Many people love the look and feel of hardwood floors but all hardwood floors are not created equal. Engineered flooring as become quite popular over the last 10 years. It is less expensive than natural hardwood flooring which contributes to its popularity.
There are many differences between real hardwood floors and engineered hardwood flooring.
Read on to find out what you should know about hardwood floors before you make the investment.
Engineered flooring is usually 5-7 layers thick, with 1/8“ oak, hickory or some other hardwood on the top surface typically. The biggest advantages are that the floors can be glued right to concrete and they generally will not “cup” from moisture. Additionally, engineered flooring comes in an array of finishes, including smooth, hand sculpted and distressed.
According to professional wood floor finishers, they are very tricky (if not impossible) to refinish due to the lack of depth in the top layer. Professional sanding machines will sand down to the second or third layer, exposing soft woods not meant to be finished.
Jules Sacchetti, of Sacchetti Construction, sings the praises of engineered floors for a number of reasons:
- Clients love the large selection of finishes to choose from
- When you use natural hardwood floors, sometimes the crew finishing them may not apply the stain and or the sealer evenly
- You can generally remove a piece of engineered flooring and replace it easily
Natural hardwood floors are generally ¾“ and are solid wood. There is a significant difference to the look, feel and sound of walking on natural hardwood flooring vs. engineered hardwood. Real hardwood floors require a subflooring made of wood because they get nailed into place on the side where the tongue and grove are located. This can add to the cost of installation unless you are installing them over a crawl space.
In the majority of properties being built today, hardwood floors are replacing carpet in great rooms, dining rooms, kitchens, breakfast rooms, master bedrooms and sometimes in offices and or guest suites, too. If you are in the market for a home, it’s recommended to further research the pros and cons of engineered floors and natural hardwood floors.