It’s Real Wood
Engineered wood is 100% real wood. Unlike traditional solid wood, engineered hardwood is not made from a single piece of wood but rather it is comprised of several layers of different types of wood.
The top layer is made from a single piece of wood. In terms of the quality of wood used, there is no difference between the top layer of engineered wood and an entire piece of traditional solid wood flooring, except for the thickness. The top layer of engineered hardwood is thinner than a piece of solid wood flooring and can even be sanded to remove chips and scratches from excessive wear. Unlike vinyl and laminate, the top layer of engineered wood shows the natural characteristics of the wood used. It’s real wood instead of a high-definition photograph of wood covered by a wear layer.
The top layer of engineered wood is affixed to a thick core of bonded plywood. Because it is compressed using extreme heat and pressure, the core of plywood adds a level of stability to engineered hardwood that you don’t have with solid wood planks. This stability makes engineered hardwood resistant to changes in humidity. In other words, you don’t have to worry about engineered hardwood shrinking in the winter and expanding in the summer. If installed incorrectly, the shrinking and expanding of solid wood can cause damage and shorten the life of the floor. You don’t have to worry about this type of damage with engineered hardwood.
When it comes to installation, engineered hardwood is much easier to install than traditional solid wood flooring. Engineered hardwood can be glued, stapled or nailed, or even floated above an existing floor. You don’t have those same options with solid wood flooring. Solid wood is usually nailed or glued into place above a wood subfloor. Traditional solid wood can’t be installed above other floor surfaces, like concrete, or in areas that are exposed to excessive moisture. Moisture doesn’t affect engineered hardwood as much as solid wood because of the strength of its plywood core. Engineered hardwood gives you more installation options than solid wood flooring because of these characteristics.
While engineered hardwood planks are slightly less expensive than solid wood, the overall cost of installation is usually much less. Solid wood needs to be installed by professionals to ensure that the floor will last a long time. Because engineered hardwood can be floated on top of almost any surface, it can be installed by DIYers over a weekend, saving money on installation and cost of installation materials.