Is Engineered Wood Flooring Real Wood?
Hardwood floors rule the school in 2016. As a modern and chic, yet warm and inviting design element, hardwood has been the epitome of luxury and comfort for quite some time now. But before you go and lay down any old wood floor, it’s important to know the difference between solid wood flooring and engineered wood. I know you may be asking, “Is engineered wood flooring actually real wood?” Rest assured that it is 100% real — and it can even offer a few neat little benefits on top of its style.
So What’s the Difference?
Let’s start with solid hardwood floors. They’re fairly self-explanatory — each plank is milled straight from one single piece of lumber. Thicknesses vary, but are generally between 7/16” and 3/4″. That’s about it. It’s not much more exciting than a regular ol’ piece of wood, except that it’s beautifully and carefully crafted and finished for a gorgeous living space.
As far as engineered wood flooring goes, it’s essentially a stronger and more stable version. Constructed from multiple plies of wood, the top and bottom layers of hardwood are supported by a pressed plywood cross layer core. That plywood is what makes the engineered version more stable.
What Do I Get from Engineered Wood Floors?
Ah, good, you remembered those benefits I mentioned. Whereas solid wood can contract and expand with changing temperatures and humidities, the plywood in engineered wood flooring reduces those contractions and expansions. Solid hardwood can only be installed over a wood sub-floor. The moisture content in a concrete sub-floor can cause solid wood to buckle. However, engineered wood can be installed over concrete AND wood sub-floors.
The strength of engineered wood floors make them an incredibly durable option, standing up a little bit better to the changing seasonal weather, as well as the wear, tear, buckling, rippling, and warping that can happen as those seasons pass.
How Much Do Engineered Wood Floors Cost?
There are many factors that can vary hardwood floor cost, from installation method and product quality to subfloor condition and labor expenses. To get an idea of what your project might cost, check out this awesome Hardwood Flooring Price Calculator — all you have to do is plug in your room dimensions.
What’s in My House?
My family wanted the look of a wide plank (5” wide) wood floor. Engineered wood floors, especially the wider planks, will expand and contract less than their solid counterparts. For instance, when it gets cold and dry in the winter, an engineered wood floor won’t contract as much as a solid will (think about how your skin dries out in the winter). The opposite happens with wood (and your skin) in the summer. Therefore, we chose an engineered wood floor to avoid dramatic expansion and contraction.
Contact Your Flooring Experts in Columbia, MD
Since 1977, our family-owned business has been providing the homeowners of Columbia, Ellicott City, Clarksville and the surrounding Howard County and Maryland areas with one of a kind service in the areas of kitchen and bathroom cabinets,window treatments, carpets, and flooring! Whether you already have an idea in mind or you need help in the right direction, our team is ready to help make your vision a reality.