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Hardwood vs. Engineered Hardwood: The Differences Explained

Hardwood Vs Engineered HardwoodWhen you look at it, hardwood and engineered hardwood flooring essentially look the same, but there are many differences that set them apart.

For starters, the composition of these flooring options varies.

Engineered hardwood is comprised of many thin layers of top-notch quality wood, one being the topmost hardwood veneer layer which can withstand intense heat and pressure. Below that are other high-density fiberboards stacked together to create an engineered floor.

On the other hand, hardwood flooring comes from real hardwood species such as oak and pine, and it’s comprised of sawed planks.

Here are a few major differences between hardwood and engineered hardwood flooring:

Difference #1: Thickness and Width

The thickness of hardwood flooring is usually ¾’’ while the thickness of engineered hardwood flooring is around ⅜’’ to ½’’.

The plank width of hardwood flooring lies between 5’’ to 11’’ with the standard width being around 3.25’’. On the other hand, engineered hardwood planks typically have a width of about 5” and are usually not offered in planks as wide as hardwoods.

Difference #2: Moisture Resistance

Engineered hardwood is suitable for areas that have a lot of moisture in the air. However, the quality and number of layers decide how much moisture it can withstand.

For example, this type of flooring can be done in a basement.

Conversely, hardwood flooring is not suitable for basements and other such high-moisture areas because it can cause the wood planks to expand, bow, and warp.

Difference #3: Cost

The cost of engineered hardwood depends largely on the number of layers it contains in addition to the type or quality of layers used. The cost typically lies between $3 – $14 per square foot. However, engineered hardwood is easy to install and costs less than a hardwood installation.

Generally, hardwood flooring costs between $8 to $14 per sq. foot. The thicker the hardwood, the higher the price will be. Hardwood is comparatively more difficult to install and costs more for professional installation.

Difference #4: Sensitivity to Climate

Hardwoods contract and expand according to the climatic conditions. It’s not suitable to install in areas where there is frequent rainfall.

Engineered hardwood does not change according to fluctuations in the weather. It can be installed in damp and moist places without any worries as it’s highly resistant to moisture. Hence, it’s suitable for places where there is frequent rain.

Difference #5: Materials

The most common materials found in hardwood flooring are oak and maple. This type of flooring comes in different sizes and shapes. The hardwood has natural grains and tones, ranging from brown to gray to reddish brown, making it look lavish when installed.

Engineered hardwood is made up of many layers of high-quality stacked materials, one on top of the other, such as MDF, HDF, and plywood.

The Verdict

Either of these flooring options can be a beautiful addition to your home or office depending upon your needs and the location. Climate and cost also play vital roles in determining whether to choose hardwood or engineered hardwood flooring.

You can contact us at Pro Floors Utah to learn more about the right kind of flooring for your home or office.

Brandon Brown

I grew up in our families flooring business in Midvale with my parents and grandfather. Over the years I had the opportunity to estimate, sell and install all types of flooring both residential and commercial with my grandfather, father, brothers, cousins and uncles (many of which are still in the business). My favorite part of the business is meeting new people every day and enjoying the diversity of each of the projects we tackle. I guess you could say, "it is in my blood."

Posted in Hardwood Flooring

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