Engineered wood flooring is a popular choice for homeowners who want the look and feel of natural wood without the maintenance and installation challenges of solid wood flooring. But beyond its aesthetic appeal and practical benefits, engineered wood flooring offers several other advantages that make it a smart choice for any home.
Engineered wood flooring is more stable than solid hardwood because it is constructed differently. Solid hardwood is a single piece of wood milled from a tree and can expand and contract with changes in humidity and temperature. This can cause the wood to warp, cup, or buckle over time, especially in areas with high humidity or extreme temperature changes.
On the other hand, engineered hardwood is made up of multiple layers of wood. The top layer is a thin veneer of hardwood that is adhered to several layers of plywood or composite wood beneath it. The various layers of wood in engineered hardwood are arranged in a cross-ply configuration, which makes the flooring more stable and less prone to expanding and contracting with changes in humidity and temperature.
Ease of installation
Another advantage of engineered wood is that it can be installed over a variety of surfaces, including concrete and plywood. This is because it is typically thinner and more flexible than solid wood, so it can be easily and securely attached to various subfloors. This can be particularly useful for homeowners who want to install wood flooring in a basement or second floor, where a concrete or plywood subfloor is more common.
Engineered hardwood flooring is more durable than solid hardwood for a few reasons.
First, engineered hardwood is made up of layers of wood, with the top layer being a thin veneer of hardwood. This top layer is less prone to scratching, staining, and other types of damage compared to solid hardwood, which is a single piece of wood.
Second, engineered wood is less sensitive to moisture and humidity changes than solid hardwood. Because it is made up of layers, the wood fibers in engineered hardwood are less likely to expand or contract in response to environmental changes. This means it is less likely to warp, buckle, or cup over time.
Third, engineered hardwood can be more resistant to wear and tear due to its construction. The layers of wood are pressed under high pressure, making the flooring more stable and less prone to damage from foot traffic or heavy objects.
Fourth, engineered hardwood is easier to install and maintain than solid hardwood. It can be installed over a variety of different subfloors, including concrete, plywood, and even existing flooring, without the need for special preparations. Select from various finishes, including polyurethane, which helps to protect the flooring from scratches and other types of damage.
Engineered hardwood flooring is considered more environmentally friendly than solid hardwood for several reasons.
First, engineered hardwood is made from a combination of hardwood and plywood layers. The plywood layers are typically made from fast-growing trees, such as pine or poplar, which are more sustainable and have a smaller environmental impact than slower-growing hardwoods. This means that less hardwood is needed to produce engineered flooring, which can reduce the overall demand for hardwood and help to preserve forests.
Second, engineered hardwood can be more efficiently produced and transported than solid hardwood. Because it is made from multiple layers, engineered hardwood can be manufactured using less wood overall and generates less waste. In addition, engineered hardwood is typically thinner and lighter than solid hardwood, which makes it easier to transport and reduces the carbon emissions associated with shipping.
Finally, engineered hardwood can be more durable and longer-lasting than solid hardwood. This means that it may not need to be replaced as often, which can reduce the overall environmental impact of flooring over the long term.
Style and good looks
People love solid hardwood because of its classic good looks. But if you decide to install engineered hardwood instead, you won’t have to compromise on either style or good looks. In fact, it offers more than what you’ll find with solid hardwood.
Because engineered wood flooring is made up of a core of hardwood or plywood with a layer of hardwood veneer affixed to the top surface, it gives you all the benefits of hardwood … with a twist. This construction allows for similar design versatility compared to solid hardwood planks, as the veneer can be sanded and finished in a wide variety of colors and styles. Don’t find what you want in prefinished planks? You can always mix the stain yourself. This allows homeowners to choose a range of different looks for their flooring, such as a traditional dark wood finish or a more modern light wood finish.
Engineered hardwood flooring can be installed over a variety of surfaces, including concrete and existing flooring. You can’t do that with solid hardwood; it’s more finicky. This can be a significant advantage for homeowners looking to install hardwood flooring in a room that does not have a wood subfloor.
The multi-layer construction of engineered hardwood helps to reduce the effects of moisture and temperature changes, which can cause solid hardwood to warp and buckle. This makes engineered hardwood a better choice for rooms with high humidity or temperature fluctuations, such as bathrooms and basements. While it still might not be the best choice for a kids’ bathroom where puddles are bound to happen, it can be a great choice for a half-bath in your main living space.
Is engineered hardwood flooring right for you?
With so many benefits, engineered wood flooring may be the perfect addition to your home. Whether replacing floors or remodeling your entire home, if you’re in the market for hardwood, give engineered hardwood a second look. It may be just what you’re looking for.