Hardwood vs. EngineeredThe biggest complaint about hardwood flooring is the fact that it can’t be installed in high-moisture areas such as kitchens and basements. Thankfully, there is an alternative to solid wood hardwood that can tolerate humidity and temperature change while still maintaining the appeal of natural wood.
Engineered hardwood is a man-made flooring material that is made of real wood. Even though the material is the same, engineered wood floors are less absorbent because they are actually made of three to seven layers of cross-directionally laminated wood. By combining these multiple layers and juxta positioning of the grain direction in each one, the engineered hardwood counteracts the wood’s natural tendency to absorb water and expand and contract in humidity.
These lower layers of wood are topped with a final layer, known as a veneer, which is the only finished layer. Regardless of the lower layers, the veneer can be made of a variety of woods, including both domestic and exotic hardwood. Since this is the only surface layer, it’s important that the veneer is thick enough to withstand as much sanding and refinishing as you plan to perform. It can be easy to mistake laminate flooring for engineered hardwood, because they have a similar appearance and are both able to withstand more humidity than solid wood. The main difference is that laminate flooring is not 100% real wood and cannot be refinished. Laminate flooring is less expensive, but cannot compare to the durability and functionality of engineered wood. For humid areas and areas below ground level, engineered hardwood is the soundest long-term investment.
For more information on the different types of hardwoods, pay us a visit in Honolulu, HI today or speak with a member of our staff by calling 888-746-1657.