Pros and Cons of Engineered Hardwood Flooring

Discover the pros and cons of engineered hardwood flooring here.

The popularity of wood flooring is unmatched by many other flooring options! Everyone seems to want it, and if they can’t have it, they want flooring that at least looks like it. It is clear why hardwood flooring is so popular since it is unquestionably fashionable and has a timeless appearance.

The fundamental distinction between engineered and solid wood flooring is that the former is a variation of hardwood flooring. While it may seem unpleasant, it’s vital to keep in mind that the top layer of engineered hardwood is actually real wood. When installed, the only visible layer is the top layer of wood veneer, which is made entirely of real wood. Other wood-derived materials are used to create the lowest numerous layers. Although they frequently include materials like wood and board that have been combined and bonded together, these can vary greatly.

So while it isn’t a complete hardwood floor, it isn’t too far from being one. Once the flooring is done, most people won’t even be able to detect the difference. Now that you are familiar with engineered hardwood, let’s examine the advantages and disadvantages of this flooring in greater detail.

Let’s discuss the pros and cons before. 

Pros

Even while engineered wood has significant drawbacks, it remains one of our top choices for flooring. Not just because it’s a simple method to acquire the look and feel of the best hardwood floors without breaking the bank, but this material has a ton of benefits. Here are a few benefits of engineered wood:

Saves Money

Even though the classic hardwood floor may be highly sought-after, counterfeit hardwood is so widely used because the “genuine deal” is frequently fairly pricey. Everything associated with engineered wood flooring is less expensive than solid wood flooring, including the materials and labor. It should be noted that this only applies to the same species of wood; for instance, an engineered teak floor may be less expensive than a solid oak floor, but vice versa is true for an engineered oak floor.

Stylish

On the surface, engineered hardwood will resemble traditional hardwood flooring, making it look highly fashionable. Moreover, it comes in a variety of finishes. Hence, if there is a certain wood you prefer, it is likely to be available in an engineered form. An engineered wooden floor will have the ageless appearance that makes hardwood flooring desirable. The most common type of wood flooring is by far engineered oak, which is available in a wide range of hues and finishes.

Temperature and Moisture Resistant

Engineered wood flooring is less sensitive to temperature or moisture changes than solid wood flooring because of its composite core layers. Despite the possibility of some warping, which usually occurs when moisture problems are ignored (such as those caused by a pool of water), there is significantly less general swelling and shrinking than in a solid wood floor. For any new home improvements, engineered wood flooring is a great option because it can be used with water-fed underfloor heating.

Installation Quicker, Easier and Cheaper

If you buy engineered wood flooring as a click-together flooring system, one of its biggest benefits is how quickly and easily it can be installed. As the name implies, click-together flooring consists of floorboards that can be quickly and easily snapped together. These systems don’t require being nailed or glued down and can be installed over existing flooring as “floating floors” without the need for a claw hammer.

Engineered hardwood floor installation can be far less expensive thanks to this simple installation, but be sure to discuss the specifics with your contractor. They’ll probably appreciate your making things simple for them as well! Oh, and disregard anything you’ve heard about floating floors’ drawbacks. Click-together engineered wood can be just as durable as solid wood that is nailed down if it is done properly.

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Adds Value to Your Home

If properly laid, hardwood flooring will raise the value of your property, and individuals frequently use this strategy to do so. The same result can be achieved with engineered hardwood, which is also a terrific method to boost your home’s long-term value. Even if you don’t have any immediate plans to sell, engineered hardwood flooring can be a wise investment.

Environmentally Conscious

Engineered wood floors may be the best option if you care about the environment. If you want to use exotic or rare species of wood, these flooring use less wood per board than solid wood floors, which may be a decisive factor. These floorings are environmentally safe and sustainable since they require little to no sawdust and less harmful glue to join the layers. Having said that, this does differ from business to business, so be sure to check the manufacturer’s environmental credentials before making a purchase.

DIY Friendly

As we previously stated, click-together flooring is independent of the subfloor (what is subflooring, you ask?). This makes it not only simpler and less expensive for experts to install, but also some of the easiest flooring for do-it-yourselfers! So whether you’re considering updating current wood floors, installing new surfaces on a budget or simply researching how much it would cost to replace carpet with hardwood, keep in mind that there are some drawbacks to engineered wood, but the ease of installation is not one of them.

Cons

Because engineered wood can fit in places where solid hardwood cannot, we adore it. Moreover, it may increase the cost of exotic timbers. Also, it occasionally makes DIY flooring jobs simpler. Nevertheless, before you head out to your neighborhood flooring store, there are several crucial questions you need to think about. There are certain drawbacks to engineered wood in addition to its benefits, and if you ignore them now, you might later be quite dissatisfied. Let’s go for it!

