Just getting started in your search for the perfect hardwood floor? You’re not alone. Hardwood flooring is more popular than ever because of its lasting appeal and practicality. Our experts at Floor Coverings International North Chicago are here to introduce two common types of hardwood floors.

engineered hardwood flooring

Solid Wood Flooring

This is the “old school” type of wood floor you’ve seen for years. It’s made of solid wood between 3/4” and 5/16” wide. It can be installed above or on grade.

There are several advantages to solid wood flooring. Namely, it’s the real deal, with all the beauty of the natural wood species type. Solid wood is also highly durable and able to be sanded down and refinished multiple times.

The downside? Solid hardwood floors are not well suited for basements and other below-grade surfaces (below grade is four inches below ground level). Basements tend to get more moisture than rooms in the rest of the house, which can lead to warping and cracking of a solid wood floor.

Wood floors must also be nailed to a subfloor. Basements are usually built over concrete slabs. This creates a potentially problematic installation of solid hardwood and is usually not recommended.

Engineered Wood Flooring

Engineered wood is made up of multiple layers of wood stacked on top of each other, with hardwood, plywood, and a top layer of hardwood veneer.   The total thickness of an engineered hardwood floor is only about 3/8” to 5/8”, meaning it can be installed over an existing subfloor. The veneer tends to be about 1/12” to 1/4” thick.

Engineered floors have exploded in popularity over the past couple of decades. They can be easier and less expensive to install. Engineered hardwood can also look remarkably similar to solid hardwood floors.

Another advantage to engineered hardwood floors is that they aren’t as susceptible to moisture as solid wood, meaning no warping, cracking, and bowing. Engineered hardwood can also be installed in any room and over any sub-flooring surface.

A disadvantage to engineered hardwood? It’s not able to withstand deep scratches as well as solid hardwood. Only engineered floors with a thicker veneer layer will be able to be sanded down and refinished later.

Which hardwood floor it the right fit for your home? Give our experts at Floor Coverings International North Chicago a call today. We proudly serve the Chicago, Lake View, Ravenswood & Lincoln Square areas.

Photo credit: Lukiyanova Natalia/frenta