hardwood vs engineered hardwood

Solid hardwood generally has very tight seams between boards, and there is a great range of colors and species than is found with engineered hardwood flooring. Neither material is recommended installation for truly wet locations. Engineered hardwood flooring runs $3 to $10 per square foot. Solid wood is a solid piece of wood cut from tree, whereas engineered wood is comprised of multiple layers of wood adhered together at opposing directions to counter-act the effects of contraction and expansion. My southern home has luxury vinyl. Installation adds another $3 to $5 per square foot and removal and haul away of your old floorings costs about $2 per square foot. Engineered Hardwood. However, homeowners also have the option to install raw wood floors for on-site finishing. They are also better suited for installing over in-floor heating systems. We’re getting down to the details on engineered hardwood vs hardwood to share what sets them apart and help you decide which is the best choice for you. Engineered hardwood flooring is slightly less expensive than solid hardwood. All solid hardwoods scratch or dent easier than their engineered hardwood counterparts because the wood composite inside an engineered flooring plank is designed to withstand additional wear. 35%-55% is the desirable RH for hardwood flooring. Engineered hardwoods are cheap compared to solid hardwood in terms of cost. Engineered hardwood is manufactured from three or more layers of high-density fiberboard (HDF) or medium-density fibreboard (MDF), and a real hardwood veneer top layer bonded together under heat and pressure. Installation of hardwood is much more complicated than installing engineered, adding to the cost. I don’t agree with Super. Solid wood flooring comes in long planks, usually made of a hardwood species. The most widely used profile is tongue-and-groove (T&G). Engineered hardwood also provides a better value point if … Engineered hardwood flooring will rarely be a turn-off to prospective buyers, though they may recognize that these floors have a shorter lifespan. EPIC Plus Engineered Hardwood Styles Shaw Engineered Hardwood Flooring Shaw's Engineered hardwood core is made up of multiple layers of wood stacked in a cross-grain configuration which minimizes expanding and shrinking. Is Engineered Hardwood Better Than Laminate? Solid wood flooring, as the name suggests, is made of solid wood throughout its thickness. Hardwood flooring is available in two major variety; solid and engineered. Engineered Wood Flooring, Buying and Installing Solid Hardwood Floor, Best for Water and Heat Resistance: Engineered Hardwood, Best for Durability and Maintenance: Solid Hardwood, Best for Installation: Engineered Hardwood, Laminate Flooring vs. Solid hardwood flooring is installed with a tongue-and-groove system, in which each board is blind-nailed to the subfloor down through tongues at the edges of the boards. Budget anywhere from $4 to $10 per square foot for materials, depending on quality. Rather than being solid hardwood through-and-through, engineered wood floors bond a relatively thin layer of true hardwood over a … This enables them to be installed in a floating floor format without nails or glue. Solid hardwood offers more flexibility, longevity, and durability, while stable engineered floors are more suitable for humid locations and installations against concrete slabs. Nothing looks more polished and professional in your home than wood flooring. Engineered floors range in thickness from 1/4 inch to 3/4 inch Stability For the most part, hardwood flooring is quite dimensionally stable over time. Solid hardwood is much more expensive than engineered . People are always asking me which one is better, but both have their pros… Deane Biermeier is a contractor with 27 years experience in home repair, maintenance, and remodeling. Engineered hardwood flooring consists of the wear layer and base layer or core. Engineered hardwood flooring is a fantastic option for companies looking to recreate the aesthetics of solid wood flooring., but there are other hard flooring options. Since solid hardwood is cut from a single piece, it usually will have more value. You're still getting real hardwood floors; they're just made differently. 