How to Choose Between Hardwood and Engineered Flooring

Planning to install new floors in your Mississauga home but unsure if you should choose hardwood or engineered flooring?

Engineered wood is, not surprisingly, engineered whereas solid hardwood is found in nature. Hardwood flooring is arguably the more aesthetically pleasing option, made as it is from such woods as cherry, oak, walnut, and maple.

With engineered wood, manufacturers glue together multiple layers of materials. The top layer is a thin hardwood veneer whereas the central core is made from layers of plywood or solid wood. Both are perpendicular to create the flooring surface. On the other hand, solid hardwood flooring planks come from a single piece of timber.

Here are some factors that can help you choose between hardwood and engineered flooring.

7 Factors to Help You Choose Between Hardwood and Engineered Flooring

hardwood flooring

Let’s look at factors to consider before choosing your home’s flooring.

1. Appearance

Engineered flooring looks wider. The pre-finished variety comes with a bevelled edge that helps to deliver the groove. It also limits its colour range and species compared with solid hardwood flooring.

Solid hardwood flooring has a tighter seam with a narrower edge, but offers a greater range of colours and species.

2. Finishes 

Engineered wood comes in pre-finished and finished versions. It is available in semi-gloss, high gloss, and matte finishes. In prefinished flooring, manufacturers use aluminum oxide to make it more durable; this is generally done at the factory. If there is an oil-based polyurethane finish, you can expect a matte look. For an unfinished version, refinishing is possible only once or twice.

With hardwood flooring, finishes are mostly customisable and you can choose them after installation. So, it is possible to choose between water- or oil-based polyurethane, shellac, and acid wash. Solid hardwood allows refinishing several times which makes it possible to change the look of the floor. Now, it is available with pre-finishing also.

3. Lifespan 

A lifespan of 20 to 30 years makes engineered wood a popular flooring option. The presence of multiple plywood or hardwood layers underneath the thin hardwood surface provides stability. But, it cannot be refinished more than twice. As a result, its lifespan is shorter.

Hardwood flooring lasts between 30 and 100 years, depending on the quality of the wood. For example, oak and cherry are durable options. So, it is better to go with solid hardwood flooring if you want future generations to enjoy the same flooring. In addition, refinishing it several times makes it sturdier and increases its longevity.

4. Low Maintenance 

Engineered flooring is not hard to maintain as it requires only a vacuum cleaner and a damp mop. Hint: clean any spills as soon as possible.

Hardwood is also easy to maintain. High-traffic areas such as the dining and living room should be cleaned weekly while low-traffic areas like bedrooms require monthly cleaning using a broom and mop.

5. Installation 

Engineered flooring in Mississauga can be installed with nails, staples, glue, or other options. So, it is a flexible option for different rooms such as kitchens, dining rooms, and living rooms.

It is better to have solid wood flooring professionally installed to avoid mistakes like leaving gaps between planks.

6. Versatility 

Engineered floors are easy to install over diverse kinds of subfloors such as glued, nailed, or floated. (The latter are connected to the floor but not fastened.) It can be placed below, on, or above the grade. For example, as you walk into a home through the front door, the ground level is on grade. So, the first and second floors are above, whereas the basement is below. So, it is possible to use engineered options for the basement as well as the first and second floors. It also works fine over the concrete in the basement or moist areas.

Solid hardwood flooring is best to install in above-ground locations such as dining and living areas in addition to bedrooms.

7. Resale Value 

Engineered flooring looks similar to solid wood flooring. But, there is a difference when it comes to resale value as it has a shorter lifespan of 30 years compared to hardwood floors which last longer. Prospective buyers will take this under consideration when purchasing your property.

Both real estate professionals and prospective buyers look at houses with solid wood flooring as a premium as it lasts for decades.

Hardwood and engineered flooring are both great options for your home. However, it is important to consider all their aspects and choose the type that best serves your personal needs and style. Consider the factors outlined above, such as its finish, resale value, lifespan, level of maintenance, and versatility when choosing between engineered and hardwood flooring. Always make sure to shop from a reputable flooring store to get the best product at the best price.

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