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Solid vs. Engineered Hardwood

Is Solid or Engineered Hardwood Better?

A perennial favorite among generations of homeowners, hardwood floors are highly-sought after, adding timeless beauty while increasing your property value. With many different hardwood flooring options on today’s market, choosing the one that’s perfect for your space and style can present a challenge. One of the most basic decisions you’ll need to make is whether you want solid or engineered wood.

At Carpet One Belleville Floor & Home, we carry a full inventory of solid and engineered hardwood flooring options and related products. While our expert staffers are always happy to answer any questions, here are a few points to consider during your shopping experience when it comes to solid vs engineered hardwood.


What is Solid Hardwood?

Milled using a single slab of hardwood, solid wood is a more traditional option that many associate with vintage structures of yesteryear. Each plank is usually ¾ inch thick and consists entirely of a popular species like oak, hickory, maple, birch, or cherry. Since it’s so thick, you can typically refinish your hardwood floors multiple times throughout the decades. This means you can eliminate blemishes, scratches, dents, and other wear and tear, and then restyle your floor with a new finish. It also means your hardwood floors will last for many years, potentially the life of your home.

Solid wood floors have limitations however. They can warp in humid environments or when they’re exposed to too much moisture. They’re only recommended for above-grade rooms that are dry. For this reason, wood planks are traditionally installed to include an expansion gap, allowing the floor to expand naturally during wet conditions. Base molding is often required to disguise the extra space.


What is Engineered Hardwood?

Engineered wood is constructed to minimize expanding or shrinking. Rather than a solid piece, each plank is created by laminating together 3 to 7 layers of composite wood. At the top is a real hardwood veneer. From the surface, solid and engineered hardwood floors look identical. However, engineered wood products are more versatile. You can install them in basements, and light-moisture areas like kitchens, foyers, and hallways. The major drawback you’ll encounter with engineered floors is that you may not be able to refinish them. This depends on how thick the hardwood veneer is. Higher quality engineered planks can be refinished just as many times as solid wood products.

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