interior design

Engineered Flooring vs. Solid wood

If you’re facing the all too common dilemma of solid wood flooring vs. engineered flooring, this it the article for you.

Solid wood flooring is, as the name suggests, made from solid wood. No matter which species, the fade of wood, style, color or shape you’re after, you will more than likely be able to source it in solid wood form. The sale of solid wood flooring is, however, now on the decline due to the increased awareness of engineered flooring.

Engineered flooring is made up of cleverly constructed core boards that are basically layers and layers of ply that are bonded together. These boards are then topped with a top layer of wood which makes it look just like solid wood flooring.

When looking at a new floor, it’s important to measure the moisture levels in your sub floor. Ideally, these shouldn’t exceed 2-3% but to be confident about this, take measurements all across the floor and not just in one place. If your sub-floor is borderline with it’s moisture level, you’d be safer to go with engineered flooring apposed to solid wood flooring as it’s more resistant to water. This isn’t to say that engineered is completely waterproof.

The best option of flooring will heavily depend on which room it’ll be laid in. If you’re looking at the kitchen or bathroom, there’s no doubt that engineered flooring should be your go-to. Because of the significant fluctuations in moisture and temperature levels, engineered flooring will contract and expand slightly in comparison with solid wood which will contract and expand considerably, which can cause damage to the flooring. This won’t happen with good quality engineered flooring.

High footfall means that it’s a busy area of the house and receives a lot of traffic. Heavy footfall refers to where there’s likely to be a higher impact on the floor such as wheelchair users, those who use walking aids etc. If your floor is subject to high or heavy footfall, it’s handy to be able to sand and refinish your floor if damage has been caused. Engineered flooring could only withstand being sanded twice, maybe three times in it’s lifetime. However, solid wood flooring can take up to five or six sandings before risking damage to the floor.

By using engineered flooring, you’ll also be doing your bit for the environment. More flooring can be made from the same tree with this type of floor, meaning the need to cut down trees is on a decline. With the concerns about the environment at the minute, you should be looking at the most environmentally friendly options wherever possible.

The resale value of both of these flooring types is excellent. As long as your solid wood flooring is in good shape and condition, it will add value to your home. Similarly with engineered flooring, because the flooring is made from real wood it can be advertised as such and add as much value as your home as solid wood.

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