Most people choose engineered wood for their floors. It’s durable, waterproof, and looks as good as solid hardwood.
But what else do you know about engineered wood?
Do you often confuse it with laminate or even vinyl? Please keep reading to know what you can do with this wood type and how it fares against other flooring types.
Is Engineered wood worth it?
The overall cost of buying and installing engineered wood is much better since you can get the hardwood floor look for only half the price. You also don’t have to acclimate the wood before installation.
Another thing that makes engineered wood worth the effort is its numerous variants. And since it has a layer of hardwood, it gives off the same finish and looks.
Engineered wood is also more environmentally friendly. It has less sawdust and cuts fewer trees to make the floor. The wood also doesn’t use any toxic glue to get the wood pieces together. Therefore, it also works great for a DIY project.
Engineered wood flooring advantages
The primary advantage of having engineered wood is that it’s highly affordable.
This works great as an alternative when you’re aiming to have an exotic wood floor. Some hardwood is hard to get by or is notoriously expensive and difficult to install.
This flooring type is also perfect if you don’t have much time or want to install the floor yourself. Most of them come in short planks that are easy to cut and adjust before you install them.
Using this system with floor heating is a good idea if you want to. Wooden floors are made for rooms with underfloor heating, so it will be hard to tell whether they are good.
Many professional floor fitters recommend using the engineered wood floor as your first DIY project.
Compared to other products, it lasts a long time. Its guarantee is usually between 25 and 50 years, but it depends on the manufacturer and whether or not the floors have already been finished.
Another benefit that engineered wood has is the low cost. A plank of engineered wood will only cost you half or even a quarter price of the solid hardwood.
It’s also better for the environment because it only uses a small amount of hardwood. In short, using this flooring type help, you protect forest around the world.
Engineered wood flooring disadvantages
Still, engineered wood is not perfect and possesses some obvious issues.
Despite the affordable price, engineered wood floor is a high maintenance one. You must be careful during cleaning to keep the finish and protective layers.
The floor also has issues with moisture and the weather. Contrary to the belief that it holds water or is waterproof, the engineered wood may expand and shrink after a while.
Another disadvantage is that it may not be suitable for the type of finish you want. Yes, it depends on the wood type on the top layer. But you also need to know what type of finish will work best for your housing situation.
Natural hardwood floors don’t have a waterproof surface like engineered wood floors, which could make the floor slippery.
If engineered wood flooring is put down without an underlayment by mistake, it could make a hollow sound and be uncomfortable.
Only a few times can engineered wood be refinished, which limits how long it can be used.
Even though engineered wood flooring has more pros than cons, it is not as valuable as hardwood flooring.
Engineered wood vs solid hardwood floor
Perhaps this is the most common comparison when it comes to flooring material. Engineered wood also has a reputation as a solid hardwood replacement. They may look different, but they are the same in most ways.
The most common issue with a solid hardwood plank is the acclimation process which can push the installation to several weeks. That is why people choose engineered wood that doesn’t need acclimation. You can install it immediately after finishing it.
But both floor type is not resistant to moisture and can shrink or expand after some time. You need to be careful before choosing the best wood for your floor.
The biggest difference between engineered wood and solid hardwood is how they age. Some solid wood may show more grain pattern and color as it ages. On the contrary, the engineered wood will fade out after some time.
Engineered wood floors cost less than solid hardwood floors. It is also cheaper to install because there is no frame, and the tongue-and-groove system makes it very easy to install, which cuts down on work time. Also, some engineered wood can be as expensive as a solid hardwood plank.
Engineered wood flooring is easy to install over any flat subfloor, while solid wood flooring needs to be framed. With engineered wood flooring, you don’t have to make cuts like you do with solid wood flooring.
Engineered wood flooring wears out very quickly. Anyone can do it without having to punch, cut, or dust. The solid wood floor is loud and hard to work on, and it needs to be done by a professional.
If you’re aiming for longevity, solid hardwood is your answer. You can have a hardwood floor for up to 70 years with proper maintenance. It is not the most affordable flooring, but it may give you the best floor you ever have.
Engineered wood flooring can last anywhere from 15 to 40 years, depending on the thickness of the hardwood layer and how far the tongue and groove are from the hardwood layer, which determines how many times it can be sanded and re-varnished.
Before solid wood flooring can be used, stains and chemicals are put on it after it has been put in.
Engineered wood flooring doesn’t need framing because it goes right on the subfloor. This means fewer trees are needed to make it than solid wood flooring.
It can also be installed and reinstalled more than once because it doesn’t get damaged when taken out. This isn’t possible with solid wood flooring. Both floors can be recycled and broken down over time.
Design and trends
Engineered wood flooring is easier to keep up with than solid hardwood flooring because it is less expensive, easy to install, and easy to remove.
Engineered wood vs laminate
Below is a short comparison between engineered wood and laminate flooring; for a detailed comparison, please read our article about Engineered wood Vs Laminate Flooring.
Most people conflate the idea of laminate with engineered wood primarily because most engineered wood in DIY-style flooring looks just like laminate flooring.
However, they are two very different things. The main difference comes from the top layer. Engineered wood has a thin slice of actual hardwood as the top cover.
In comparison, the laminate floor has a print layer on top. Yes, laminate is only one step above vinyl. That is why they can get very cheap.
However, laminate has a water-resistant quality. When engineered wood is only moisture-resistant, laminate can go waterproof. It’s also easier to maintain and doesn’t cost as much.
But engineered wood can bump up the house value multiple times compared to a laminate floor mainly because it has a solid hardwood layer, while laminate only has a print.
Even with good maintenance, laminate flooring won’t increase the house value as much.