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Choosing the perfect hardwood flooring for your home

Both solid and engineered, the main options in hardwood, have plenty of merits so there’s no clear winner on the debate as to which is better. While their appearance is very similar, each one has a set of particular advantages, with engineered appealing to those who want both beauty and practicality, while others esteem the classic appeal of solid far too much to use anything else. Your decision is ultimately going to come down to personal preference.

Is engineered real wood?

Yes. Both can be refinished and add real estate value. The difference lies in the construction. Solid is one thickness throughout the floor, while engineered hardwood flooring is layered. At the top is a slice of authentic wood, giving the floor those beautiful undertones and quirky knots and swirls expected from wood flooring. Underneath are three or more layers that combine the real wood with a little resin to make it more sturdy and water-resistant.

How do both handle water?

Solid can be damaged by excess water as it expands and contracts, depending on humidity. That can be eliminated by acclimating the wood before installation; leave them in open boxes for three to five days in the room in which the wood is to be installed.
With engineered wood flooring, the wood/resin combination layers are placed in crosswise positions, making the floor less susceptible to warping. No acclimation is needed because the planks won’t be affected by moisture and humidity. Unlike solid wood, engineered can even be installed over the prone-to-dampness concrete subfloors.

What about installation?

Engineered has a little more versatility, being able to be placed in some higher-than-normal moisture areas, in below-grade home levels, such as basements. Like solid, it should not be installed in full baths, but powder rooms and half baths are fine. Solid needs to avoid all moisture.

Solid hardware is milled with tongue and grooves, which are inserted in the planks which are then glued or nailed. It is exacting, with special skills, tools, and extensive subfloor restoration required. Engineered wood floors offer the floating floor option, meaning that the pieces click together and form a mat that hovers over the subfloor.

Professional installation requires training and experience, whether it’s solid hardwood flooring or a somewhat undemanding floating floor. At Church's Carpet we have a skilled in-house installation crew. Visit our showroom in Hickory, NC and see what hardwood floor options are available. We service surrounding areas like Hickory, NC, and are happy to offer a free estimate for your new wood floors.