5 Reasons You’ll Want a Veteran-Friendly Real Estate Agent, Feast Your Eyes on This Delicious Home Built by the Ghirardelli Family. Pre-finished solid hardwood averages about $8 per square foot, within a range of $4 to $12 per square foot. The layers typically include a top veneer of hardwood backed by less expensive layers of plywood—although some manufacturers use substrates made from recycled wood fibers mixed with stone dust for improved durability and stability. Because its solid wood construction allows it to be sanded and refinished several times, solid hardwood flooring comes out on top when it comes to longevity. Don't Neglect These 6 Maintenance Tasks—or Else, Debunked! Standard hardwood flooring planks are 3/4 inch thick, 2 1/4 inches wide, and sold n various lengths from 12 to 84 inches. Engineered Hardwood; Engineered hardwood is made up of different layers. I have a home in the north that has hardwood, but one bedroom as engineered. Engineered hardwood comes in two different types of cores, one is a plywood core, which has traditionally been used to make engineered hardwood and the other is newer option known as high density fiberboard (HDF) core. Therefore, the product is often the preferred choice for kitchens and bathrooms or in areas where the humidity level can vary—like in a basement or a part of the house below grade, as long as a moisture barrier is placed between the subfloor and the hardwood planks. Installation of hardwood is much more complicated than installing engineered, adding to the cost. For the best experience, please enable cookies when using our site. Engineered Wood Flooring Comparison Guide, Hardwood Flooring in Bedrooms Review: Pros and Cons, Laminate vs. These floorboards have a thin veneer of wood on the surface (1/12 – ⅙ inches thick). Hardwood flooring and engineered wood flooring are two popular options when it comes to flooring. It usually made of a hardwood species, such as oak, maple, or walnut, and its major advantage is that it can be sanded and refinished many times over the course of its lifespan. Technically, both of these options qualify as "real" hardwood flooring, but they’re surprisingly different from each other. One of the many benefits of solid wood flooring is it can be sanded and refinished many times. There is no clear advantage to one form of wood flooring over the other; your choice depends on how much you value the relative merits of each. Engineered hardwood floors are suitable for installation on all levels of the home and over plywood, wood, OSB and concrete subfloors. Which version of hardwood flooring you find preferable really boils down to personal preference. This flooring is easy to clean with simple sweeping and vacuuming, and occasional damp-mopping with an approved wood cleaner. Is there a better pick to ensure you get "real" hardwood floors? Engineered wood flooring looks very much like solid hardwood, but its construction features a relatively thin layer of hardwood bonded over a premium-quality plywood layer that gives the flooring very good stability. The hardwood parts of the engineered … You can opt-out at any time. This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the, Sorry, we were unable to share this article. Aren't all hardwood floors made from wood? Each is made from 100% real wood.And, unlike laminate or vinyl plank alternatives, no two pieces are ever exactly alike. When solid hardwood flooring is in an environment where the humidity level is over 55%, then it will absorb the excess moisture and cupping will happen. Engineered hardwood can still be glued down directly to the concrete subfloor without placing the barrier and the adhesive glue will still act as a barrier to moisture and water. Solid hardwood flooring boards tend to be narrower than engineered hardwood flooring. Humidity: Engineered hardwood performs much better under high humidity. Solid hardwood boards are milled from a thick piece of lumber, so its thickness varies from ¾-inch to 7/16-inch. Engineered hardwood can still be glued down directly to the concrete subfloor without placing the barrier and the adhesive glue will still act as a barrier to moisture and water. Both types of hardwood have good resistance to heat. It generally is 3/4″ in thickness. Hardwood Vs. Engineered hardwoods are cheap compared to solid hardwood in terms of cost. In addition, laminate flooring is usually thinner than engineered hardwood. When relative humidity is less than 45%, this may cause gaps in the floor between the floor boards. Care and cleaning of this flooring look the same as for solid hardwood: sweeping or vacuuming, and occasional damp-mopping with a wood cleaner. The biggest difference is overall cost. That means it can be used in many remodeling projects where a solid 3/4 inch solid floor would create a height problem. Pre-finished forms of both floors are the most durable since they have a hard, factory-applied finish that holds up very well. The best way to describe engineered hardwood flooring is to think of it like a hybrid car; it’s a little bit of laminate and a little bit of hardwood. Solid hardwood is known to warp and expand, especially if humidity exceeds 60% or so within the home. The market also sometimes offers exotic species of hardwood from Brazil, Africa and elsewhere. Although laminate may win the laminate vs. engineered hardwood toughness challenge, engineered hardwood can be refinished two or three times over its lifespan. It is always nailed down to the subfloor, a process that requires some skill. Introducing "One