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Solid or Engineered Hardwood Flooring?

The Difference Between Solid And Engineered Hardwood Flooring

Hardwood flooring is a timeless option used in many homes. This sturdy and long-lasting flooring works well for a variety of interior designs. Moreover, today’s homeowners can choose between traditional solid and engineered prefinished hardwood flooring. Explore the pros and cons of each flooring type and discover why Blue Ridge Floors is your premier hardwood flooring provider for your new construction or remodeling project

Solid Hardwood

This option has been the go-to choice for builders for years. Solid hardwood flooring is typically 3/4-inch thick of a single solid wood. Whether you choose oak, maple, cherry, pine or any other option, you’ll receive solid floorboards made of that single material.

Prefinished hardwood flooring typically comes as raw floorboards, so you’ll need to invest in a finishing option. There are many types of finishes available, including oil, varnish, wax, urethane and polyurethane. Each option has its own pros and cons, but be aware that you’ll need to take this extra step or invest in a contractor to provide on-site finishing.

Pros and Cons of Solid Hardwood

One of the biggest pros for solid hardwood floors is longevity. There’s a reason homes that are 100 years old still sport beautiful hardwood flooring. This material can be sanded and refinished many times for a like-new surface. This makes it easy to repair any water damage, scratches, scrapes or high traffic spots.

Because the entire thickness of flooring is hardwood, this type of flooring tends to expand and contract with moisture and temperature changes. This means a contractor will need to spend more time nailing and possibly gluing planks down to avoid buckling or large cracks forming. Solid hardwood isn’t recommended on top of radiant heat or concrete subfloor.

Engineered Hardwood

A new option for homeowners and businesses is engineered hardwood. This unique option uses a veneer of true hardwood that is anywhere from 1/12-1/6 inches thick. The rest of the thickness is made of slices of wood that are crisscrossed and fused together, similar to plywood.

The result is a durable, reliable option that mitigates many of the disadvantages of solid hardwood. Some engineered options seem more expensive than solid options, but you may actually save money by choosing prefinished options that don’t require an additional layer of subflooring.

Pros and Cons of Engineered Hardwood

Because the base layers of engineered hardwood are essential plywood, you don’t have to use a plywood subfloor. This allows you to install engineered hardwood directly over concrete or other subflooring that would otherwise cause moisture issues. The same is true of below-grade installation, where engineered options can be used instead of solid hardwood.

There are more installation options compared to solid flooring. Choose to nail, glue, staple or simply float this flooring option. You won’t have to worry as much about contraction or expansion causing issues years after professional installation.

However, a thin top layer makes it difficult to sand and refinish engineered hardwood flooring. Premium options have a thicker top layer that is capable of additional sanding, but overall you won’t be able to sand and refinish it as often as with solid hardwood. If you’ve installed a floating floor, you won’t be able to enjoy a smooth sanding and refinish.

Discuss Your Options With a Professional Near You

At Blue Ridge Floors, we offer high-quality flooring and installation options to fit your needs. We only work with trusted brands and quality installation technicians, so you can be confident in a long-lasting finish. Find a location near you or call us at 800-690-1779. We’ll discuss all our solid hardwood and engineered hardwood flooring options and assist you in choosing the best option for your home design, budget and lifestyle.



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