How Durable Is an Engineered Hardwood Floor?

December 23, 2020 10:51 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Hardwood flooring isn’t cheap, so a lot of homeowners search for economical—yet equally beautiful—alternatives. Engineered hardwood flooring is a durable and attractive option in Santa Cruz, CA, but how well does it hold up compared to solid wood floors? Depending on your lifestyle and home needs, engineered hardwood can be an affordable solution. Read on to learn the difference between engineered hardwood and solid wood, and how durable they are.

What is engineered hardwood?

Engineered hardwood is made with a thin layer of real hardwood laid over a thicker plank of high-quality plywood. It tends to be less expensive and doesn’t need to be nailed down, unlike traditional solid hardwood flooring.

Engineered wood lasts about 25 to 30 years, while solid wood flooring can last significantly longer—however, solid wood flooring requires occasional sanding and refinishing to keep it looking its best.

Comparing engineered and solid wood flooring

Here’s a closer look at how engineered and solid wood flooring stack up against each other:

  • Aesthetics: Engineered hardwood tends to have thicker planks and some bevels or grooves between them, while solid wood has thin planks and tight seams. Engineered wood is almost always pre-finished, but still comes in a variety of colors and finishes, while solid wood can be finished on-site. Otherwise, unless you’re a flooring aficionado, there’s very little to give away whether a wood floor is solid or engineered.
  • Installation: Engineered wood can be nailed down, but it can also be glued down. Some varieties come in a “click and lock” interlocking configuration, so it can be installed as a floating floor. In contrast, solid wood floors need to be nailed down. This is a challenge, so you’ll generally need a professional to do the job.
  • Durability: The main drawback of engineered wood is that unlike solid wood, it can only be sanded and refinished once or twice before the plywood underneath starts to show. Solid wood flooring can be sanded more often, since the wood is the same throughout the entire plank. Engineered wood should last two to three decades, while hardwood lasts up to a century.
  • Maintenance: Both types of flooring are easy to care for—all you need to do is vacuum or sweep up dirt, hair and other debris. For heavier messes, a damp mop and wood cleaner will get the job done. To renew the finish, both types can benefit from revarnishing every few years.
  • Water and heat resistance: Water and wood don’t mix, so neither type of wood flooring is good for wet locations like bathrooms. However, they’re both heat resistant, so go ahead and put them near your fireplace or in the kitchen.
  • Home value: Finally, engineered wood looks great, but solid wood has a higher resale value since it lasts decades longer than engineered hardwood floors. If you’re intent on high resale value, solid wood may be the way to go.

Now that you understand the durability, care and maintenance of engineered hardwood flooring in Santa Cruz, CA, be sure to stop by The Wholesale House to check out our options.

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