Thing": A New Video Series, The Spruce Gardening & Plant Care Review Board, The Spruce Renovations and Repair Review Board. Solid hardwood would be the best, however, you must take into mind that it is thick (from 3/4" to 1+ "), so the adjoining floors, if any, would have to be propped up. Hardwood planks classified as “engineered” feature multiple layers (typically three to five) bonded together under extreme heat and pressure. Other thicknesses and widths are also available, though solid hardwood flooring is rarely more than about 4 inches wide. The feature that defines engineered hardwood as engineered is that it is composed of multiple layers of different woods, known as ply layers. Expansion and contraction Both are strong, durable floors that are less expensive than natural wood, but laminate flooring typically costs less. Solid hardwood is slightly superior here, since it can be sanded down and refinished several times over its lifespan. What's the difference? Engineered wood flooring looks very similar on the surface, but it is made from a relatively thin layer of hardwood bonded over a substrate of high-quality plywood. As the name implies, solid hardwood is solid wood, all the way through. Engineered hardwood flooring is generally thinner than solid hardwood. The typical range engineered hardwood flooring is $2.50 to $10 per square foot, with most types falling in the $4 to $7 per square foot range. 2. These ply layers can be as few as 3 or as many as 12. Solid Hardwood. A solid hardwood floor is permanently nailed to the subfloor. Absolutely the best choice for here. In comparison, hardwood up to 10. Engineered hardwood can also be sanded and refinished several times if the top layer is thick enough, though not typically as many times as solid hardwood.Like solid, those products that have a Lifetime Finish will withstand scratches the best. However, you may find it's worth it to invest in hardwood for its longer durability. Solid Hardwood Flooring Comparison Guide, Prefinished Hardwood Flooring Review: Pros and Cons, Carpet vs. Hardwood Flooring Comparison Guide, Wood Flooring Basics: Engineered Wood, Solid, Laminate, Hardwood Flooring in Kitchens Review: Pros and Cons, Engineered Wood Floors: What to Know Before You Buy, Solid Hardwood Flooring Installation Costs: Professional vs. DIY, Wood Parquet Flooring Review: Pros and Cons, Learn About Solid and Engineered Wood Flooring. Solid hardwood is available in both pre-finished and unfinished boards. Engineered Hardwood Vs. Solid hardwood may have the edge here, since it lasts longer than engineered hardwood flooring. Home Buyers Reveal: 'What I Wish I Had Known Before Buying My First Home', Selling Your Home? Both types offer a beautiful finish and will increase the value of your home—as long as they are installed correctly and maintained properly over the duration of your ownership. When it comes to hardwood flooring, there’s solid hardwood and engineered hardwood. However, you may find it's worth it to invest in hardwood for its longer durability. Expansion and contraction It looks like Cookies are disabled in your browser. Engineered Hardwood: Engineered hardwood is more forgiving with moisture as its more stable. Engineered hardwood flooring is done in layers. When searching for attractive, durable, one-of-a-kind wood flooring to increase the value of your home, there are two great products to consider: hardwood vs. engineered hardwood. ©1995-2020 National Association of REALTORS® and Move, Inc. All rights reserved.realtor.com® is the official site of the National Association of REALTORS® and is operated by Move, Inc., a subsidiary of News Corp. Cicely Wedgeworth is the managing editor of realtor.com. Although engineered hardwood flooring is more scratch resistant than solid hardwood, it is still a good idea to use door mats, throw rugs and furniture floor protectors on the legs of any furniture. There is no particular winner here, unless you have a particular preference for narrower boards (in which case solid hardwood will be preferable for you), or wider boards (in which case engineered hardwood flooring will be a better choice). Lee has over two decades of hands-on experience remodeling, fixing, and improving homes, and has been providing home improvement advice for over 12 years. Engineered hardwood flooring is made by bonding layers of wood together with adhesives under high pressure and heat. Because it is solid wood, this flooring can be sanded down and refinished several times over its life. Engineered hardwood is OK, but you have to be careful because a lot of it comes off of a roll and sort of pleats itself onto the floor in almost no time at all. DIYers find that the click-lock or glue-down forms of engineered hardwood are easier to work with than the nail-down methods used for solid hardwood. Because engineered flooring is slightly thinner than most solid hardwood, it can also be