hard wood vs. prefinished hard wood vs. engineered wood
April 26, 2014 in Design Dilemma
I technically understand what the difference is but what are the pros/cons that a homeowners should consider when trying to make a decision?
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dalma darling
I think you'll find that these two Ideabooks offer a wealth of information when it comes to making the decision about which type of wood flooring will suit your needs.

Ideabook: What to Ask Before Choosing a Hardwood Floor
Ideabook: When to Use Engineered Wood Floors
0 Likes   July 14, 2014 at 2:20PM
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Mega Builders
It may be helpful to have some more information: are floors going above or below grade? On raised floor or on slab-on-grade? Can you find a pre-finished floor that is exactly what you want? Is matching an existing floor an issue?
These and other parameters will greatly affect which option may work better for you.
Good luck!
1 Like   July 14, 2014 at 2:45PM
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Nor-Cal Floor Design, Inc
We recommend engineered hardwood for the simple fact that solid hardwood moves with varying humidity levels. Thus resulting in gaps between boards or cupping. There is a misconception that engineered hardwood is not "real" hardwood. The truth is that there are many different levels of engineered wood and it is available in "real" hardwood and can be sanded/refinished just as a solid wood floor can. The engineering part stabilize the wood from wanting to act naturally with expansion and contraction. This allows for a fit with very little movement, avoiding the gaps and cupping.

The next thing to consider is the pre-finished part. Having a floor finished in place stems from solid hardwood flooring and the need to sand it so that all the planks are flush with each other. If you select a quality engineered product, the planks will be milled so precise that you don't have the worry or an uneven surface once installed. Use of a pre-finished product, enables an easy installation that can typically be walked on immediately following installation (we suggest a cover protection be used until the construction is complete the avoid construction damage). When it comes to choosing a pre-finished floor, you have many options from the standard colors a manufacturer produces (commonly found in flooring stores) to custom pre-finished floors produced specifically for you.

I know that was a lot of info, hopefully it helped. Good luck!
1 Like   August 18, 2014 at 1:53PM
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Xulon Floors
There are benefits to both... and cost is probably the biggest one for someone on a tight budget. When dealing with solid hardwood there is the added expense of hiring a seasoned sand and finish company. The limitations of solid hardwood make its installation much more tedious, especially when dealing with concrete slabs. Subfloors can be installed over concrete which can make it possible to install solid hardwood, but that often leads to problems with the height of the floors with respect to other features present that must be foreseen and addressed, as well as a significant extra cost. Generally i have found that the actual cost of solid flooring is comparable to a nice engineered floor (although some engineered flooring can get rediculous!)
I am definitely biased because I am that experienced refinisher that I talked about above, but I always love to see someone go with the real thing. To me there is nothing quite like a custom 3/4 inch floor that has been well installed,finished, and maintained. Your talking a lifetime of top quality flooring!
Now, that said, I do see the advantages of prefinished engineered hardwood flooring, and it is very "real" in the sense that it is wood on the top, and can be refinished a time or two. Plus the added ease of installation directly to the slab is an incredible advantage that engineered holds over solid. Another important factor is quality and durability of the finishes used. I hate to admit it, but site finishes just don't have the durability that factory finishes do. Don't forget though that adhesives and moisture barriers add expense that are not necessarily associated with solid floor installations.
All in all I would always prefer a solid floor to an engineered one if possible. One is a Rolls Royce, the other is a top of the line Mercedes! Both are expensive... but awesome if done correctly.
1 Like   August 23, 2014 at 10:23PM
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