Solid wood flooring vs engineered wood flooring is an ongoing battle. With engineered wood floors and solid wood floors there are benefits and disadvantages. With the solid wood flooring vs engineered wood flooring battle there are also likes and dislikes that are built on both opinion and fact.
Solid Wood Flooring vs Engineered Wood Flooring the Research
Once you start looking at solid and engineered floors you are faced with great looking products of both. When viewed from the surface there is not an appearance difference between the same species and quality of solid wood flooring vs engineered wood flooring.
To assist you in surviving the battle of solid wood flooring vs engineered wood flooring, hear are couple tips. This information will also pertain to the selection of bamboo flooring since bamboo is an engineered floor. While laminate flooring is sometime referred to as an engineered floor, understand that most laminate flooring is a photograph of wood and or bamboo. Most laminate flooring does not have the same moisture resistant abilities of a engineered wood or bamboo flooring and therefore, laminate flooring is not included in these comparisons.
Where Can Solid Wood and Engineered Products Be Installed?
Solid wood and solid bamboo flooring can be installed on grade and above grade, but not below grade. Solid wood performs best in a moisture-controlled environment.
Engineered wood and engineered bamboo flooring is more dimensionally stable so they can be installed in areas where moisture prevents the installation of solid wood. Engineered wood flooring can be used on grade, above grade and below grade.
How Solid Wood and Engineered Products are installed
Solid wood strip or plank is nailed or stapled down only, and usually requires a wood subfloor. Solid wood parquet can be glued to several different subfloor materials.
Engineered floor products are designed for different needs and method of installation. Nail-down or staple-down usually require a wood subfloor. Glue down and floating floors can be installed over many different subfloors. The tongue and groove of most floating floors are glued together, but the floor is not anchored to the subfloor.
How Solid and Engineered Products React to Heat and Moisture
Solid wood planks will always shrink when the air is too dry and expand in the presence of moisture. Expansion and contraction is primarily in width with minimal change in length.
With properly engineered wood and bamboo planks contraction and expansion are controlled through cross-ply construction (placing each layer of ply in the opposite direction). Once the plies are laminated they counteract each other which helps to prevent though it may not eliminate expansion and shrinkage.
Once you have survived the battle of solid wood vs engineered wood flooring be sure to read the manufacturers warranty and installation instructions before finalizing your order. In regard to allowable subfloors and installation methods, each manufacturer has its own requirements. Installation requirements will vary for different products from the same manufacturer. The dealer and consumer need to be aware of these requirements prior to purchase. We certainly want to avoid casualties in the war of solid wood flooring vs engineered wood flooring.