Hardwood floors can last a lifetime, but the glossy shine of the original hardwood floors will fade over their lifespan. You'll notice that they discolor after about 25 years. Hardwood floors, if properly installed, can last up to 100 years. However, thanks to today's improved wood manufacturing methods and simplified installation systems, your new hardwood floor should last a lifetime.
Engineered wood floors look very similar on the surface, but are made of a relatively thin layer of hardwood adhered onto a high-quality plywood substrate. Engineered floors are somewhat less expensive than hardwood floors, but most types can only be sanded and painted once or twice, as the hardwood layer on the surface is relatively thin. If you're looking for the disadvantages of engineered hardwood floors or determining which one is better, there's no clear advantage in a hardwood floor shape over another. Your choice depends on how much you value each other's relative merits.
Engineered wood floors look like solid wood, but their construction features a relatively thin layer of hardwood bonded over a layer of premium plywood that gives the floor excellent stability. The best engineered wood floors will have good flexibility and a durable plywood core with three to nine layers. You can count on a good quality engineered wood floor that usually lasts 25 to 30 years. It's less expensive than solid wood and easier for DIYers to install.
Hardwood floorboards tend to be narrower than engineered hardwood floors. Solid wood generally has very tight seams between the boards, and there are a greater variety of colors and species than that found in engineered hardwood floors. Solid wood is available in prefinished and unfinished boards. Floorboards tend to be wider with engineered hardwood floors.
Some prefinished engineered hardwood floors have slightly beveled edges, creating small grooves between the boards, while hardwood floors generally have very tight joints between the boards. Engineered hardwood floors are almost always sold prefinished, and there's a more limited range of colors and species available than solid wood. Solid wood usually lasts for at least 30 years and up to 100 years, as it can be sanded and painted several times. Solid wood has better acoustic properties than engineered hardwood.
Its density absorbs reverberation while its hardness distributes sound evenly throughout the room. Hardwood floors are often glued or nailed together, keeping them stable. When first installed, hardwood floors will creak and squeak at as the tables settle. If you continue to hear crackling sounds after a few months, you may have an uneven subfloor or a poor installation problem.
As the name suggests, solid wood underfoot is hard. It's softer than other surfaces, such as tile or concrete, but compared to a floating engineered wood floor, a floating engineered wood floor is softer. It depends on what is more important to you: noise control or softness when stepping. In general, hardwood floors aren't as loud as engineered wood floors; however, engineered wood floating floors have a softer feel with a little bit of bounce.
It is not recommended to install solid wood on concrete slabs, as moisture passing through concrete can cause solid wood to swell and deform. Artificial hardwood can only be repainted once or twice before the surface layer of hardwood is used up. A hardwood board can be solid, but engineered hardwood can sometimes be stronger than solid wood that could be considering. Engineered hardwood is made of several perpendicular layers that firmly bind the wood together.
Solid wood floors maintain the advantage here, as they can be sanded and restored several times throughout their lifespan. The prefinished forms of both floors are the most durable, as they have a hard, factory-applied finish that holds up very well. All wooden floors can benefit from a renewal of the surface varnish layer every few years. Solid wood floors are installed with a tab and slot system, in which each board is blindly nailed to the subfloor through tabs on the edges of the boards.
There's no particular winner here, unless you prefer narrower boards (in which case you'd prefer solid wood) or wider boards (in which case engineered wood floors will be a better option). In appearance, solid wood doesn't differ markedly from engineered hardwood, but real estate professionals and potential homebuyers may place greater importance on a hardwood floor because of its greater durability. Both solid wood and engineered hardwood are premium flooring materials that add good real estate value to your home. Solid wood may have an advantage here, as it lasts longer than engineered hardwood floors.
Solid hardwood requires more trees to be harvested than its engineered counterpart. However, hardwood floors are still an environmentally friendly option if they come from a responsible supplier. Sustainable hardwood is certified by the Forest Management Council. The advantages of solid hardwood are that it lasts longer than engineered wood and can be repaved more often, so it doesn't need to be replaced as often.
Solid hardwood can be recovered and reused or recycled to make engineered hardwood. In addition, when it needs to be discarded at the end of its useful life, it is 100% biodegradable. Engineered hardwood is environmentally friendly and sustainable compared to most other types of flooring. Engineered wood uses less tree per board than solid hardwoods.
It uses leftovers from other wood manufacturing processes to make its boards. Engineered wood only has a thin layer of traditional wood on top of its plywood or fiberboard core. In addition, the sheet metal is cut into slices instead of being cut into planks like solid woods do; this reduces waste during production and makes it easier for DIYers to install.