Solid wood flooring vs engineered wood flooring is an ongoing battle. With both styles of flooring, there are benefits and disadvantages. There are also likes and dislikes built on both opinion and fact.
Appearance Difference of Solid and Engineered Flooring
Both solid and engineered floors offer great looking products. When viewed from the surface the appearance difference between the same species and quality of solid wood flooring and engineered wood flooring is often subtle.
Laminate flooring is not an engineered wood floor. While in layers like engineered wood, laminate flooring is a photograph of wood or another design. Most laminate flooring does not have the same moisture resistant abilities of a engineered wood or bamboo flooring.
Where Solid and Engineered Products Can Be Installed
- Install solid flooring on grade and above grade, but not below grade.
- Solid wood performs best in a moisture-controlled environment.
- Engineered flooring is more stable than solid wood dimensionally.
- Engineered flooring can be installed in areas where moisture prevents the installation of solid wood.
- Install engineered wood flooring on grade, above grade and below grade.
- Solid wood strip or plank, nailed or stapled. It usually requires a wood subfloor.
- Solid wood parquet can be glued to a variety of subfloor materials.
- Engineered flooring products, designed for different needs and method of installation.
- Nail-down or staple-down usually require a wood subfloor.
- Glue down and floating floors can be installed over many different subfloors.
- Most floating floors have the tongue and groove glued together. Floating floors float above the subfloor.
How Solid and Engineered Products React to Heat and Moisture
- Solid wood planks will always shrink when the air is too dry and expand in the presence of moisture. Expansion and contraction is primarily in width with minimal change in length.
- Engineered wood planks control contraction and expansion through cross-ply construction (placing each layer of ply in the opposite direction). The laminated plies counteract each other. This helps to prevent though it may not eliminate expansion and shrinkage.
A Few Tips
- Once you have survived the battle of solid wood vs engineered wood flooring be sure to read the manufacturers warranty and installation instructions before finalizing your order.
- In regard to allowable subfloors and installation methods, each manufacturer has its own requirements.
- Installation requirements will vary for different products from the same manufacturer.
- The dealer and consumer need to be aware of these requirements prior to purchase.
- See NWFA installation guidelines.
We want you to avoid casualties in the war of solid wood flooring vs engineered wood flooring. If your floor has became a casualty, The Weinheimer Group is available to assist you. Contact us for an inspection or consultation.