Solid Hardwood vs. Engineered Hardwood Floors
Solid hardwood floors are just that — they’re made from solid wood. Each board of solid hardwood flooring is made from a single piece of hardwood that’s about 3/4 of an inch thick. Because it’s so thick it can be sanded down and refinished for however long the flooring is in the house.
Engineered hardwood is manufactured from three or more layers of high-density fiberboard (HDF) or medium-density fiberboard (MDF), and a real hardwood veneer top layer bonded together under heat and pressure.
• Engineered hardwood is more suitable in high-moisture areas or in areas with frequent temperature changes than solid hardwood due to its “multiple-ply plank” construction.
• Solid hardwood is noted for adding overall structural strength to the building in which it is installed. The degree to which this is true depends upon the species.
• Engineered hardwood is constructed to be more dimensionally stable through multi-ply design. This allows greater resistance to temperature changes.
• Solid hardwood is prone to expansion, warping, and cupping to a significant degree if exposed to temperature changes.
Resistance to moisture and heat
• Engineered hardwood is surely a suitable choice when solid wood is not applicable due to increased moisture or heat. It is more resistant to both compared to solid wood.
• Solid hardwood is unsuitable for applications at any location with increased moisture or high temperatures. These could be areas which are not environmentally controlled, damp areas such as below-grade installations, and over radiant heating systems.
Resistance to climatic changes
• Engineered hardwood does not warp or cup during climatic changes. It is more resistant to higher moisture levels than solid flooring. It is a better choice for installation over radiant heat sources, damp basements, and locations in rainy climates.
• Solid hardwood generally expands and contracts a lot more than engineered wood during climatic changes, especially during extremes in heat, cold, and precipitation. When deciding on a new wood floor, it’s a good idea to consider the conditions this floor will encounter. This will help inform you on the best type of floor for your space. With both solid and engineered hardwood, you will get a beautiful floor that will add value to your space.