Hardwood flooring is often touted as an eco-friendly and natural flooring choice. So when you see the term "engineered hardwood," your first thought may be that this is some gimmick or unnatural imitation of hardwood flooring. But this is not the case at all. In fact, engineered hardwood can be a far superior option to standard hardwood flooring. Once you read the article that follows, you will understand why!
What is engineered hardwood flooring?
Engineered hardwood flooring is made from wood — actual pieces of real wood. Instead of just being slices of timber, like solid hardwood, this flooring is made by layering a few pieces of plywood and attaching a thin strip of plain wood to the top. This plain wood can be whatever wood you like — oak, maple, cherry, or even mahogany. Once the engineered hardwood floor is installed, you cannot tell the difference between it and a solid hardwood floor. You don't see the plywood at all, only whatever finished wood is on top.
What are the advantages of choosing engineered hardwood over standard hardwood flooring?
There are a lot of reasons why many flooring companies are trying to steer their customers away from solid hardwood and towards engineered hardwood. They are not just doing this for profit or for marketing reasons. In fact, engineered hardwood is often more affordable than solid hardwood flooring. That's the first advantage! Since most of the flooring is made from inexpensive plywood and there's only a thin layer of the nice, expensive wood on top, flooring companies can afford to charge less.
Engineered hardwood can also be installed immediately upon arrival at your home. The various layers of plywood are arranged so that the floorboards do not expand and contract in response to changes in moisture like solid floorboards do. Solid hardwood flooring has to rest for a few days before installation, or else it may bow. It's nice not to have to do this with engineered hardwood.
Another benefit of engineered hardwood is that it can absorb noise better than solid hardwood. The plywood is great at absorbing sound and also allowing the boards to bend a bit as you step on them. This makes engineered hardwood a great choice for anyone who likes a quiet home — especially anyone with kids.
Engineered hardwood is real wood, it's good for the environment, and it has some real advantages over solid hardwood. Talk to your flooring company to learn more.