Traditional Hardwood vs. Engineered Hardwood

When choosing to redo your home’s floor there are many options to consider. In this blog we will compare traditional hardwood and engineered hardwood flooring. Traditional hardwood floors are solid hardwood planks whereas engineered hardwood is made of layers of both hardwood and plywood.

When homes were first being built there weren’t many options available and traditional hardwood flooring became highly sought after. Over the last few hundred years there have been many other types of flooring created but these floors remain a beautiful addition to a home.

Pros of Traditional Hardwood:

  • Acts as an insulator adding warmth by retaining heat
  • Remains attractive and a classic look
  • Redecorating a room is easy as the floor can easily match many styles
  • Easy to clean and maintain
  • Can be sanded and refinished multiple times

Cons of Traditional Hardwood:

  • Prone to swelling, cupping and warping when exposed to climate changes; particularly in humid and damp conditions (e.g., basement or bathroom)
  • Even a small amount of moisture can deteriorate the wood 
  • An uneven floor can make the installation difficult causing the wood to bend and open
  • Certain finishes scratch easily (e.g., pet claws, high heels)

In the 1960s the invention of engineered hardwood floor added a new option for home owners. It is made up of two main elements; the core of three to seven layers of plywood or high-density fiberboard and the top layer of real natural hard wood veneer.

Pros of Engineered Hardwood:

  • Blocks moisture and will not swell, cup or warp due to climate changes
  • Various textures and colours are available; including various wood types (e.g., walnut, cherry, oak, etc.)
  • Top layer can be refinished four or five times
  • Easy to clean and maintain
  • More environmentally friendly than traditional hardwood; the veneer is sliced and creates no sawdust and therefore there is no wasted wood

Cons of Engineered Hardwood:

  • Certain brands are not created with a high-quality core
  • Veneer could be cut too thin to refinish
  • Easily scratched (e.g., when moving furniture)

There are benefits and drawbacks to both types of hardwood flooring and you need to determine which will suit your needs best. No matter which type of flooring you choose be sure to seek out a high-quality and reputable company that stands behind their products.

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