Why Would A Homeowner Choose Engineered Hardwood?
There is a false belief that natural hardwood is better than Engineered hardwood flooring.
There are advantages to, and some good reasons for choosing Engineered Hardwood flooring especially in our warm and dry winter environments (recommended highly for condominiums).
Engineered flooring material has a hardwood top layer (usually 2-4 mm thick) and under it are multiple layers of high density fiberboard or plywood laminated under pressure. These lower layers form a base with greater strength and stability than a solid hardwood plank has.
Engineered hardwood is available with a click system and can be easily & quickly installed as a floating floor and this can be laid on top of many existing floors. The main requirement with click systems however is that the floor be level.
Engineered hardwood floors are resistant to changes in temperatures and humidity, which make them a better choice for humid interiors than solid hardwood. They would be a better choice for the humidity of Kitchens.
Basements are area where solid wood is not recommended because of natural dampness below ground and in this situation the engineered products can be used.
Engineered boards do not expand and contract so they offer more stability….which means less open joints or cupping because of seasonal movement.
If you are interested in a wide plank floor solid wood is not recommended in planks any wider than 4 ¼” but engineered hardwood can be produced in wider planks because of its stability.
The cost of the two choices is often similar with the engineered material sometimes more expensive which surprises many homeowners. Costs vary depending on the individual species of wood.
The disadvantage to engineered hardwood is that it can only be lightly sanded to remove fine surface scratches but it can’t be refinished. Solid hardwood offers the option of refinishing and potentially re-colouring it.
If you are concerned about the environment and Forest Sustainability then the engineered flooring is a much more Eco Friendly choice. It is the most efficient use of the resource of slow growing hardwood trees.
New technology in the production of many materials is changing our thinking about flooring materials and how we use them in our homes. In North America we take for granted the abundance of wood that we have but the thinking is very different in Europe.