Is Solid or Engineered Hardwood Flooring Best for Your Home?

Wall-to-wall carpeting is mundane and gives a room a soft, fuzzy appearance. The material adds little to no character to the space and is not easy maintenance. Hardwood flooring, on the other hand, gives a room a warm and bright glow. Wood grains contrast from the furniture and give the space a distinct character. From light to dark wood to species with varying grain, hardwood flooring contributes just as much to the room as the walls and furniture. If adding wood to your home seems like a risk, here is some basic information about hardwood flooring.

Hardwood flooring is sold in solid and engineered varieties for nearly all species. Made fully out of wood, both types give your home the look of hardwood, but engineered flooring can be placed in more locations where moisture can be an issue.

Solid hardwood flooring is cut directly from a wood log into a solid plank, and tongues and grooves are added to all four sides. For installation purposes, solid flooring is 5/16ths to 3/4ths of an inch thick and should be nailed down over a wood-type subfloo. Solid hardwood, however, is sensitive to changes in humidity, and if you decide to add any solid species to your home, locations at or above the ground floor are ideal. Solid should not be added over a radiating heat source or over concrete unless it is a rift and quartered or shorts product.

Engineered flooring is also 100-percent hardwood but can be used in more places and has a different composition. Three to nine thin wood plys bonded together through heat and pressure make up a piece of engineered hardwood flooring. The engineered wood is more dimensionally stable and can be installed at or below ground level in a dry space. Engineered flooring can withstand dry basements and being placed over concrete slabs or a radiating heat source without warping.


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