What is hardwood?
Hardwood refers to wood taken from the trunks and branches of dicot trees. Dicot refers to plants that reproduce using flowers, including trees such as oak, beech, maple, and walnut.
What is engineered wood?
Engineered wood is composed of three different layered materials. The base is a veneer layer with a cross-layered core made out of plywood or softwood. The top layer is solid wood.
Pros and cons of hardwood vs engineered flooring
Hardwood has a much longer lifespan compared to engineered wood. Hardwood can last anywhere from 30-100 years and can be sanded or refinished multiple times. Engineered wood can be much harder to sand or refinish, depending on the thickness of the top layer of wood. The average lifespan of engineered wood is roughly 20-40 years.
It’s important to note that due to its natural composition, hardwood is often susceptible to moisture and other atmospheric conditions. This can result in expansion, contraction, or warping of the planks. Engineered wood tends to be more durable in this aspect, being resistant to temperature changes and less likely to become deformed over time.
If you’re installing the flooring in an area of high foot traffic, like a commercial building or a stairway, you may favor the longer lifespan of hardwood. Despite this, in specific settings where the flooring is likely to be exposed to high levels of moisture and extreme temperature changes, engineered wood is likely to last longer.
In general, engineered wood flooring tends to be slightly cheaper than hardwood, but not by much. Due to this, it’s unlikely that cost alone would be the deciding factor when choosing the best flooring material, but you might still want to consider it.
Engineered wood is a much more stable material than hardwood, so it is often available in longer and wider plank sizes. The larger a hardwood plank, the less stable it is. Your preference for plank length comes down to the desired flooring aesthetics. If you’d prefer fewer, long planks, engineered wood is likely the right choice.
Wood floors vs. engineered wood floors
Neither hardwood nor engineered word is inherently better as a flooring choice. It entirely depends on what you want and need from your flooring material. Commercial buildings may value certain advantages that differ from the needs of a home.
No matter which type of flooring you choose, be sure to purchase it from a reputable manufacturer. It’s also essential to have your new flooring installed by a professional. This reduces the risk of the flooring getting damaged or being installed in a way that reduces its lifespan or makes it unsafe.