Engineered wood flooring is just as gorgeous as solid hardwood because it has a thin strip of hardwood as its top layer. Below that are multiple layers of wood compressed together with adhesives. This results in the beauty of hardwood, without the susceptibility to moisture and temperature fluctuations. Engineered wood allows homeowners to get the same looks of hardwood at a lower cost, and easier installation.
Why Choose Engineered Wood Flooring? The Pros.
Engineered wood flooring uses a tiny fraction of the hardwood per plank than solid hardwood. It takes decades for hardwood trees to mature, but the layers that make up most of your engineered wood flooring are made of ultra-renewable pine instead of slow maturing oak, maple, or hickory. Look for an environmentally certified brand of engineered wood.
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Engineered wood costs less from top to bottom. The materials are cheaper than solid hardwood, and the installation costs less. This is the biggest selling point, and reason that many homeowners choose engineered wood flooring.
Its plywood-like structure keeps engineered wood from warping or cupping when temperatures fluctuate dramatically, or when humidity in the home is high. It is much more resilient than solid hardwood.
Why Skip Engineered Wood Flooring? The Cons.
Since engineered wood flooring’s surface is made of hardwood, it has all the same maintenance of hardwood. It has to stay sealed, and is susceptible to staining, dents, scratches, and fading. To prevent this, keep the sun off of your engineered wood floor by using curtains. Sweep the floor every day. Do not use any sort of soaps or detergents to mop your floor, and use furniture pads.
Does Not Last
You can refinish your engineered wood flooring the same as hardwood, but since there is only a thin layer of hardwood, this can only be done a limited number of times. 2-4 sanding and refinishing jobs break through the top layer into the plywood, and the engineered wood flooring must be replaced. Hardwood can be refinished for decades.
Many manufacturers try to cut costs every way they can. This results in a very poor quality flooring. Poorly manufactured engineered wood has a weak structural integrity. It can crack, fade, swell, or wear long before it should. Be sure to research your flooring manufacturer before purchasing.
Engineered wood flooring’s material cost ranges from $2-$16 per square foot. You get what you pay for. High end engineered wood has a much thicker veneer, which means that it can be sanded and resurfaced more times before it has to be replaced. Most homeowners opt for a mid range engineered wood. Keep in mind that no matter what quality you choose, the installation is easier and cheaper than hardwood.