Choosing Between Solid & Engineered Wood Flooring

Choosing Between Solid & Engineered Wood Flooring

With so many flooring options available today, choosing the right type of flooring for you might be a challenge. Here we discuss some of the most popular types of flooring, hoping that this may help you choose the right flooring solution for your home or office.

Solid Wood Flooring

Solid wood flooring, or also called hardwood flooring is one of the most popular floor coverings, mainly because of its unique natural appearance, which brings comfort and warmth to any home. Wood has always been a desired and loved floor covering and solid wood flooring provides a long-lasting solution.

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There are plenty of reasons for choosing hardwood flooring. One of the most important advantages of solid wood over other types of floor coverings is the durability of the hardwood over the years. Although relatively more expensive option, compared to other types of flooring, solid wood planks are made up exclusively from natural wood, and therefore they provide the opportunity to be sanded and restored every once in a while which means that they can last for many years. If you think of other flooring options, such as laminate flooring or vinyl, this is definitely not the case. Once they are damaged, there is very limited opportunity to repair it and when they are really worn out all you can do is replace them. Therefore, investing in hardwood flooring is always worth it. The hardwood sanding process can be repeated multiple times, making solid wood capable of remaining in use and in a good condition for many years to come. One important thing to consider, however is that once the hardwood flooring is sanded, it is very important to use a good quality hardwearing varnish such as Bona Mega, Bona Traffic or Junckers HP Commercial floor sealants to ensure that they wood is well preserved and protected and can last for several years before the next round of floor sanding is required. Alternatively, hardwood floors can also be sealed with hardwax oils for a more natural appearance and feel via hardwood floor sanding and reoiling. However, bear in mind that oiled wooden floors require a more frequent maintenance such as cleaning and re-oiling of oiled floors in order to maintain the high level of timber protection. Whatever the floor sealant, it is very important to take a good care of your hardwood flooring so that you can enjoy its beauty for longer.

Hardwood flooring is also a considerably healthier option for you and your family simply because it captures less dust, compared to other floor coverings which tend to easily capture and hold dust particles such as carpets. Hardwood floor as easier to clean and maintain. There are some really good wood floor cleaning products on the market today which have been specifically designed for the ultimate results when cleaning your wooden floors. A product that we would highly recommend is Bona Wood Floor Cleaning Kit, which is available for both lacquered and oiled floors and which is an excellent tool for fantastic wood floor cleaning results.

Nevertheless, while solid wood floorings have many benefits, it should be noted that one significant disadvantage of hardwood floorings is their extreme sensitivity to external conditions such as humidity. Because hardwood floors are exclusively made from natural wood, they tend to naturally expand and contract as a result of humidity levels variations. Therefore it is very important that when hardwood floors are fitted, a sufficient expansion gap to be allowed for this natural hardwood flooring movement.

Engineered Wood Flooring

Engineered floorings are real wood floors which have been specifically designed to better withstand changes in the surrounding environment. They are constructed from multiple layers of ply with a hardwood veneer on top. The top layer of solid wood is available in different thicknesses, but the most common products are either with 3-4 mm or 6mm thick. The thickness of the top layer defines the number of engineered wood floor sanding that can be performed. The thicker the top layer the more sanding opportunities it provides. Those products with 3-4 mm of top layer can usually be sanded only once, while the thicker ones with 6mm may be sanded 2 or 3 times, depending on the quality of the floor sanding. Therefore, it is always recommended to hire a professional floor sanding company for your engineered wood floor sanding to ensure that only a minimum amount of the top layer is removed through the sanding process.

Because engineered wood flooring is made up of several layers, this makes it more flexible compared to solid wood and hence it responds easier to moisture and temperature variations. Also, because they allow for engineered floating installation via click or tongue and groove installation system, this allows for insulation fitting where an appropriate insulation such as underlay with damp proof membrane is installed under the engineered floors.

Due to these qualities of the engineered flooring, they are also the perfect solution when it comes to underfloor heating. In this way engineered floorings combine the practicality of laminate floors with the elegance of natural wood flooring. Engineered floors are also generally cheaper than solid wood, which makes them a very popular choice today.

At the end of the day, it is always a personal choice, but we hope that the above comparison between solid and engineered wood floorings have helped you make a better informed decision about the best option of floor covering for you.