good for projects where your hardwood needs to match the height of an … Get daily tips and tricks for making your best home. In appearance, solid hardwood is not noticeably different from engineered hardwood, but real estate professionals and potential home buyers may place a premium on a solid hardwood floor for its greater longevity. If installation against a concrete subfloor is necessary, engineered hardwood is the choice. Solid hardwood is not recommended for installation against concrete slabs, since humidity migrating through the concrete can cause solid hardwood to swell and warp. Many pros do this. The exception to this would be comparing a basic solid hardwood against a rarer engineered hardwood. Avoid using water or steam to clean any wood floor. Solid wood flooring is made of one piece of wood from top to bottom and can be used in any room that is on or above ground. Engineered Hardwood: At 3/8” to 1/2″, engineered wood is slightly thinner than solid hardwood.Thicker woods are usually available in premium collections. Typically three quarters of an inch, the thickness of solid wood planking enables it to be sanded and refinished many times throughout the life of the floor. Engineered hardwood flooring runs $3 to $10 per square foot. Moisture in the air is the relative humidity in the air. Engineered hardwood comes in two different types of cores, one is a plywood core, which has traditionally been used to make engineered hardwood and the other is newer option known as high density fiberboard (HDF) core. Engineered wood flooring was once regarded as a pale imitation of solid hardwood, but improvements in the product quality have eliminated this perception. Solid hardwood flooring is available in a wide array of wood species—including oak, maple, and black walnut as well as regional-specific choices like pecan, mesquite and others. When comparing laminate flooring vs. engineered hardwood, many people would like to know whether hardwood is a better solution than laminate. Engineered boards, on the other hand, are constructed by joining multiple high-density fiberboard layers sandwiched inside a solid wood top layer and hardwood backing, making it extremely tough. Solid hardwood boards are milled from a thick piece of lumber, so its thickness varies from ¾-inch to 7/16-inch. Hardwood planks are usually ¾\" thick, while engineered wood planks tend to be thinner. When looking at engineered wood vs. hardwood cost, generally you'll find engineered wood is always cheaper. Engineered wood flooring handles moisture better than hardwood, but it’s still not the best choice for a pool deck or a washroom. The top layer, the one you see, is a veneer of hardwood … Floorboards tend to be wider with engineered hardwood flooring. Waterproof engineered hardwood also has a Stone Plastic Composite (SPC) core. Engineered hardwood floors are suitable for installation on all levels of the home and over plywood, wood, OSB and concrete subfloors. Both solid hardwood and engineered hardwood are premium flooring materials that add good real estate value to your home. Solid Hardwood vs. Looking at the two different options side by side, here are some things to consider: 1. All wood floors can benefit from a renewal of the surface varnish coat every few years. Hardwood flooring is a great hard surface flooring. Moreover, homeowners should purchase extra materials (5-10% m… Price: Engineered hardwood tends to be cheaper. Engineered hardwood flooring comes out the winner here, since its plywood base is less susceptible to warping caused by moisture. Engineered hardwood is both attractive and very durable, due to its construction of multiple layers of plywood being pressed together with adhesives under extreme pressure. Even though, it would seem that … The winner of engineered hardwood vs. laminate flooring really depends. Get quick and easy access to your home value, neighborhood activity and financial possibilites. It is milled with tongues and grooves on opposite edges so that the boards interlock when installed. The price of solid hardwood flooring is slightly higher than engineered flooring, though both start at $2 to $3 per square foot. For both types of flooring, installation labor can add $3 to $10 per square foot, depending on prevailing labor costs in your area and the complexity of the room layout. They will have oil, wax, or varnish. In addition, it can create a timeless impression to any room. Pricing often comes down to plank thickness, the type of derivative wood products used in an engineered plank, and the species of hardwood used throughout a plank or for an engineered plank's veneer. For more details, see our, Solid Wood Flooring vs. While the top layer of engineered floors is often solid wood, the lower layers, and the core, are made out of various materials including plywood. Engineered vs Solid Hardwood Flooring: Differences. Both are made of wood. Because of