Hardwood Flooring 101- Solid vs. Engineered Hardwood

The process of choosing the right hardwood flooring product should not be taken lightly. Selecting the proper material for your job is essential to achieving the beautiful results you want. In today’s market, hardwood floors are separated into two main categories: Solid vs. Engineered Hardwood.

Solid hardwood means each plank is made from a single piece of wood. This type of flooring ranges from about 3/8” thickness to 1”, but the overwhelming majority of solid wood flooring is ¾” thick. Solid hardwood can be finished onsite, or can come prefinished from the factory.

Engineered wood flooring consists of a top layer of solid “species” wood over a multi-layer construction beneath. The top layer, also known as a “wear layer” or veneer, is the wood you will be walking on once the floor is installed. This wear layer is prefinished at the factory, and usually has a premium “wear coating” added, such as Aluminum Oxide. The bottom layers often are a softer wood, such as birch or poplar, in a cross-ply construction.

In our next post, we will consider some of the advantages/disadvantages of Solid vs. Engineered hardwood flooring.

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