Hardwood flooring gives a room character. From a glossy finish to the characteristics of value flooring, hardwood is far more attractive than carpet or vinyl. If you are considering hardwood flooring for your home, all retailers present two options: solid and engineered. Which one is best for your home? While both are fully composed of wood, each has certain pros and cons.
Solid hardwood flooring comes directly from the tree, cut into a solid plank from a wood log. Tongues and grooves are milled into all four sides, and pieces are 5/16ths to 3/4ths thick. Solid wood, however, is sensitive to changes in humidity. Solid hardwood flooring, as a result, should be added only to floors on or above ground.
Installation for solid hardwood flooring is specific. The planks or strips are nailed down over a wood subfloor. For unfinished hardwood, the finish of your choice can be added after installation.
Engineered hardwood flooring, however, can be installed into a greater number of locations. Versatile and dimensionally stable, engineered hardwood flooring is composed of three to nine plies bonded together under heat and pressure. A piece of engineered hardwood flooring is composed of three to nine thin wood plies bonded together by heat and pressure. The top ply is the visible species and subsequent plys are made up of the same species or a more stable species. Domestic and exotic species are available as engineered hardwood.
Installation for engineered hardwood flooring takes less time. The planks or strips can be glued, stapled or simply floated over wood subfloors, concrete, or other floor surfaces like vinyl. For unfinished engineered flooring, the wood must be finished after flooring is installed.
Solid and engineered hardwood flooring is available in prefinished and unfinished varieties. If you are unsure which is best for your home, consider the amount of flooring being installed. For a full room or floor, prefinished flooring significantly cuts installation time. If the new flooring needs to blend in with existing wood, install unfinished hardwood and add your own finish to match the existing.