Hardwood Flooring Defined:
Hardwood floors consist of planks of solid wood joined together by tongue and groove. The most popular woods for this type of flooring are maple and oak but there are numerous other varieties.
Pros of Hardwood
Hardwood floors come in hundreds of styles, thicknesses and colors. They're durable and can last for generations. When they become marred or worn they can be sanded, refinished and rejuvenated. Flooring that is stained too dark for your tastes can be stripped and re-stained with a lighter tone. Hardwood floors are adaptable to any homeowner's interior design plan. Buying pre-finished hardwood saves you from the task of having to stain it yourself.
Cons of Hardwood
Wood planks for this flooring are a product derived from nature and nature is imperfect. To compensate for some of the planks being unusable, you have to purchase slightly more than you'll need for a room. The inconsistency of hardwood can be unappealing if you're someone who wants a uniform grain and pattern. Hardwood can't be installed below ground level in a home due to the high moisture level of the floor. More humid climates can cause hardwood to buckle, warp and rot.
Engineered Flooring Defined
Engineered wood floors consist of planks made up of multiple thin layers of hardwood and plywood. Each ply of material is crossed, glued and pressed together. The top layer of the planks is a hardwood veneer. The veneer is available in a selection of thicknesses and wood species.
Pros of Engineered Flooring
Engineered wood flooring is budget friendly and versatile. It can be installed in any room, even the basement. It's more resistant to moisture than solid hard wood. It can be glued onto dry cement slabs in basements or converted garages. Engineered wood can be stapled down to some type of sub-floor. This flooring is available in interlocking tongue and groove planks which require no glue during installation. An interlocking engineered wood floor can be installed over any existing floor as long as it's level.
Cons of Engineered Flooring
The thickness of the veneer hardwood layer of engineered floor planks varies greatly. Installing this floor in high traffic areas requires using planks with a thicker veneer layer that can be sanded and refinished if necessary. Replacing a single damaged plank of this material is a difficult task especially if the floor has been glued directly to a slab.