While many types of wood are used in hardwood floors, the primary difference is between engineered wood and solid wood. Solid wood is made by cutting and trimming the wood, then treating it with chemicals to prevent rot and reduce wear. Engineered wood, meanwhile, is made by cutting the wood into slats and then gluing them together to form the correct shape. Each method has its advantages and disadvantages, making each one a superior choice for specific situations.
Solid Wood Flooring
Solid wood flooring is seen as more traditional, and indeed it is preferred for older houses, especially those where the flooring is not made of concrete and the floor will need to fit and possibly help support and flex with the floor. Because the flooring is cut from solid pieces of wood, a form of warping known as “cupping” can be a problem, although this is mitigated by modern advances in design and various grooves, strips, and depressions that allow the wood to flex and bend without breaking or creating gaps. Additionally, solid wood flooring is simpler, which makes it both cheaper to purchase and easier to repair. This makes it a superior option for restoring older homes or when installing flooring on a budget, as it offers a lower cost option that is more “at home” with the sort of floors found in older homes.
Engineered Wood Flooring
Engineered wood flooring is made by gluing multiple slats of wood together to form a finished piece. Each layer has a grain running 90 degrees to the one above it, which produces a final wood product that does not warp. It is also much more rigid, enabling it both to support more weight and to handle a tighter fit. This makes it the only option when dealing with concrete or other very firm floors since traditional solid wood would need to “breathe” to prevent moisture accumulation. This stability has made engineered wood much more popular than traditional solid wood, although it is somewhat more expensive. It is also seen as less environmentally friendly, as more chemicals are required to produce engineered wood. Still, the fact that it does not warp and that it fits tighter while wearing less has made it the more widely used option in modern homes, and improvements in engineering have made it look every bit as good as traditional solid wood. There are more online resources available at Fuse Flooring.