When it comes to choosing flooring for your home, you have a variety of options available. Many people select engineered hardwood flooring, for several very good reasons.
But before you decide that engineered hardwood flooring is the right option for you, make sure you understand the pros, cons, costs, and alternative options.
What is engineered hardwood flooring?
Engineered hardwood flooring is composed of a thin layer of hardwood, which is known as a veneer or wear layer, on top of layers of strengthened composite plywood, or sometimes oriented strand board.
Thus, the top of your floor surface would be hardwood, but engineered hardwood flooring is much more affordable than solid hardwood.
Pros of Engineered Hardwood Flooring
It Is Affordable
While there are various high-quality flooring options available, engineered hardwood flooring has many advantages. Its affordability is undoubtedly one of the main advantages.
You can achieve the look of a solid wood floor at a cheaper price point. It can cost less to install compared to solid hardwood floors, too.
It Is Moisture and Temperature Resistant
Because engineered hardwood flooring is made up of composite core layers, it is not as vulnerable to moisture and temperature changes compared to solid wood flooring.
However, while the overall swelling and shrinking are much less than for solid wood floors, if moisture is left unaddressed in engineered hardwood flooring, it could create some warping over time.
It Is an Environmentally Conscious Choice
If you want an environmentally conscious choice of wood flooring, engineered hardwood flooring is the way to go.
The flooring uses less hardwood for each plank compared to solid wood flooring, and there is no need for toxic glue to attach the wood to the ground.
However, you should look at the precise details of any engineered hardwood flooring you are considering buying, as the eco-friendliness and sustainability can differ from one manufacturer to another.
Cons of Engineered Hardwood Flooring
It Can Require a High Level of Maintenance
Because the surface layer of engineered hardwood flooring is made of actual hardwood, you will need to spend time performing maintenance to retain its quality, just as you would for a solid hardwood floor.
You will need to take protective measures to prevent and reduce scratches, dents, and fading.
You Have Limited Resurfacing Options
Engineered hardwood flooring can only be sanded and refinished a few times. Sometimes, it can only be sanded and refinished once.
If you sand and refinish too many times, the hardwood will erode and reveal the core layers.
However, as long as you maintain the flooring correctly, you can avoid the need for resurfacing in the first place.
Some Engineered Hardwood Flooring Is Low Quality
Some manufacturers of engineered hardwood flooring use cheaper materials, which leads to floors with poor structural integrity.
However, as long as you buy your flooring from a reputable manufacturer, you can avoid this disadvantage.
Engineered hardwood flooring typically costs between $3 and $15 per square foot.
The exact cost of your flooring will depend on the precisely engineered hardwood flooring you purchase, the coverage you require, and the installation costs if you are hiring a professional to lay the flooring for you. If you want to varnish the flooring, you will have an additional expense.
There are lots of other flooring options available.
The one option that is closest to engineered hardwood flooring is solid wood flooring, which is composed entirely of solid wood all the way through. It can be refinished time and time again, but it is significantly more expensive than engineered hardwood flooring.
Other alternative options include:
- Engineered vinyl plank.
- Laminate or vinyl tiles or sheet flooring.
- Cork flooring.
- Ceramic tiles.
- Carpet tiles.