Wood flooring is a beautiful floor option and can increase the durability and value of your home. Here are a few differences between solid hardwood flooring and engineered wood flooring:
Solid hardwood flooring is milled from a single ¾” thick piece of wood. It can be sanded and refinished several times before it needs to be replaced. Solid wood does expand and contract due to changes in the humidity levels of your home so it is not recommended for basements, kitchens and bathrooms. Installers typically account for the expansion and contraction of the wood by leaving a small space between the floor and the wall which will be covered by molding or quarter round.
Engineered wood flooring is a durable and less expensive alternative to solid hardwood. It is made up of three to five layers that are stacked in a cross-grain configuration and bound by heat and pressure. One of the major advantages of engineered wood is that it can withstand moisture. It can be installed in kitchens and bathrooms. The pressed plywood base layers are topped with a veneer or “wear layer” which prevents the floor from buckling when temperatures change. Engineered wood will have to be replaced more frequently than solid hardwood; it can undergo three to four resurfacings before having to be replaced.