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Which Hardwood is right for me; Solid or Engineered?

Posted in Basements, Bedrooms, Blog, Home Improvement, Interior Design and Kitchens.

So you are renovating, and you have always wanted hardwood flooring . How do you decide between solid or engineered hardwood? Each has their pros and cons and the decision can be a tough one if you don’t know the difference between the two.

Here are some of the particulars of both solid and engineered hardwood, and a couple key points to think about before making your decision.

solid vs engineered wood

Solid Hardwood

Solid hardwood is a solid piece of hardwood from top to bottom. Solid hardwood thickness can be 3/4″ to 5/16″ and can be used on grade or above grade. Solid hardwood is best used in family rooms/living rooms/dining rooms/bedrooms/*kitchens. It is vitally important to maintain fluctuations in home relative humidity of 30 to 50 percent. Seasonal humidity change may cause the wood to expand and contract. Cracks are normal and will appear and disappear between floor boards during seasons of high and low humidity.

*Wood floors can be damaged by excessive moisture. If installing hardwood in your kitchen, select the hardest species you can find. Oak and ash are some of the strongest domestic wood species. Use floating “click” floors as you can replace a severely damaged board if necessary.

Engineered Hardwood
Engineered wood floors are real wood floors manufactured in multiple layers using veneers. What makes engineered wood floors stable is the wood layers are stacked one on top of the other with the grain of each layer running in perpendicular directions. This makes engineered wood floors less susceptible to the effects of moisture and temperature change and is dimensionally stable as the wood expands and contracts less than a solid wood floor. Because engineered floors can be glued to a wood subfloor or concrete slab, this makes it an ideal choice for basements.

Engineered hardwood can be installed above, at or below grade. Engineered wood floors cannot be sanded/finished as many times as a solid wood floor. Unlike solid hardwood, deep scratches and dents in engineered wood cannot be ground out by a machine without affecting the integrity of the flooring. However replacement can be done for badly damaged strips by removing and changing the affected strips.

If you would like more information about Hardwood please visit the Nufloors website

appalachian red oak
source: Appalachian Red Oak Prestige 3 1/4″ classic

Things to Think About When Buying Hardwood Flooring:
The less sheen on the hardwood the less you will notice dings and scratches. All sheens offer the same protection on your floor, it is just a matter of which look you prefer. Your choices are high-gloss, semi-gloss, satin-gloss and matte. High gloss and semi-gloss can show footprints when walking on the floor in bare feet. Semi- gloss will reflect more light, accentuating imperfections and dust. Satin finishes are popular and provide easy maintenance; marks and scratches appear less. A matte finish is best at offering an authentic representation of a wood floor look without a finish while masking dust buildup and footprints.

Hardwood floors will scratch. Place rugs at all entrances to minimize the amount of dirt getting tracked into your home. Ensure you DO NOT use a rubber backed rug as this can discolour your wood floor. If you have medium to large sized dogs, ensure you keep their nails trimmed regularly and choose a hardwood with a high Janka rating. And lastly, always use floor protector pads on the bottom of the legs of your furniture.

applying floor protectors on legs of chair

One last point to keep in mind when it comes to wood flooring. Maintenance and Cleaning! Water is hardwoods enemy; there is no need to bring out the mop and big bucket of water. Regular dry mopping and or vacuuming will do the trick.

Cleaning hardwood floor with a swiffer

Hardwoods are often a must-have value add on a homebuyers’ lists. Having hardwood floors in your home will add to your home’s value. Interested in solid or engineered hardwood flooring? Be sure to contact a Nufloors specialist nearest you to answer all your questions.

Written by Nufloors Canada

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