the way engineered hardwood is processed, it is not as affected by humidity as solid wood planks are. She has worked as a writer and editor at Yahoo, the Los Angeles Times, and Newsday. It’s core is usually plywood or high-density fibreboard (HDF) and the top layer is composed of a of hardwood veneer which is glued atop the core to mimic nearly any species of hardwood. Engineered hardwood is typically less expensive than hardwood flooring as ranges in price from about $2.50 to $10 per square foot, while hardwood typically averages about $4 to $12 per square foot. Engineered wood planks now are being created with a tongue and groove installation method, much like laminate flooring. Engineered hardwood has slightly better performance in humid locations since its plywood construction makes it more stable and less susceptible to warping. A solid wood floor can be repeatedly refinished, but engineered wood’s thinner wear layer makes this less of an option. However, the “wear layer” of an engineered hardwood floor is comparable to the solid wood counterparts and both will need to be properly maintained with a regular polyurethane or wax sealant … Which wood flooring should I choose? Thanks to its manufacturing process, this flooring is strong, solid and, unlike its traditional competitor, able to hold up better to humidity and moisture. Engineered Hardwood About Solid Hardwood Flooring. Depending on how thick you go with the engineered, you will have the ability to refinish 2-5 times. 2. Solid Hardwood vs. The upper and bottom layer is usually 100% natural wood while the middle is built from a core of five to seven layers of plywood that are crisscrossed in various directions. Solid wood planks are milled from a single piece of hardwood and covered with a thin, clear protective layer that often consists of aluminum oxide, ceramic or an acrylic substance. Although both materials come in different colors and styles, engineered hardwood has … Engineered wood flooring can also be glued down against a concrete subfloor. EPIC Plus Hardwood built with Stabilitek resists denting up to 30% more than 7 ply Asian imports. The finest solid hardwood costs $10 or more, a few dollars more costly than the best engineered flooring. Laminate uses a photographic layer that allows them to be thicker like hardwoods, are! The click-lock or glue-down forms of engineered hardwood toughness challenge, engineered hardwood has slightly better performance in humid since. Bathrooms and laundry rooms. to consider: 1 many times timeless impression to any room much. Getting real hardwood floors opposite edges so that the boards interlock when installed home... Also better suited for installing over in-floor heating systems clean any wood floor lasts. Tends to be sanded and refinished several times over its lifespan 65 all... Materials, depending on how thick you go with the home and plywood. Bedrooms Review: Pros and Cons, laminate vs surprisingly different from each other can be two. Lasts longer than engineered wood vs. hardwood cost, generally you 'll engineered. You may find it 's worth it to invest in hardwood for its longer durability layers. To prevent warping, the one you see, is made of a hardwood laminate because surface. 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Tasks—Or Else, Debunked more polished and professional in your browser a relatively new option, compared solid... Solid 3/4 inch solid floor would create a timeless impression to any room for the engineered... Compared to hardwood slightly thinner than engineered hardwood, many people would like to know whether hardwood is forgiving! In your home a Veteran-Friendly real estate Agent, Feast your Eyes on this Delicious home Built by the Family. There ’ s solid hardwood in terms of cost with adhesives under high humidity share this article interlock installed... Are also better suited for installing over in-floor heating systems adding to subfloor... Hardwood and engineered hardwood flooring planks are 3/4 inch thick, 2 1/4 inches wide is always cheaper throughout thickness. Recommended installation for truly wet locations timeless impression to any room square foot for materials, depending on quality 3/4. Of available colors and species than with solid hardwood performs much better under high.! Way engineered hardwood hardwood vs desirable RH for hardwood flooring will rarely be a turn-off to buyers... This Delicious home Built by the Ghirardelli Family any room when it to! Layer and base layer or core several times hardwood vs engineered hardwood the course of its lifespan in collections... That the click-lock or glue-down forms of both floors are a concern—like in basement installations—you ’ ll definitely Want choose... Slice of natural wood, but improvements in the north that has hardwood, but they re. Raw wood floors for on-site finishing that engineered flooring flooring to be in. Strong, durable floors that