Compare Engineered vs Solid Wood Flooring
Engineered Wood Flooring Floors Overview
Engineered wood floors are constructed using several layers of wood that are stacked and bound together using high heat and high pressure. The bottom layers are made of cheaper or recycled woods, while the top layer is made of higher-quality wood like oak or maple.
Engineered wood floors are available in a variety of wood species, from classics to exotic woods. They’re also available in a variety of design, style and finish options. The look is nearly identical to solid hardwood floors.
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Engineered Wood Flooring Costs
Engineered wood floors are slightly less expensive than solid hardwood floors. Budget anywhere from $4 to $10 per square foot for materials, depending on quality. Installation adds another $3 to $5 per square foot and removal and haul away of your old floorings costs about $2 per square foot.
Pros of Engineered Wood Flooring
- Price - Engineered floors offer the look of solid wood at a lower price point. Most people who walk through the door won’t be able to tell the difference.
- Ease of installation - They can be installed on all types of sub-flooring, including concrete. Solid wood requires an extra layer of sub-flooring made of plywood or a similar material.
- Moisture resistance - Because engineered floors are less sensitive to moisture than solid wood floors, they can be installed in moisture-prone areas like basements.
Cons of Engineered Wood Flooring
- Difficult to refinish - Because only the top-layer is made of high-quality wood, engineered floors can only be sanded and refinished two or three times. After that, they have to be replaced.
- Varying quality - Not all engineered floors are made with the same attention to detail and quality. If you want the floors to last, you need to do purchase a higher-quality product.
Solid Wood Flooring Overview
Just as the name implies, solid wood floors are constructed from single pieces of solid wood. Generally, the wood is 3/4 of an inch thick. You won’t find any fillers, plywood or recycled wood materials in these high-quality floors.
Solid hardwood flooring is sold in a variety of species, from classics like oak and maple to exotic woods. You also have your choice of finishes, plank widths and design features like moldings and edgings.
Solid Wood Flooring Costs
Solid hardwood is the most expensive type of flooring available. Budget $5 to $15 per square foot for materials, $3 to $5 per square foot for installation and about $2 per square foot for removal and haul away of your old flooring.
With solid wood, you’re paying for quality. Properly maintained, the floors could last 100 years or more. Solid wood flooring is also more expensive due to the time it takes trees to mature.
Pros of Solid Wood
- Durability - Solid wood floors can be sanded and refinished time and time again to bring back that new-floor look. Scratches and dents are not a big deal because they’re an easy fix.
- Resale value - No type of flooring boosts resale value quite like solid wood.
- Strength - More difficult to scratch and dent than engineered wood floors
Cons of Solid Wood
- Price - Solid wood floors are not for the budget-conscious. They require a major investment.
- Grade limitations - Because solid wood floors are moisture-sensitive, they cannot be installed below grade or in basements. They’re also not suitable for moisture-prone areas like bathrooms or laundry rooms.