Q: What is the difference between engineered and solid hardwood floors?
I have concrete subfloors. I have heard you should use engineered floors, but I am not sure if I like thought of engineered flooring. What's the difference?
We're dealing with engineered floors too, but only if we're forced for money reasons.
We have always regarded our woods as natural products, and the purity of the product is an important point of view for us. So if people decide to live with engineered flooring, it's their
thing, not our choice. Don't start to think about glues and surface products in these.
To work with solid wood always means to respect the behavior of this natural product and
is a challenge for the craftsman. It's not only to buy some wood anywhere, but an act of
finding a beautiful floor to live with and somebody who knows how to realize it.
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Many consumers struggle with purchasing engineered or solid. The perception of many folks is that solid floors are superior because they are milled from a solid piece of lumber while engineered floors are constructed of of cross layered wood with a solid wear layer on top. There is also a belief that engineered floors are “fake”, and cheaply constructed. In reality, nothing could be further from the truth. Using the ability to resand the floor as an excuse to go solid is a mistake as engineered floors can also be refinished 2-3 times over the course of its lifetime depending on the thickness of the wear layer. Solid floors really have no practical advantage over engineered. As a matter of fact, engineered may offer you one very big advantage. Engineered floors contract and expand less, therefore, during heating seasons, your floor will remain free of gaps. Solid floors can lose up to 2% of their size during winter months. You should also consider the width of the floor. Many floors are being sold in widths 5" and wider. The wider the plank, the more movement you will have. You indicated that you have a concrete subfloor. If you are installing the wood below grade you MUST use engineered flooring as a solid floor cannot be used in that application. You should also be sure to use an underlayment with a moisture barrier. A simple 2 in 1 underlayment would do.
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