Solid vs Engineered
The simple answer to this question is SOLID. That's right, Solid hardwood flooring should be your primary option. What's that floor in you Grandfather's house that he built by hand in the early 1900's, SOLID. What's that hiding under that orange shag carpet in that fixer-upper you just bought, SOLID. If your conditions allow you to use Solid Hardwood Flooring, then we highly recommend it. Solid wood is a single piece of wood from top to bottom. When you think of wood floors, this is probably what comes to mind. Solid wood is the only material used in these planks, so you can depend on a wear layer above the tongue that can last the life of the house with periodic refinishing. If you don’t have any experience installing flooring yourself, you might want to get help installing this particular type of floor. Solid wood floor reacts to seasonal changes and changes in moisture in the environment, generally contracting when it’s cold and dry and expanding when it’s hot and humid. Acclimation of the flooring and knowing your subfloor moisture is key to a successful installation.
Engineered hardwood flooring stands as a more than viable alternative to solid hardwood flooring particularly when you’re looking to install below grade (in a basement for example), or on concrete. Engineered hardwood floors are made up of a top layer of a real hardwood species and a core, typically consisting of multiple plywood layers laminated together to form a durable plank, or in some cases HDF (high density fiberboard). The stacking of the layers is designed to counteract the natural tendency of hardwoods to expand, contract, warp, or cup when exposed to different environmental factors. This makes engineered hardwood flooring an excellent alternative in geographical areas that have excessive moisture, or in building spaces otherwise unsuited for solid hardwood.
Engineered hardwood flooring is an extremely good idea if you want to duplicate the look and feel of solid hardwood but are limited by environment or location issues, or even if you are bound by budgetary constraints. Engineered hardwood flooring stands alone as a completely different style of flooring, with unique advantages that even solid hardwood can’t match when you are faced with certain installation concerns.