When it comes to surface flooring, there are many options available for builders and homeowners. Wood is fast becoming a favourite due to its aesthetic appeal and timelessness. However, most people are confused between solid hardwood flooring and engineered hardwood flooring. Whereas solid hardwood flooring has been the most recognizable form, engineered hardwood flooring is also a constant feature in many modern homes.
What Is Engineered Hardwood Flooring?
Engineered hardwood is made of solid hardwood combined with a layer of plywood. This feature differentiates solid hardwood from engineered hardwood. The layers of wood in engineered hardwood are several. They face different directions, thereby preventing it from warping or bending like solid hardwood flooring consisting of only one solid wood block. The non-bending capabilities make engineered hardwood flooring quite ideal in moist and humid environments. One other difference between engineered hardwood flooring and solid hardwood flooring is the thickness. Solid hardwood is about 1/2″ to 3/4″ thick, engineered hardwood is 3/8″ to 3/4″ wide.
Is Engineered Hardwood Flooring The Same Price As Solid Hardwood Flooring?
Most people think that engineered hardwood flooring is more expensive due to its refined finishing. However, solid hardwood flooring is, on average, more expensive than the engineered version. Most stores charge between $2.5 and $10 per square foot of engineered hardwood, whereas solid hardwood fetches between $4 to $12 per square foot. The cost, however, depends on the aesthetics added to the wood.
However, engineered hardwood can be just as pricy as solid hardwood for some tree species such as oak or ash. For some exotic options such as ebony hardwood, the options available are mostly in the engineered hardwood category because having them as solid hardwood may be too expensive for most builders. The wide variety of finishes also adds to the pricing options available for engineered hardwood flooring. The gloss options usually cost more than the non-gloss options.
How Long Does Engineered Hardwood Flooring Last?
Engineered hardwood flooring is designed to last a lifetime. However, some factors will affect longevity, and for new users of this technology, a keener understanding of how to take care of engineered hardwood floors will come in handy. The longevity of engineered hardwood typically depends on the quality of flooring used, the thickness of the veneer covering the flooring, and finally, the flooring maintenance. Direct sunlight affects the quality and longevity of the wood. Use a UV resistant coating to cover the engineered hardwood to ensure the flooring is completely protected from the elements.
Unlike laminate flooring, which isn’t durable, engineered hardwood flooring requires constant maintenance, just as labour-intensive as solid hardwood flooring. When properly maintained, engineered hardwood flooring can last more than 30 years, so long as it is kept from moisture and direct sunlight.
Engineered Hardwood Flooring Provides For Faster Installation
Nobody wants to spend time tiptoeing around unfinished wooden flooring. For solid hardwood flooring, installation is slightly more difficult than engineered hardwood flooring. The click-together flooring system allows for faster installation since each block is clicked onto another block. The flooring boards are designed to snap together, thereby providing perfect sealing between the panels. Whereas traditional flooring would require machine-like precision to attain the same level of ease in installation, engineered hardwood flooring does not require extra glue or adhesive for the parts to fit together.
One other advantage of the click-together system is that it allows the floorings boards to come in various designs and shapes. Normally, hardwood flooring provides for a limited variety of designs because the pieces have to align horizontally. Still, the boards can fit like a jigsaw puzzle with the clock-together systems, so long as you took the room dimensions first before purchasing the boards. This feature allows for more versatility as the homeowner can have custom-made floorboards that fit their tastes.
Furthermore, the click-together system ensures that you can install the floorboards on top of other floor systems without breaking them up. Modern homes come with installed tiles, and some homeowners may prefer to cover the tiles with the easy-to-remove engineered hardwood flooring.
Engineered Hardwood Flooring And DIY- Friendliness
One emerging trend in homebuilding is DIY building, whereby homeowners prefer to do things independently by following manuals and procedures from experts. The DIY industry in homebuilding is quite large, and its popularity will only continue to grow. Unlike other flooring options, engineered hardwood flooring is quite easy to install and has the best guarantees of being DIY friendly. Therefore, if you are thinking of replacing your carpets with hardwood, then the best option is the engineered hardwood flooring because not only is it labour-friendly, you can do it yourself, with some bit of direction.
Factors To Consider Before Opting For Engineered Hardwood Flooring
The first consideration before installing the engineered hardwood flooring, or any other type of flooring, is the type of surface the flooring will rest on. Unlike different types of flooring, which require some overhaul of the pre-existing surface, the main requirement before installing engineered hardwood flooring is ensuring the consistency is flat and dry. So long as there is less to no risk of moisture, then the engineered hardwood flooring is the best option. Engineered hardwood flooring is the best option for below ground flooring, so long as a moisture-resistant cover is first applied.
The second consideration is whether there are quality products on the market. For modern flooring systems, the risk of counterfeit products is quite high. Certain market options are very cheap and may look aesthetically pleasing at first. However, some are not made of hardwood, and over time they begin to warp or peel, revealing their substandard nature.
With harsh economic times, most homeowners and builders have to balance between aesthetics and cost implication of whichever flooring options they adopt. Overall, the engineered flooring options offer the most robust advantages over other options because they combine solid hardwood floorings’ aesthetic appeal. Still, it also has the ease of installation in laminate floorings and the easy cost implications associated with the click-together system.