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Can’t Be Refinished

Because they can be nearly endlessly sanded down and restored, hardwood floors are very popular. Unfortunately, some varieties of engineered wood can only be refinished once. Moreover, certain varieties cannot even be refinished. Everything is based on how thick your veneer layer is. It is possible to repeatedly refinish a thicker veneer layer. Nevertheless, you can’t refinish it if there isn’t enough wood in the veneer layer to allow for sanding (since you’ll sand down to the core layer).

Why then does this not always matter? Well, prefinished hardwood flooring (also known as wood that has been finished in a factory rather than at home) typically has a UV-cured finish that is extremely durable, frequently with the addition of aluminum oxide. Since these finishes are so durable, they rarely need to be redone. Instead, they are resurfaced, which is a far less time-consuming technique that avoids sanding to the wood.

Potentially Weak

There are many different types of engineered hardwood flooring, and some manufacturers will construct their floors out of flimsy, extremely affordable materials. It could seem strong and stable at first glance, but after a short while, it might turn out to be weak and unstable. Make sure you are purchasing engineered hardwood flooring from a reputable supplier by conducting research before making a purchase.

Engineered wood will dent and scratch with time, despite its durability (engineered goods frequently appear on our list of the best wood flooring for dogs). That’s just life, especially if you have boisterous children, mischievous animals, or large furniture! Even the best-engineered wood flooring is still made of wood, so don’t kid yourself: it’s still wood. So, the hardwood species and finish you choose will have a greater impact on the item’s resistance to scratches, dings, and dents than anything else.

Low-Quality

Not all engineered wood is created equal. Avoid purchasing inferior goods from less expensive manufacturers, as your initial savings will be squandered when your floors begin to deteriorate earlier than expected. Start by doing some brief research online. A little effort now will save much trouble down the road. You don’t want to need to Google “how to install hardwood floors” again in a few short years, after all!

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Reduced Floor Lifespan

Because of what we just said, if you wish to refinish your engineered wood, you must select a thicker veneer. Most veneers are between 1 and 3 millimeters thick. A veneer layer of at least 3 mm is advised for refinishing purposes because it can be sanded and refinished twice or more. The veneer layer cannot be refinished or sanded if it is 1 mm or thinner. Nonetheless, we would like to reiterate that prefinished hardwoods available today don’t have this problem. A veneer of 1.2mm is now common and more than sufficient.

Fading

This is another drawback that both engineered and regular hardwood floors share. The wood will fade away if it is exposed to UV rays too much, and if the problem is ignored for too long, it won’t be possible to fix it. Fortunately, you may reduce the chance of fading by closing your drapes and blinds or using some rugs to cover more exposed parts.

Not Waterproof

As natural products, both solid and engineered wood will warp and flex if they are wet. Even the highest quality engineered wood flooring cannot withstand standing water. Every homeowner’s worst fear is water damage, so before deciding on engineered wood, you might compare tile and wood floors if you don’t trust your roof or if your plumbing is old. Yet, due to its composite nature, engineered wood is more resistant to temperature and humidity changes than hardwood. In moist places like kitchens, bathrooms, and basements, engineered hardwood flooring is a better choice than solid wood flooring.

Gives Off VOCs

Poor-quality engineered wood not only fails the durability test, but it may also be dangerous to the health of your family. Speak about the drawbacks of engineered wood! According to the EPA, glue used in the production of low-quality engineered wood occasionally contains formaldehyde, a volatile organic compound (VOC) that releases fumes when installed in a building. The availability of low-VOC flooring is thankfully increasing. But, if buying eco-friendly flooring is a top priority for you, you should still keep this in mind while purchasing engineered wood. Get your floors from a neighborhood flooring store rather than a big box retailer. They don’t offer dangerous goods and focus instead on assisting you in finding high-quality supplies.

What is the judgment regarding engineered hardwood flooring, then? Although there are clearly some drawbacks, many of these problems apply to conventional hardwood floors as well. Hence, buying engineered hardwood flooring isn’t actually going to hurt you anymore. The same fashionable and classic style is typically available for less money. You may have a gorgeous floor you can enjoy for years to come as long as you make sure you are purchasing your engineered flooring from a high-quality manufacturer and take the effort to ensure it is properly maintained. If you’re ready to install any kind of flooring, even engineered hardwood, Valor Home Services can help. Claim your appointment by calling our office team