Welcome back to 7th Heaven Floors final blog of our blog series, all about how hardwood and engineered wood stacks up to one another. These flooring types look very similar but have very different composition. In our last post, we learned different benefits of each type of hardwood. Solid hardwood floor is easier to maintain and can be repaired if necessary. Engineered hardwood can be installed in any room in your NW Arkansas home, has the ability installed with different methods, and doesn’t expand as much.
At 7th Heaven Floors, we want you to have the all the information to make an educated decision when it comes to choosing the best floor for your NWA home. Our experts are available for consultations, installations, and repair. Our team is here for all your flooring needs!
In this last post, we are going to focus on the disadvantages of each flooring type. This will give you a good idea of which hardwood species will be right for your home in NWA.
DISADVANTAGES OF SOLID HARDWOOD
EXPANDS AND CONTRACTS
Like we stated in our previous post, most people are aware that hardwood flooring is going to expand and contract based on the humidity within the home. This can cause issues with the floor such as warping, buckling, and lifting, which will need repair in the future. When you decide to go with a wider plank of hardwood, this causes even more concern. When you are using wider planks in your NWA home, the installation process becomes a bit more extensive because the boards will not only have to be nailed in place but also glued to prevent movement.
NO RADIANT HEAT
If you love the idea of a heated floor, you may have to give up that dream if you are choosing solid hardwood for your home. Solid hardwood is not a viable material to be placed on a radiant heated floor. There are some options you have if you still want wood on top of your radiant flooring, but this adds to overall cost and time, making this project less than ideal.
When you are choosing solid hardwood for your home in NWA, you need a plywood subfloor underneath. While some homes already have this included within the foundation, some do not, and they may have a concrete slab underneath. If this is the case, you will need to add a completely new subfloor before you can install your hardwood flooring. This can add time, cost, and height, which are all concerns.
ONLY FOR CERTAIN AREAS
If you are wanting to use solid hardwood flooring throughout your whole two story house, this may not be an option. Solid hardwood is not a suitable material for anything considered below grade, mainly meaning basements that are below ground level. The moisture level in your basement is going to be different from the rest of your home, so your floor may expand and contract much more easily, getting ruined rather quickly. Additionally, most of the time basements have a concrete subfloor which creates another hiccup when it comes to solid hardwood.
DISADVANTAGES OF ENGINEERED HARDWOOD
USUALLY, CAN’T BE REPAIRED OR REFINISHED
One of the main drawbacks to having an engineered floor is that it usually cannot be sanded or refinished over time. Reason being, the thickness of the top layer. Most inexpensive engineered woods have too thin of a top layer to ever really be sanded down. If you decide to install this hardwood using the floating method, it can never be refinished. The floor isn’t secured in place which will cause it to move and not have a smooth finish.
Many, but not all, engineered flooring tends to be lower grade cuts of wood. If you go for a very inexpensive flooring, you will be able to see different graining than what you normally see on solid hardwood flooring. Additionally, engineered flooring tends to include shorter pieces that will be harder to fit in place, making installation more difficult overall.
Depending on which engineered floor you choose, it can tend to look less authentic. Not only will it look not as natural as you like, but it may even sound fake. If you tend to use the floating installation method, the floor may tend to move as you walk, causing weird sounds. If you are trying to sell your NWA home, this may turn buyers off, as they think the floor is cheaply made. If you install the floor using other methods, you may be able to avoid this issue.
We hope you have enjoyed our blog series all about solid hardwood versus engineered flooring. At 7th Heaven Floors, located in Bella Vista, we want to make sure our customers have all the facts and information before they make such a large decision for their home. Call us for all your flooring needs today!