Comparison Between Engineered Hardwood & Real Hardwood Floors
Engineered flooring consists of a premium quality plywood base and a thin slice of hardwood top. On the other hand, real hardwood flooring is a homogeneous product that consists of solid wood from side to side and top to bottom. Both engineered and real hardwood floors have several advantages and a few disadvantages in individual categories as mentioned below;
- Measurements: Engineered flooring thickness level ranges from 3/8 inch - 1/2 inch whereas real hardwood flooring typically comes in 3/4 inch thickness level. The standard width of engineered flooring is 3 1/4 inch whereas real hardwood flooring standard width starts at 2 1/4 inches. Besides that, the engineered flooring plank width begins at 5 inches whereas real wood flooring plank width also starts at 5 inches and can go up to 11 inches.
- Durability: Engineered flooring is less durable compared to the real hardwood flooring as its surface is thin. If the engineered flooring is used beyond normal conditions, it can easily become de-laminated or chipped. The only thing that brings up the durability rating of engineered wood flooring is its ability to hold up the moisture. On the other hand, real hardwood flooring can last for decades if properly maintained & cared. The flooring can get affected by the moisture and cannot return to its original shape even after salvaging it.
- Sanding: One of the most important differences between the two is sanding as engineered wood can be sanded lightly once or twice until the upper layer wears. On the other hand, real hardwood flooring can be sanded several times. After years of sanding, it will become too thin to compromise its structural integrity.
- Finish: Engineered flooring mostly comes pre-finished but there are few companies that make unfinished engineered flooring. On the other hand, around 75% of the real wood flooring comes pre-finished and rest 25% comes unfinished.
- Installation: The installation process of engineered flooring is quite easy compared to real hardwood flooring. Engineered wood flooring can be installed in several methods such as glue down, fold & lock, nailing, and stapling. One the other hand, real hardwood flooring can only be stapled or nailed as it cannot be installed on a floating basis.
- Hardness: Most engineered flooring consists of durable & hard hardwoods that include Indonesian & South American exotics, walnut, birch, and maple. Soft hardwoods like pine are not used in the formation of engineered hardwood flooring. On the other hand, real hardwood flooring has a greater hardness range compared to engineered flooring. The toughest real hardwoods are made of Brazilian walnut.
- Moisture: Engineered flooring deals better with moisture content compared to real hardwood flooring due to its plywood base being dimensionally stable. On the other hand, real hardwood flooring cannot be used at places with moisture content such as basements, and bathrooms.
As per the above-given comparison, solid wood flooring can be used by the people who have long-time prospects in mind whereas engineered hardwood flooring can be used by the people who want the real wood appearance and also have a practical bent.