Solid or Engineered Floors – which one?

May 31, 2023 | Decisions

Solid Hard Wood Floors

Solid hard wood floors have a reputation for being long lasting. In addition, they offer more flexibility for durability, colour, sheen, and varnish (water-based or oil-based).

When you want to refresh your existing floor, or change the colour, it is wise to consult with a certified flooring contractor to discuss floor refinishing. Some people feel a smooth surface (bevel between the boards) adds aesthetic value, and if you plan on re-sanding or refacing your stairs, it will be easier to maintain a consistent colour between the floor and stairs.

Since solid hardwood floors are more susceptible to temperature and humidity fluctuations, it is preferable to use narrower boards, i.e. 2-1/4 and 3-1/4 inch. There is excessive shrinkage in wide boards because of moisture build up and temperature fluctuations during the hot summer months. This results in the a build up of dust and debris. If no dehumidifier is present, there might be expansion of the boards and swelling at the joints. The best choice would be engineered, wide board flooring.

Engineered Hardwood Flooring

Engineered Hardwood Flooring is made up of various layered materials, such as plywood, high density fibre (HDF) or real wood. Only “solid sawn” technology uses real hardwood in the engineering process. It is also best known for dimensional stability (ability to resist expansion and contraction with varying humidity). Engineered hardwood floor installation can be done over any existing surface. It can be glued down, floated (clicked or glued at the joints), or nailed down. Boards up to 12” wide can be used.

Engineered flooring cutaway
  1. 3 mm Sawn wear lamella
  2. Multi-ply baltic birch core
  3. Hardwood back

We can provide floor refinishing on some engineered hardwood if it is nailed down to a subfloor and if the top layer of wood is thick enough. Due to increased dimensional stability, engineered hardwood floors can be installed over concrete (basements, condos, offices and other commercial spaces) and in areas with higher levels of humidity, such as in cottages. Regardless of the floor choice, it is important that you request professional floor installation for your hardwood floor, to increase its longevity.

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