Understanding the Types of Hardwood Flooring
Empire is proud to offer a wide selection of both solid and engineered wood floor products. As the name implies, Empire’s hardwood floors are made from pieces of solid wood, either in part or entirely. Solid hardwood flooring planks are hewn from lumber in a single piece; from end to end and top to bottom, a hardwood floor plank is a single unadulterated piece of solid wood. In comparison, engineered hardwood planks use a thin veneer of real wood over a core of either plywood or a high-density fiberboard. Both types of wood flooring give you the unique character of natural wood grain in a way that laminate and vinyl flooring options cannot. Because the surface of engineered and solid hardwood floors is natural wood, every plank will have a one-of-a-kind grain pattern. Both solid and engineered hardwood floors from Empire Today come prefinished in a variety of classic stain colors and coated with a scratch-resistant topcoat. Both types of hardwood floors can be refinished in the future.
Deciding Between Engineered and Solid Hardwood Flooring
If you’ve settled on real wood flooring, you’ve probably spent some time trying to decide whether solid hardwood or engineered hardwood floors are better. As with most decisions, there are pros and cons to each wood floor type. The most significant downside to hardwood floors is that they will cost more in materials—oftentimes it will be a significantly higher price. But because they are solid wood through and through, they can be sanded and refinished multiple times over their lifespan. With proper care, hardwood floors can look great for a hundred years. Refinishing solid hardwood flooring is a great alternative to installing completely new floors during a renovation. Solid hardwood floors are also considered among the most luxurious floor types you can install in a home and will almost always increase its resale value.
Engineered hardwood floors aim to strike the perfect compromise between real hardwood flooring and a laminate. Since the very top layer—known as the wear layer—is made of real wood and finished like a solid hardwood material, engineered hardwood floors can be refinished a limited amount of times. And because their subsurface layer is made of a laminate, they are less prone to warping or moisture damage in humid environments than solid hardwood planks.
In the end, deciding between hardwood or engineered wood floor materials will be largely a personal preference, with the main factor likely being your budget. If you expect to spend many years in your home, or you are renovating it in hopes of maximizing resale value, it can be worth it to install solid hardwood floors. But if you see your current home as temporary, or you live in a tropical environment, engineered wood flooring will get you most of the benefits at a more reasonable cost.