Solid Vs Engineered
Here at Mint, we get a lot of questions regarding the differences between solid and engineered wood. Many people come into the store thinking that a solid wood is better over an engineered because it can be screened and sanded multiple times which in turn saves on the costs of buying a brand new floor. This is not always the case. A solid hardwood, though it is milled from a real hardwood species and solid throughout can typically only be sanded and re-stained up to three times. Why? Well, solid hardwood is typically installed by nailing the wood into the wood sub floor underneath. Screening and sanding, if done right, takes off 1/16th of an inch off the top layer of the wood. In turn, the thickness of the wood lessens and lessens and will eventually expose the nail heads of when it was first installed. So, unless you like the look of exposed steel on your beautiful wood floors you may want to reconsider buying a solid over an engineered if it is for sanding reasons. Solid hardwood though, still has some pretty great perks. When considering cost, solid hardwood is typically more inexpensive compared to an engineered. So, if you have a small budget but love the look of the timelessness a natural product exudes, than you may want to stick with a solid.
Now, not to be biased, but when speaking in terms of durability and performance, an engineered hardwood is usually the better choice. You can also sand and screen an engineered hardwood just as much as you can a solid, depending on the thickness of the veneer and the install. As said earlier, when sanding a hardwood the contractor will usually take off 1/16th of an inch, so, if your engineered floor has a thicker veneer than 1/16th of an inch than it is possible to screen and sand an engineered wood several times. Engineered wood is also typically more suitable in areas with frequent temperature changes than solid hardwood due to its “multiple-ply plank” construction. Therefore, an engineered wood can be laid over a radiant heat system or be installed in high moisture areas such as a basement. A solid is more prone to expansion, warping and cupping and therefore not the best choice when we’re talking about areas with significant temperature changes.
Overall, when deciding on a new floor, it is always best to weigh your options, consider cost, climatic factors and practicality. You may love the cost of a solid but you may be making up for that pretty penny you saved in maintenance costs. Either way, the look and feel alone of natural wood will add value to your home.