One of the most frequent questions we hear when it comes to wood flooring is: Which is better: engineered hardwood or solid hardwood?
Although we’ll admit to being biased in favour of engineered hardwood flooring, we’ve put together a list of some of the benefits of – and differences between – the two to make the decision-making process easier.
No matter which you choose, wood floors are always an excellent choice. They’re better for people with allergies or sensitive immune systems, they’re durable and last for years, easy to keep clean, look fantastic in your home, office, or retail space and generally increase property values.
Some telling differences are that solid hardwood often – but not always – comes in narrower planks than engineered hardwood. When installed, solid hardwood usually has tight seams between planks. Engineered hardwood flooring often has ever-so-slightly bevelled edges and comes in a variety of widths, giving you more choice.
Once installed, many people would be hard-pressed to tell the difference between engineered hardwood and solid hardwood flooring.
Technology has come a long way and engineered hardwood is no exception. Unlike some manufacturers, we use only top-quality Hevea wood as the core of our floors. Hevea is a plantation hardwood with the same density and strength as White Oak. With a timber base, the Hevea core and a top veneer of premium quality hardwood, our floors are not only beautiful; they’re long-lasting, more dimensionally stable, and can withstand temperature extremes.
The top hardwood layer of Forestry Timber’s engineered hardwood floors is thicker than most and can be sanded if necessary. However, we recommend not doing so unless there is significant, irreversible damage.
The beauty of our engineered hardwood floors is that the proprietary reactive technologies we use have been developed to create and enhance both texture and colour from within the wood itself, resulting in a more intense colouration and significantly enhancing the individual characteristics of each plank – results that cannot be achieved using traditional staining methods.
Solid hardwood flooring Solid wood flooring is just that – solid strips of any number of hardwoods used for flooring. They too look great and can last for many years. Unfortunately, temperature extremes can wreak havoc on a solid timber floor, leading to buckling, cupping and warping.
Frequent sanding of any hardwood floor, engineered or otherwise, will wear away the top layer of flooring, resulting in less saturated colour and, in the case of solid hardwood, exposing nails and joins. If sanded too frequently, the floor will have to be replaced.
Our engineered hardwood is easy to install and maintain. Installation can be tongue and groove – referring to the traditional method of planks with a tongue and a groove that join together, creating a smooth surface.
An alternative to the more traditional tongue and groove installation is the Välinge 5G® folddown locking system for our floors. Planks click together easily and there’s no nailing or gluing necessary – meaning no creaking joints. Instead, you end up with a beautiful floating floor.
Even our Fashion range of either herringbone or chevron patterned flooring is easy to install. Available in either single plank or Chevron Connex – our system of affixing single planks on another plank, making installation easier and less time-consuming – you’ll end up with stunning patterned flooring without a lot more work.
Maintenance & Cleaning
With a little extra care and attention, maintaining hardwood floors – both solid and engineered hardwood – is easy and the same principles apply to both. Making sure to wipe up spills as soon as possible, sweeping and vacuuming regularly with a soft broom or vacuum head and protecting the floor by using felt floor pads underneath furniture legs go a long way to preserving your new floor.
Wood is a living material and, although Forestry Timber’s engineered hardwood floors are better suited to withstanding temperature extremes than solid hardwood flooring, it still makes sense to try to maintain an even temperature and humidity in your home, office, or retail space.
Our engineered hardwood flooring is easier on the environment than solid timber flooring. Sounds crazy but it’s true. The wood we use for both the foundation and the Hevea core is plantation hardwood. What this means is that we use wood that has been grown on a plantation and has come to the end of its life cycle/use for other purposes. Rather than disposing of that wood, we use it in its final form as part of our floors.
The hardwoods we use for the top layer are legally harvested and sustainably sourced – in line with our commitment to quality, sustainability, and best practice within the industry. In fact, all the wood we use for our floors is legally harvested and, through Chain of Custody (CoC) transparency, can be traced back to the forest of origin.
By virtue of using less hardwood on an engineered hardwood floor – as it’s only the top layer and not the same wood throughout – the trees we use go further than by using solid hardwood.
Regardless of whether you choose to purchase engineered hardwood flooring or solid hardwood, make sure to check that the product you’re buying has been legally harvested and sustainably sourced.
The Final Decision
Overall, your choice of floor comes down to what works best for you. We at Forestry Timber are proud of the floors we produce and are confident that you will be happy with your purchase both now and for decades to come.
For more information, or to find one of our many distributors worldwide, please visit any one of our brand websites: Woodline Parquetry, TimberTop, FloorArt Parquetry Elyseum Fertigparkett, or Sienna Parquetry, or contact any of our sales team and they will be more than happy to help.
Hardwood flooring engineered for living, Designed to Impress.