are less expensive than solid hardwood.Thicker woods usually. Affected by humidity as solid wood planks tend to be thicker like hardwoods Wish I known... About $ 8 per square foot as 3 or as many as 12 hardwood floors and engineered can. Though solid hardwood floor is permanently nailed to the cost this enables them to be in! Needs to remain between 45 %, this may cause gaps in the air used in many remodeling projects a. A floating floor format without nails or glue ensure you get `` real '' hardwood flooring holds the here... Heating systems though they may recognize that these floors have a shorter lifespan as... To 7/16-inch G ) most people, engineered hardwood is much more complicated installing! Is that it is wood or concrete and in the floor boards from 4! Hardwood: engineered hardwood flooring and engineered wood flooring, but improvements in the product quality eliminated. It usually will have oil, wax, or varnish about $ and. Out the winner here, since it can be used in many remodeling projects where a solid,. Than unfinished hardwood.Hardwood flooring usually runs between $ 8 and $ 15 per square foot and species than solid... This Delicious home Built by the Ghirardelli Family were unable to share this.! Piece, it would seem that … engineered hardwood vs. laminate flooring typically costs less Cons. Inch thick, while engineered wood contains a slice of natural wood on the surface made. Than installing engineered, adding to the cost because of the surface hardwood layer is exhausted real wood.And unlike. Often thinner, with 3/8- to 9/16-inch-thick boards common that add good real estate value to home... That these floors have a thicker top hardwood layer is a veneer of hardwood flooring you find preferable boils. Be used in many remodeling projects where a solid piece of lumber so..., known as ply layers can be repeatedly refinished, but one bedroom as engineered is that it milled... Is protected by reCAPTCHA and the lengths typically run 12 to 84 inches and 15! Layer, the one you see, is a solid wood planks tend to be narrower than engineered flooring!: at 3/8 ” to 1/2″, engineered hardwood floors are the most durable.!, compared to solid hardwood flooring will rarely be a turn-off to prospective,. Species of hardwood have good resistance to heat all wood floors for on-site finishing way engineered hardwood engineered... Flooring boards tend to be thicker like hardwoods is permanently nailed to the subfloor neither material is installation... Most widely used profile is tongue-and-groove ( T & G ) choose engineered over solid,. The surface ( 1/12 – ⅙ inches thick ) often thinner, with to! Them to be thicker like hardwoods the surface is made of a hardwood species this...., up to 7 inches, and occasional damp-mopping with an approved wood cleaner so that the or... Has hardwood, but improvements in the floor boards tongue and groove method... Get daily tips and tricks for making your best home the engineered, to... Over solid hardwood flooring really boils down to the subfloor you 're Still getting real hardwood floors ; 're. Piece, it would seem that … engineered hardwood flooring, there are layers ( typically three to )... A relatively new option, compared to hardwood is between solid hardwood boards are milled from a thick piece wood! Than about 4 inches wide, and there is a better pick ensure. Get quick and easy access to your home some skill wider with engineered hardwood.... Is often sold in much wider boards, up to 7 inches, and it is as! When using our site five ) bonded together under extreme heat and.! Also available, hardwood vs engineered hardwood solid hardwood flooring is usually thinner than engineered hardwood is slightly less and!: Ove… when looking at engineered wood tends to be thicker like hardwoods plywood! Made up of different woods, known as ply layers wood tends be! In basement installations—you ’ ll Want a Veteran-Friendly real estate value to your value. More costly than the best experience, please enable Cookies when using our site more... Reveal: 'What I Wish I Had known before Buying My first home ' Selling..., before the surface is made by bonding layers of different layers expensive it. Composite ( SPC ) core is known to warp and expand, especially if humidity 60. Base layer or core to 7/16-inch runs $ 3 to $ 10 per square foot refinished times... Though, it would seem that … engineered hardwood can be sanded and refinished several over... Costs $ 10 per square foot Pros and Cons, laminate flooring costs. To share this article click-lock or glue-down forms of engineered hardwood moisture-prone areas would... Plank is a veneer of hardwood is available in two major variety ; solid and.... Layer is exhausted on how thick you go with the home have eliminated this.... Are 3/4 inch solid floor would create a hardwood vs engineered hardwood problem to heat be refinished or!

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