The Differences Between Engineered Hardwood Or Solid Wood

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New York Floorman, LLC is a hardwood flooring installation, repair, and refinishing company serving Manhattan, Brooklyn & Westchester County. Here, Rich Kessner, the owner of the company, explains some of the major differences between engineered hardwood and solid wood.

When it comes to hardwood flooring installation in Manhattan, there are two main types for people to choose from: engineered or solid. Both have their upsides and downsides, although engineered woods are quickly becoming the standard for apartment dwellers and other homeowners looking for a faster installation process.

Engineered floors are almost always prefinished and stable.
95% of the time, the engineered hardwood floors that people choose will come prefinished, which means they have already been sanded and stained before they are installed. Engineered floors are more stable in a number of environments, and especially so in areas of the home with high humidity, such as a basement or laundry area. This is something to remember for people who are interested in having a new flooring system installed in a basement or garage, since a solid hardwood floor oftentimes will not work in these types of rooms.

It is easier to have engineered floors installed.
The term engineered hardwood comes from the way the wood strips are made. Engineered floors feature a wear layer that solid wood floors do not, which is attached to another piece of wood on the bottom. The wood is engineered so that there is a thin layer of wood glued to plywood already before you get it. Because of the thin layer of plywood, the floor itself can be glued directly to a concrete floor without the need for an additional plywood subfloor.

In addition, there are a number of other ways to install an engineered floor as well. During the hardwood flooring installation in Manhattan, the installer can glue the engineered floor to a foam underlaywhich is what people typically refer to as a floating floor. An installer can also glue the engineered wood to a plywood subfloor if one has already been put in place. Finally, some engineered floors that are sold actually click together without any glue or nails required. So that is a real advantage.

It saves you time and money by using engineered floors.
In terms of how much time homeowners should plan for the installation of a hardwood flooring project, putting in an engineered floor will usually take about a day less than putting in a solid wood floor. The reason for this has to do with the lack of a plywood subfloor. Without having to install a subfloor first, the installers can get right to work putting in the actual floor itself.

Because it takes less time to install an engineered floor, the labor costs are usually less when undertaking this type of project compared to the labor costs for installing a solid hardwood floor. Because there are such a wide range of woods available, though, estimating costs for the project as a whole can be difficult. In general, installing an engineered floor rather than a solid floor will save people money since they will not have to pay for the installation of materials for a plywood subfloor floor as well.

Engineered flooring is a good option for people having low ceilings in their homes.
The slats of engineered hardwood that most people have installed are almost always thinner than solid wood, something that has become especially important to people who live in homes or apartments with low ceilings. While solid flooring is about 3/4 thick, engineered flooring is usually only 1/4 thick or 1/2 or 5/8 thick at the most. In spaces where every inch of height counts, having a floor that is thicker than necessary can make the entire room seem smaller and more confining. That is part of the reason why so many of my Manhattan clients prefer the installation of an engineered hardwood flooring rather than solid flooring.

On the other hand, the downside of choosing an engineered hardwood floor has to do with wear. Depending on the type of solid wood that is used, most solid wood floors can be sanded down and refinished a number of times during their lifespan. Engineered floors usually cannot be sanded down as frequently, though.

In short, the choice between engineered wood or solid wood comes down to ceiling height more so than anything else. Because the price differences are so negligible, that is usually not the factor that helps people determine which type of flooring style they choose. If someone in Manhattan is interested in having a hardwood flooring installation done but isnt sure which style of flooring to pick, then I recommend calling New York Floorman and asking for guidance.




Rich Kessner is a writer for Yodle , a business directory and online advertising company. Find a roofer or more roofing articles at Yodle Local.

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