Solid Hardwood vs. Engineered Hardwood Floors

If you’re comparing solid hardwood vs. engineered hardwood floors, there are several criteria to compare: price, floor longevity, and look. But before we delve into the various aspects of comparison, it is good to mention that if you talk to a flooring company, they absolutely will sell you the product they are most comfortable with. MOST flooring stores do not do nail down hardwood floors, so naturally, they will sell engineered floors beneficial elements. So if you are on a fact-finding mission to find out which hardwood floors will be best for you, it’s good to ask a company who installs both nail-down hardwood floors and engineered floors, such as Heritage Hardwood Floors.

As hardwood floors have become more popular, there are more and more flooring companies who install engineered floors very well. For engineered floors, there is a very large product offering, but not all engineered floors are created equally. There are differences in the hardwood veneer material, the thickness of the veneer, and the durability of the top coating of the individual boards. There are different methods of installation, whether you glue it down or “float” the floor. All these factors combine to determine the price of the engineered product. Since there is such a wide variety of product quality in engineered flooring, shopping can quickly become a nightmare of choices. While one supplier may supply the proper thickness, maybe the color choices are lacking. There is also a misconception that engineered hardwood flooring will be less expensive than solid nail down hardwoods. Because there is a wide variety of products in engineered flooring, the pricing is also quite wide. Some engineered products are cheaper than nail down hardwood floors, and some are more expensive.

When you talk about longevity of the hardwood floor, the solid nail down hardwood floor will definitely last longer. With an engineered product, depending on the depth of the veneer, you might be able to refinish the hardwood floor between 0 – 3 times. Some engineered products have a veneer so thin you may NEVER be able to refinish it. If the engineered hardwood is factory hand-scraped, to create the same look as an actual handscraped floor would be nearly impossible. Depending on the quality of the original materials, the floor might be a 5 – 25-year floor. For a solid hardwood floor, the typical longevity is probably around 100 years. You may not be concerned about longevity because many people move often and don’t worry about what happens after they move. But a solid floor is a great selling point to a potential buyer.

On the last comparison point, the look of the floor means everything. Solid nail down hardwood floors can come pre-finished or unfinished. Unfinished hardwood floors are finished on site to your specifications. So one of the main differences in look between a solid hardwood floor and an engineered floor is that with a nail down floor you get a custom look. You choose the exact stain you want, whether you want a high gloss, medium gloss, or satin finish, and all the elements of the floor combine for your unique look. You can also achieve a variety of looks with an engineered floor, but it requires shopping and comparing to get exactly what you want.

We invite you to come to the Heritage Hardwood Floors showroom to see samples and talk with our experienced staff about your flooring needs.

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