Need help with picking flooring, solid hardwood or engineered, which is better?
June 4, 2013 in Design Dilemma
Our house got damaged during Hurricane Sandy so we have torn it down and we are rebuilding new construction. The new house will be 8ft up on pilings. I am getting mixed opinions from flooring stores and the builder as to what type of wood flooring we should put. The builder is providing Bruce pre-finished solid hardwood 3 1/4 wide plank. However we don't have to pick this type. I have heard that it is better to get natural floors and stain on sight instead of pre-finished. Which is better? Then in going to different flooring stores, they say not to get the solid wood, that the engineered wood is better because of the damp beach location. Solid hard wood can warp, but the engineered wood can only be refinished 3 times and is more expensive. Does anyone have any advice or experience to help up choose. We have time because they are only framing but I need to figure out the flooring so we can pick the cabinets. Thanks
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HERE Design and Architecture
Prefinished is faster, doesn't smell so much during the installation and some people say that the factory finishes are harder. Engineered floors, however, can only take so much refinishing. I like regular hardwood.
June 4, 2013 at 10:56AM   
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Nancy Travisinteriors
Engineered holds up better.
June 4, 2013 at 11:07AM   
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ReSquare Architecture + Construction
We find pre-finished hardwood on plywood to be the best way to go for anyone looking to stay for the long haul.

The only upside of engineered hardwood veneer vs. solid plank is the factory bond between the solid and the plywood. Properly installed (glued and screwed to plywood) however, a solid plank floor provides the same bond between solid and plywood as the engineered, but you get about twice the sand-able thickness and more than twice the plywood backer for a MUCH more solid floor that will probably outlast your ownership regardless your current plans.

If it is a large floor area, the replacement cost (the labor drive costs) can be substantial down the road. If it is a small floor area that won't cost much to replace in a few years, then the engineered becomes more cost effective (but don't glue it for easier removal later).

We prefer pre-finished for typical jobs due to the variation of finish quality among installers. Higher end custom jobs willing to pay for high quality finishers will be a nicer more durable finish, though.

If you can afford solid plank on plywood glued and screwed and plan to be there forever, in our opinion it's the better choice.

BTW: that is a LOT of house to design on your own. Are you sure you want to rely on a builder and a bunch of suppliers, your own experience and bunch of free advice on the internet for your home's decisions? I'd highly recommend hiring an Architect for at least some ongoing consultation on an hourly basis.
June 4, 2013 at 11:07AM   
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