hand scraped or sanded and refinished several times throughout its life. With wide planks and long lengths available, your installer may be the only other person who knows that your beautiful floors are engineered.