Wooden floors create a cozy, natural look, complementing numerous interior design styles. They offer various benefits compared to other wood flooring counterparts, ranging from easier installation methods to decreased risks of off-gases.
However, wood flooring comes in 2 primary options: solid and engineered. Engineered wood has risen in popularity through the years, surpassing sales of solid hardwood. It consists of a core built from bonded wood pieces and a surface layer featuring a real hardwood veneer. Meanwhile, regular hardwood flooring is simply a cut and finished hardwood plank.
So which type of wood flooring best suits your needs? Here are 5 reasons to choose engineered over hardwood flooring.
Because only the surface layers of engineered planks consist of real, natural hardwood, fewer trees meet the fate of being chopped down. Engineered wood’s surface veneer consists of a thin layer of hardwood, meaning that one hardwood tree can supply multiple planks. To fully cover 1,200 square feet of floor in solid hardwood, you would need about 12 trees to create enough decent-size planks.
The rest of an engineered plank, such as its core, can consist of any type of wood, including wood scraps, pieces of faulty planks, and sawdust. All the collected wood components are sanded and shredded into fibers, which are then pressed together and sealed with binding. This requires no fresh-cut wood, allowing for an environmentally friendlier and more sustainable manufacturing process.
Another difference between solid and engineered wood planks is the make of their cores. Unlike regular hardwood, engineered wood consists of multiple layers. Each row features compacted materials, which increase the density and strength of the planks. On the other hand, hardwood is naturally dense, but like any wood, it wears out over time. The numerous layers in engineered hardwood take longer to erode.
The added density of engineered planks further increase this flooring’s durability by offering more stability under pressure from heavy weight and constant foot traffic. In the long run, natural hardwood outlasts other types of wood, such as bamboo, but they fall short compared to engineered wood. For homes with little kids and pets, engineered floors make better options than hardwood because they can endure intense wear and markings. Their high density and multiple layers make them more resistant to scratches and dents.
Usually, people avoid installing wooden floors in basements due to the spaces’ moisture-rich atmospheres and lack of sunlight. When wood soaks up water and absorbs moisture, damp patches can form. Without proper ventilation or sunlight, those damp spots stay wet, harboring an atmosphere that’s attractive to mold and fungi spores. These spores then release toxins that can cause respiratory issues and intensify allergies. Decay fungi can also grow from the spores, producing rot that feeds on the wood.
Therefore, to prevent mold growth or water damage in their homes, most people opt for concrete flooring in their basements. However, engineered wood’s layered structure creates little to no room for water or moisture to penetrate the boards, increasing water resistance and decreasing the risk of mold growth. With engineered floors and proper underlayments, people have the option to design basements with more ambience.
Engineered wood’s long-term durability provides a long life span between 20 to 40 years. With constant foot traffic, erosion, and damage, solid wood’s life span falls shorter than that of engineered flooring. In the long run, investing in engineered floors saves you money not only because they tend to have lower prices but also because they’ll last for as long as most people generally occupy a home. Solid hardwood naturally costs more due to the number of trees they require.
Engineered wood also proves to be a more cost-efficient choice than hardwood because of its effect on your home’s value. Its durability, water resistance, aesthetics, and sustainability all increase your house’s appeal and worth. Wooden-floored homes already rank more highly in real estate than homes with other floorings, as most people willingly pay extra for wood floors. When you add durability and longevity into the mix with engineered wood floors, the demand for your home will increase even further.
Everybody loves to save a little extra cash by completing tasks without professional interference. Engineered wood planks weigh less than solid hardwood, making them more manageable to work with during installation. Plus, their light weight makes them easy to ship, offering more accessibility.
During the installation process, both types of wood flooring need time to acclimate in a space. Solid hardwood takes anywhere between 3 to 5 days to acclimate, but engineered wood takes up to a max of 48 hours. Engineered woods become accustomed to room climates more quickly than regular hardwood.
Another DIY quality of engineered wood is its compatibility with paints and stains. Adding paint or stain to your floors offers a unique home feature, more color options, and a fun, creative project to work on. People often feel like it’s more acceptable to paint engineered floors because they aren’t fully authentic hardwood or environmentally damaging to obtain. It can be harder for people to justify painting solid hardwood due to its high cost, unsustainable manufacturing process, and its reaction to certain paint chemicals.
If you prefer to save time, you can even buy prestained or painted engineered floors. From the Forest offers prestained planks as well as natural engineered wood flooring selections, providing you with plenty of shades to explore for your space.
Building your dream home isn’t a task you should take lightly. Every design decision matters, including picking the right foundation. After whittling your flooring selection down to woods, with these 5 reasons to choose engineered over hardwood flooring, you can whittle down your flooring options even further. Both wood types offer a long list of benefits and, in some cases, a lot of similarities. However, their few differences can make or break your decision. In your perfect home, you want to make sure you’ve considered all the pros and cons before committing to any design feature.