It's pretty common for people to jump onto the "authenticity boat" when the topic of engineered hardwood flooring comes up. But they're the ones who might be missing the boat because engineered flooring is a fantastic alternative to traditional solid hardwood and actually has some benefits that can make it an even better choice for a new floor or remodel. The following are five reasons that you can confidently choose engineered hardwood flooring.
First, green, sustainability, and eco-friendly are certainly the buzzwords of this era. Everyone wants to advertise his or businesses in some way to reflect a care for the environment—because it's more important to people than it ever has been before. So in thinking about hardwood flooring, consider this: Engineered hardwood planks use four times less wood than equal amounts of solid hardwood, so if conservation is of primary importance to you, then engineered flooring is the way to go.
Another advantage to engineered flooring is flexibility on where it can be placed, and the environments in can be installed in. You never want to install solid hardwood below grade or anywhere moisture is a possible issue. But engineered hardwoods can be used in places with higher humidity and moisture levels.
Along these same lines, engineered flooring is actually substantially more stable than solid wood floor. This is because of the way engineered flooring is, well…engineered. The planks are made up of several plies or layers of wood veneer that are placed in different directions and fused together with adhesive at high temperatures, which are then adhered to a fiberboard core. This construction is what allows the boards to withstand the contraction and expansion that occurs due to temperature and humidity fluctuation much better than solid construction.
In addition to being flexible in where they can be installed, engineered hardwoods are also versatile in how they are installed. Solid hardwood flooring has basically two installation methods: nail down or glue down. But there are brands and styles of engineered flooring that can actually be installed with a locking system as a floating floor — no glue or nails required.
And although you still don't want to drag furniture across it or walk with spiked heels over it, an engineered floor can take a great deal more rough traffic than can traditional solid hardwoods. High quality engineered flooring can actually be used in high traffic areas such as malls and retail stores, where solid hardwood floors should never be installed.