We are always getting asked about our floors. It’s probably the most asked question on our Instagram posts. Our floors are engineered hardwood, and we absolutely love them. But many of the people that ask about them don’t have much experience with engineered. So I thought I would write an article about why we like engineered so much and why we actually prefer it over solid.
What is engineered hardwood?
Engineered hard wood is made of a high-quality plywood for the base, and on top is a thin layer of actual hardwood, which is the part that you see. This is why it isn’t correct when people say it isn’t even real hardwood. The top layer can be different species of wood, but in the case of our floors, it is white oak.
Here are five reasons we prefer it over solid hardwood:
1. Wide Range of Choices
When choosing an engineered hardwood, you have a wide variety of widths, colors, and styles. It almost seems unlimited. This allows you to choose an exact flooring that fits the look and feel of your home. I feel that solid hardwood is somewhat limited with color choices and grain variation.
It’s also more difficult to create a specific color by mixing stains for solid flooring, or find a finisher that is willing to do non-traditional colors. Although this can be challenging, we actually ended up going with solid stair treads and matched the color of our engineered flooring to where it was very close.
2. More Affordable
Engineered hardwood is typically more affordable. It ranges anywhere from $3 to $14 dollars a square foot while solid ranges between $5-$16. This being said, professional installation is also much cheaper on engineered. If you like hands-on projects like us, it can definitely even be a DIY. With a combination of price per plank and installation, this could be a savings of several thousand dollars!
3. Easy Installation
We have had the pleasure of putting down both engineered and solid hardwood. Engineered hardwood was much easier and faster for us to install. It also gives you flexibility in installation methods. For example, you can staple or nail, float, or glue it. We chose to use a nailer and it was a very simple process.
Since engineered hardwood is more affordable, this will also allow you to purchase a wider plank. We chose a 7 1/2 inch plank which made for a much quicker installation. I couldn’t imagine anyone not wanting a project to go smoother or faster.
And probably my favorite part, once you nail in that last peace, that is it. It’s done! Since it is pre-finished, you don’t have to deal with the stink of polyurethane.
4. Great Durability
So, if I haven’t completely sold you yet, I have yet another great point. Engineered hardwood is very durable. We know this because we have tested and we definitely approve! It’s actually kind of funny, but in one of our houses we had a flood. Apparently, our three year old son at the time, thought it was great idea to flush toys down his toilet upstairs. This resulted in an inch of water standing on the hardwood for several hours.
I am happy to report, the floor withstood the water and was not damaged at all! Because engineered hardwood is bonded together by intense heat and pressure, it is more likely to not shrink and expand. It is considered strong and very resistant to warping. We were completely sold after this!
We also have been very impressed with the amount of scratches or lack thereof on the engineered versus solid wood which we have had in the past. On our current floor, I think there are only two that we know of.
Although both solid and engineered hardwood add natural beauty and warmth to any home, I feel that engineered hardwood has much more to offer. With it being more reasonably priced, easier to install, more durable, and offering a great overall look, it’s an easy choice for us.