Many mistakenly think solid is the only version of hardwood flooring. Solid is harvested from trees, rolled into logs, and then cut into various grain patterns. However, there is another version, and it is taking a significant share of the wood flooring industry. Called engineered wood flooring
, it appeals to people who want both beauty and practicality.
Differences are due to construction. While solid is one thickness throughout, which makes the fiber lie in a parallel position, engineered in layered. At the top is your species-of-choice, called the veneer layer; this gives the floor the same beautiful undertones, quirky knots, swirls, and raised grains as you would find in solid. Underneath are three or more layers and, here, Mother Nature gets a little help. Genuine wood is combined with a bit of resin to form layers placed in a crosswise position.
This gives the floor stability, better resistance to warping, and more versatility in installation since it can be placed in some higher-than-moisture places where solid cannot go. It can be refinished, adds the same value to your property as any other hardwood, and can last for decades.
There is an assortment of species, and it is usually factory finished. Planks are wider and shorter, although some manufacturers include more size variations. Because the floor is stable, there is no shrinkage and contraction to adjust to the weather, so acclimation is not needed. Both solid and engineered care is the same, including frequent sweeping with a soft broom and periodic deeper cleaning with a well-wrung mop and manufacturer-approved cleaner.