A number of homeowners prefer using hardwood flooring due to its aesthetic appeal and high durability. However, the main concern with hardwood flooring is that it can be quite difficult to install as a ‘Do-it-yourself’ (DIY) project. It is for this reason that a professional flooring installer needs to be called to install hardwood floor, thereby adding to the total cost. On the other hand, laminate flooring offers a cost effective and ‘easy to install’ alternative to hardwood flooring, but it is not real wood.
For homeowners who want a cost effective and durable alternative to hardwood, engineered hardwood flooring would be the ideal option. Engineered hardwood is a combination of real finished wood on top and non-finish plywood underneath. This additional layer of plywood is laid in a cross-way pattern, thereby providing support to the main wood top and enhancing its durability.
The choices available in the engineered hardwood category are almost identical to those available in the solid hardwood category. Some of the most popularly engineered hardwood options include Hickory, Oak, Bamboo and Maple. This wide variety ensures that homeowners are able to select an option as per their specific requirements.
Another major advantage of engineered hardwood is that it is pre-finished, i.e. it has already been sanded and sealed. This means that the floor can be used as soon as it has been installed. On the other hand, unfinished solid hardwood requires sealing prior to being used, thereby increasing the installation time.
One area where engineered hardwood scores more than laminate flooring is that it can be sanded at a later stage. Engineered hardwood can be easily sanded a few times in case scratches or stains develop on it. However, since engineered flooring has low tolerance for any mistakes during the sanding process it is recommended to avail professional assistance.
Although, wood flooring is not recommended for high moisture areas like the children’s bathroom; engineered hardwood flooring can be easily installed in low-moderate moisture areas. This feature makes engineered hardwood ideal for areas like the basement and the bathroom. Relative to other wood flooring types, engineered hardwood flooring would offer high durability in such areas of the house.
Hardwood flooring typically requires to be nailed to the wooden sub floor for maximum effectiveness. However, there are a number of other installation methods available for engineered hardwood flooring. Along with nailing the engineered hardwood floor, it is possible to either glue it or to use it as a floating floor. These installation options make engineered hardwood an ideal option for ‘DIY enthusiasts’.
Finally, engineered flooring is naturally warm and does not result in unwanted noise as is the case with a few other flooring options. It is also possible to install a radiant floor heating system beneath the engineered flooring, thereby providing high value.
Although engineered hardwood flooring can be more expensive than laminate, it provides high value in the long run. Not only can it be sanded a number of times, it is more resistant to moisture than other hardwood flooring options.
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