Through the years, improvements in flooring technology have completely changed the game when it comes to solid hardwood flooring alternatives. Thanks to advanced engineering, it’s entirely possible to have a floor that looks like natural wood while offering more durability and cost benefits than the real deal. The team here at Floor Coverings International® of Flagstaff can help you understand the differences between solid and engineered hardwood and figure out which is the best for your home.

Natural Hardwood Flooring

Solid hardwood flooring is just that – it’s 100 percent natural wood flooring. Solid wood flooring is preferred for many reasons. For starters, it’s very durable and long-lasting, often with a lifetime spanning many decades if it’s been cared for properly. It’s also very attractive, giving homes a natural, elegant feel. Perhaps most importantly, solid hardwood will often increase the resale value of a home, which makes it a great investment during remodeling. It’s also a flooring style that’s fairly easy to care for. Regular sweeping, occasional dry mopping, and a refinishing a couple times throughout its life will preserve your wood floors for generations of your home.

Like any flooring style, hardwood does have its disadvantages. For starters, as the crown jewel of flooring, it’s often a more expensive option. It also doesn’t get along very well with water or humidity. Water that gets into the floorboards can cause it to rot and fluctuations in humidity can cause boards to buckle or warp. This is why it’s use is typically reserved for dry areas of the home rather than bathrooms, utility rooms, or below-grade rooms.

Engineered Hardwood Flooring

The big difference between natural, solid hardwood and engineered hardwood is in the flooring composition. Like solid wood floors, the surface of engineered hardwood will be natural wood. However, unlike solid hardwood, its base is made of fused plywood. It is less expensive than solid hardwood planks, is easier to install, and is just as easy to maintain as other types of hard flooring. Additionally, engineered hardwood has similar resale value to natural wood (after all, it is real hardwood on the surface) as well as similar durability. Finally, it’s more resistant to water and moisture than natural hardwood, meaning it can be installed in more rooms of the home.

The benefits of engineered hardwood are plentiful, but there are a some disadvantages to be aware of. For example, while engineered planks will stand up to moisture and rot better than solid hardwood, it is more complicated to care for scratches or denting. The surface of an engineered plank will be as durable as the wood style you choose, but if you acquire scratches or dents, they aren’t as easy to fix since it’s not recommended to refinish engineered hardwood multiple times throughout its life. Talk to us more about the quirks and drawbacks of engineered hardwood to make sure you know what to expect from this flooring style.

As you can see, engineered hardwood and natural hardwood are both viable, highly-attractive flooring options. They’re available in a wide range of varieties, styles, and finishes and can go a long way in enhancing the interior of a home. You can’t go wrong with either type of flooring, but if you are feeling stuck between styles, give us a call here at Floor Coverings International® of Flagstaff! At an in-home design consultation with one of our associates, we’ll bring our mobile showroom so you can see and feel a wide variety of samples and make the best choice for your home. Get started today!


Photo Credit: © Anne Kitzman, © BILD LLC