When purchasing or renovating a new home, it can be very difficult to choose the right flooring for functionality and design. There are numerous options available with even more design options, but the leader for many is the tried and true hardwood flooring. Although a favorite, many do not understand that there are actually variations in hardwood flooring these days: solid hardwood & engineered hardwood. Both add value to your home, but which is the best option for your new home or renovation project? Learn more about these two options and determine which will work for your future home!
What is Solid Hardwood?
Hardwood flooring is constructed with 100% hardwood and each plank is a single solid piece. This is the type of hardwood that many think of during their search for flooring and has been used for hundreds of years in homes throughout the United States. Usually solid hardwood has far more choices of wood species than engineered wood including red and white oak, maple, hickory, and pine, with more additional options. Solid hardwood can be sanded many times for optimal finish. With the correct treatment, solid hardwood can be used for decades and still look as attractive as they were when installed. Although durable, it is not recommended to be installed anywhere near where water will be in constant contact like a bathroom or a laundry room.
What is Engineered Hardwood?
Engineered hardwood floors are made up of layers. The top layer is 100% natural wood, which comes in a variety of species. The bottom layer is also wood. In the middle is a core built from 5 to 7 layers of plywood that crisscross in different directions. Engineered hardwood has fewer choices than with solid hardwood, but include red oak, hickory, and Brazilian cherry. Engineered hardwood can be sand only a few times before they need to be replaced. It holds up decently, but not nearly as long as solid hardwood. The surface is thin and it can become chipped or de-laminated if stressed beyond normal conditions. Engineered hardwood can withstand moisture better than solid hardwood because of the plywood middle of its core. This enables the product to flex and warp with the moisture.
Final Thoughts: What to Choose?
If you are looking for long term durability, solid hardwoods are for you. Solid hardwood is for purists who have long-time prospects in mind, yet do not mind installing different types of flooring in different parts of the house, according to need. Solid wood will return value many years down the road. Engineered wood is for those who want the look of wood but who have a practical budgets. It will return value, but will not have the longevity that solid wood has.
Ready to start your renovation or new custom design in the Memphis area? MH Akers can assist in creating the perfect design for your family and integrate the best flooring for utility and aesthetics.