Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Solid Vs Engineered Hardwood Flooring - Pros and Cons

Solid hardwood flooring is the more traditional type of wooden flooring compared to engineered hardwood flooring. Engineered floor is not a new phenomenon and has been around for several decades. Here, we shall take a comprehensive look at whether solid hardwood floor is better or engineered hardwood flooring by analyzing the pros and cons of each. Solid hardwood is used from a single piece of wood which is then split into various slabs (longitudinal) to fit into each other at the tongues and grooves. Engineered hardwood has a specific manufacturing practice where several wood pieces are formed into layers, each one known as 'ply', and these plies are placed in a cross grain pattern and bonded together using heat and pressure.

Now, let us look at the pros and cons of each.

The biggest disadvantage of solid hardwood is the fact that they react to moisture. If the relative humidity in the room is a bit on the higher side then this type of flooring can expand. When the relative humidity drops they contract. This is regarded as instability in terms of languages used for flooring. As a result of this phenomenon, solid flooring cannot be used in basements, toilets or at any place where there is a susceptibility of moisture accumulation. Normal dehumidifiers can easily act as a prevention mechanism to such instability but the problem is inherent to this type of flooring. Engineered flooring does not have any such problems as they do not react to moisture. They can be installed in the basements, toilets or even on concrete floors. However, it has to be ensured that there is no moisture on the surface or in the room while installing such type of flooring.

Solid hardwood flooring can last for several generations. As a matter of fact, more than 50 years can be an easy task for solid hardwood flooring. Sanding, refinishing or re-coating the surface once every 20 years can be good enough to maintain solid hardwood. With time, it shows the true elegance and natural grains of the wood hence enhancing the beauty and aesthetics of the property. Engineered hardwood flooring can also last for a long time and they are equally easy to maintain. They are resistive to scratches or quick wear and tear, however they do not possess the quality of getting their appearance enhanced as the wood has been made into plies rather than being used as a block. It is eco-friendly since the manufacturing process uses up a lot of waste which is an advantage that solid hardwood flooring doesn't offer.

The answer to the question solid wood or engineered is so subjective that there is no right or wrong answer, it all depends on your property's conditions, your needs, your taste and of course your budget.