what is hardwood?
Hardwood is a hard surface flooring material primarily made out of wood. Solid hardwood is usually one thick piece of real wood top to bottom and it has been a timeless choice for flooring. Engineered hardwood is multiple thin layers of wood glued together with each layer being positioned in a different direction, making it more durable. Using real wood in your home will have a timeless and lasting look.
solid vs engineered hardwood
In the most basic terms; one is a solid plank of wood, while the other only has a “thin” (relative to the plank thickness) wood layer.
Solid hardwood is made from solid wood… each plank is a whole piece of hardwood generally a 3/4 inch thick. Engineered hardwood is a more stable alternative to solid hardwood that is also made of real wood but that’s not it. Engineered hardwood is made of a plywood core layer with a varying thickness hardwood veneer layer on top.
A key difference between the two is how many times you can or cannot refinish it. A solid hardwood floor can be refinished 8-10 times (or until too thin) during it’s lifetime. An engineered hardwood floor usually never get’s refinished because the hardwood veneer layer is too thin.
Both solid and engineered hardwood are created for durability. Depending on your situation though, one is better than the other.
Engineered hardwood is a more stable product, it is more resistant to fluctuations in moisture levels and will not buckle, ripple, crack, or be prone to expansion and contraction. Bottom line being; humidity doesn’t affect engineered hardwood flooring as it does solid.
Solid wood flooring is less resistant to humidity and moisture changes because it is nailed or glued to the subfloor. Solid hardwood is tricky business (especially in the pacific northwest). The wood needs to be properly acclimated and the subfloor must be at a balanced moisture level in order to install solid hardwood correctly. With moisture, solid hardwood can swell and crack (if installed incorrectly) causing extensive and expensive damage.