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Solid Wood

December 12th, 2009 No comments

Solid Wood
Is it better to use solid wood or engineered wood for flooring?

Originally I was told engineered is better. More stable. Less likely to warp. Because it is superior and harder to make it is more expensive.
Today, my contractor said I should use solid wood.
So far I learned that engineered wood contains formaldihide.
Also, that one supplier won't sell engineered wood.
Would love to know if I was sold a bill of goods early on.
Alternatively, want to make sure I buy the right product.

Truthfully, it depends upon what your subfloor is made of.

If your subfloor is concrete....engineered wood is the way to go. The layers of the wood in an engineered product help the moisture to get out of the floor. That's why it is a more dimentionally stable floor. And while you may think that you are limited by your color choices....there are MANY manufacturers, and they all have their own color line. IF after you have looked at Anderson, Bruce, Appalichian, Columbia, Shaw, Mohawk, Scandia, Mirage, Tarkett, Mulligan, Forest Accents, Robbins, and Hartco - and still can't find the color you like....Plankfloor by Owens is an unfinished engineered wood. You can glue it to the slab and have a sand and finish guy stain to whatever color you prefer. Also, if you prefer wider plank say 5-7 inches - an engineered floor will give you far less problem. In a solid floor of that width, there is more surface area to absorb moisture.

As far as pricing - it is not necessarily more than solid...depends on the wood species and width....there is an engineered floor for every budget. In regards to refinishing an engineered floor, with each price point, you can see the difference in the wood layer on top. There are products such as Mirage, Forest Accents, and the Owens floor with the exact same wear layer as a solid wood - and can be sanded 3 times. BUT - the only reason you need to sand a floor back to bare wood is if you a: have major damage or b: want to change the color. With any wood floor, when you start to see surface scratching over time - you can have a finisher come in and "buff and coat" the floor. That is where the top layer of urethane is taken off, and a new one applied. You can have this done as often as you like....you are never getting into the wood.

One of the misconceptions about solid wood is that you have this huge chunk of wood that can be sanded and refinished over and over. NOT TRUE! You only get 3 sandings, because you can't sand past the tongue and groove. Contractors are often quick to say use solid - because that's what they know. As far as the floor being sealed by having it sanded and finished.....that will last until the first change in temperature. Wood by it's nature expands and contracts...that's what it does...so if you have your floors done in the summer...then throw on the heat in the winter...the boards will shrink, and the seal is broken. So, yes, engineered floors are more dimentionally stable.

If your subfloors are plywood, and you want a narrow board width - go for the solid.

As far as bamboo - it's a look that's popular right now - but it is not wood, it's a woody grass and is fingernail soft.

Laminate is good if you have lots of kids, but nothing looks like wood, except for wood. And if laminate becomes damaged, it is quite a chore to repair, and WHEN you see wear patterns in it...and you will eventually....it cannot be recoated, it must be replaced. I appreciate Consumer Reports said it was the best, I read the article....but people have been living on hardwood floors for hundreds of years, and they are better now than they were then.

If you have any other questions, please feel free to drop me an email.

B.C.W. Solid Wood Drums video 3 the glue up