Which Type of Hardwood Floor is Best for You?
When it comes to choosing the type of hardwood floor that is right for you and your home, you basically have two primary choices: engineered or solid.
Solid hardwood flooring can be a strip or a plank – but it’s alway7s a single piece of wood. This means it can be re-sanded so the finish can be changed, making it customizable.
Engineered hardwood is quite different. With 3 to 5 layers that are laminated together, it has grains running at various angles.
Each type of floor has its advantages. Both are aesthetically appealing. Their natural beauty gives the entire room a distinctive ambiance. And, upon installation, there truly is little to no visual difference between the two types.
Nonetheless, the choice you make between solid or engineered hardwood is crucial. You want to make a cost-effective decision. However, when it comes to hardwood floors, a cost-effective buying decision involves a variety of factors – from durability and longevity to appearance and function.
But, before you feel overwhelmed or confused, keep in mind that your decision actually comes down to asking yourself two questions.
Where are you installing your hardwood floor?
Your decision must first and foremost be based upon where the hardwood floor is being installed. If it’s in your basement or anywhere underground, your clear choice will be engineered floors. Basements have moisture. Solid wood floors aren’t suitable for moisture-prone rooms, including rooms that mildly fluctuate with moisture issues when the seasons change.
Have you ever seen a floor expand when it’s humid or contract during dry seasons? This is natural and shows how sensitive they can be. This means that it’s important to manage the levels of humidity throughout your home – especially where you may be installing a hardwood floor.
In addition, be especially cognizant of this if you’re installing a hardwood floor in your kitchen or bathroom – both of which are susceptible to shifts in humidity and moisture. So, in addition to the basement, solid wood floors are likely not the best choice for your kitchen or bathroom.
Keep in mind, with the same appearance as solid hardwood, engineered hardwood is much more stable structurally. This means it can be used in those rooms where moisture occurs – including the basement.
What most appeals to you now? Will it still appeal to you in the future?
Both types of hardwoods are available in a wide range of styles and species. But once you choose an engineered hardwood floor, the stain color you originally chose is permanent. It can’t be re-sanded change the stain to complement a new décor should you want to remodel the room in the future.
You can change the stain of a hardwood floor as many times as you desire. And, even though re-sanding and re-finishing solid hardwood floors is a time-consuming somewhat laborious undertaking, it can turn out to be more cost-effective than installing a completely new floor.
It comes down to what stain you like and how long you believe you’ll continue to be pleased with it. If you want versatility, solid hardwood floors are your choice. But if you want durability in rooms with more moisture and humidity, engineered wood floors are your best choice.
In either case, both types are beautiful, durable, and add quality and beauty to your home’s decor.