In order for the investment in new hardwood floors to last a lifetime, it is crucial to understand the differences in solid and engineered hardwood flooring. Several factors must be considered to select the best option for each unique situation. Homeowners can feel good about choosing their hardwood flooring if they learn a few basics first.
Engineered hardwood flooring is a mix of multiple layers of wood veneers and a synthetic material that are laminated together to form each plank of flooring. This synthetic material serves as the bottom layer and is generally impervious to moisture. This resistance to moisture from below makes this an excellent choice for concrete subfloors and rooms that are below grade. All engineered flooring comes prefinished from the factory. The advantage to prefinished engineered wood flooring is that the factory is often able to coat the finish as many as 7 times or more. This creates an extremely durable surface that will stand up to a great deal of traffic. Still, the top layers of engineered flooring are made of natural wood and can be scratched or damaged by water. Engineered hardwood flooring tends to be much thinner than solid hardwood flooring and it is often glued to the subsurface though it can also be nailed or stapled. The thinner nature of engineered flooring reduces or eliminates the option of refinishing the floors when they wear over time.
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