Solid or Engineered Hardwood: Which is Right for Your Project?

Solid hardwood and engineered hardwood are both popular types of materials used in construction. When shopping for building supplies, whether for your home renovation project, office building construction, storage building, etc., wood is a common material for both interior and exterior purposes.

What is the ideal type of wood for your building needs? Here is an overview of solid and engineered options.

solid-hardwood-building-suppliesSolid Hardwood

Solid wood boards are milled from a single piece of hardwood. They are covered in a clear, thin protective layer that may consist of aluminum oxide, acrylic or ceramic substance. Solid wood planks typically have a thickness of ¾ of an inch. This thickness enables it to be sanded and refinished multiple times throughout the life of the siding or floor. The home’s relative humidity will play a role in how it contracts and expands.

You will find solid wood planks in a variety of wood species, including black walnut, maple, oak, and exotic species of hardwood from Africa and Brazil.

Why Consider Solid Hardwood?

Hardwood floors and panels age well and still look beautiful as time passes. Unlike many other flooring materials, solid hardwood can simply be refinished rather than outright replaced.

These planks are also a healthy choice for the inside of homes. Since solid wood has no grout lines, embossing or fibers, it does not trap allergens and dust that occur with carpets. Having it installed in your home will contribute to better indoor air quality.

Not only is solid hardwood attractive, it’s also easy to clean. It is a great investment, both in the short-term and long-term, contributing greatly to the resale value of the home.

Drawbacks

The only potential drawbacks to using solid wood planks for flooring are the cost, as well as the fact that you must prepare a sub-floor. The planks cannot be installed directly on top of an existing floor or concrete.

engineered-hardwood-building-suppliesEngineered Wood

Engineered wood features multiple layers of veneers. The layers may or may not be the same species. The grain pattern of each layer runs in perpendicular directions, making the wood appear dimensionally stable. This wood even contracts and expands less than solid wood flooring during fluctuations in temperature and humidity.

What are some benefits of engineered hardwood?

In addition to being durable, it’s also inexpensive compared to solid hardwood. This is a cost effective solution that allows homeowners to have the appearance of wood floors without the high price.

While you would probably need professional installers to help you with the installation of solid wood, engineered wood is easier to deal with. It’s available in tiles and planks in various sizes for a DIY project. The wood is engineered to be installed without complications.

Drawbacks

While it’s indeed less costly than solid hardwood, engineered wood is prone to shape distortions. Not only can it be warped or twisted over time, it is also prone to dents. To prevent this drawback, you must order engineered wood from a reliable supplier that can guarantee quality.  Also, cheap adhesives may potentially lead to some health concerns.

When buying building supplies, you must consider both the pros and cons of engineered and solid wood to decide which would be ideal for your project.

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