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Engineered Hardwood Flooring: The Pros and Cons


Engineered Hardwood

No. The natural enemy of wood floors is water and other forms of moisture. Prolonged exposure to water or fluctuations in humidity can cause hardwood floors to swell or warp, often causing irreversible damage to the floor. In some cases engineered hardwood may resist damage due to moisture better than solid wood floors, but good maintenance of engineered hardwood still requires diligent cleaning up of any spills on the floor and only dry-mopping. It is also important that moisture testing be done on the subfloor before installing any hardwood floors to ensure the conditions of the floor will not damage the wood over time.

There are two categories of hardwood flooring: solid hardwood flooring and engineered hardwood flooring. Both are made from real wood, but the difference is that solid floors are simply cut pieces of wood. By comparison, engineered floors are manufactured by combining multiple layers of wood together, usually starting with a plywood base. Engineered hardwood comes in a variety of species and colors that allows you the freedom to design your space!

Engineered wood flooring is manufactured by layering sheets of hardwood together, creating a natural, yet man-made product. Engineered floors are made from real, genuine hardwood, yet offer an affordable alternative to solid wood products. Laminate is made from artificial materials that mimic the look of hardwood and tend to be thinner than engineered hardwood. When compared to other flooring types both laminate and engineered hardwood make great choices for your home, as they provide numerous options for your personal style and budget.

Engineered hardwood flooring is very durable as it is constructed with multiple layers of wood. The top layer is a veneer of solid wood that can be finished in a variety of species. The exact durability is determined by the hardness of the hardwood veneer species, as some species are harder than others. To increase your flooring’s durability, try capping your furniture with felt pads, which will reduce damage from friction and scraping.

Thanks to their smooth, even surfaces, engineered hardwood floors are a snap to keep clean. In general, we recommend light daily cleaning with a soft broom or microfiber mop or towel, which will help to remove dust and grime. While engineered wood is resistant to moisture, it’s best to avoid cleaning with steam or water to minimize the risk of damage. For the best results, you should always follow the manufacturer’s recommendations, which should provide detailed cleaning instructions.

Installing engineered hardwood can be a complex and difficult process. Your current floors will need to be removed, followed by the application of prepping materials and adhesives. We strongly recommend letting experienced professionals handle the flooring installation process for you. This ensures quality results — without the stress or effort. If you’re ready to replace your floors with engineered hardwood or solid hardwood, ask the professional flooring installers at Flooring America how we can help.