Engineered hardwood floors are hard to distinguish from solid wood after they are installed. Trained eyes have been fooled. Both solid and engineered hardwood bring a natural wood look into a home.
There are some distinct differences. When to use solid or engineered hardwood is confusing to many people. The concept is not very complicated. Engineered wood behaves differently than solid hardwood.
It tends to be easier to install and less expensive. Solid hardwood floors are a classic home addition. Unless damaged by flood or fire, a well-made, correctly installed wood floor adds value, character, and warmth to the interior of a home for as long as the residents live there.
Not all hardwood floors are alike. Many wood species that become hardwood floors have different characteristics. Understanding the characteristics goes a long way in choosing the hardwood floors that are right for you.
There are situations where one is better than the other. Originally, engineered hardwood was developed for floors in basements, or those built on a slab of concrete. Over the last 20 years, engineered hardwood floors technology has exploded.
Engineered wood can be used nearly anywhere, including places that plank floors are unexpected. Engineered hardwood is more moisture resistant and tends to be more stable. No wood flooring can tolerate standing water.
The increased moisture levels associated with concrete are not a problem for engineered hardwood. The way engineered hardwood is made explains its moisture tolerance and increased stability.