The main difference between solid wood flooring and engineered wood flooring is the composition of the wood panels. Solid wood is wood cut from a tree and then cut to size into flooring panel dimensions, while engineered wood flooring is composed of several layers of wood pressed and glued together to the desired thickness and then cut to the specified dimensions.
Solid Wood Flooring
Solid Wood is made from a single piece of wood which is typically 18 – 20mm in thickness. Solid Wood floors can give you years of service and pleasure, with different width sizes, boards, lengths and finishes. It can also be sanded back to restore the finish. It can be oiled, lacquered or unfinished.
Solid wood traditionally have a tongue and groove installation and we recommend that Solid wood floors are professionally installed. Solid Wood floors are generally warm to walk on and strong but they are not suitable for underfloor heating. Solid Wood Flooring is available in many forms of oak, walnut and maple.
A good quality Solid Wood floor can last a lifetime if it is maintained and adds more character with wear and tear over time.
Engineered Wood Flooring
Engineered wood flooring is a man made product that is made from natural materials. Commonly made up of layers of ply that are bonded together, the engineered wood flooring is always topped off with a layer of solid wood. This layer of solid wood is called the lamella or top layer and it’s thanks to this solid wood finish that engineered wood looks so convincingly like solid wood.
Engineered wood flooring has the advantage over solid wood that its stable structure means that it is much more resistant to expansion and contraction than solid wood. What this means is that it can safely be fitted in rooms where temperature and moisture fluctuations are significant, like bathrooms and kitchens. Engineered wood flooring can also be installed over or under floor heating.
Laminate Wood Flooring
Laminate flooring is made of thin, pressed wood board with an image of wood on top covered by a clear “wear layer” to protect the image.
Even though laminate flooring is composed of a majority of wood fibers, none of this wood is in its natural state. One thing to note: there is a common misconception that laminate is made of plastic. This is not true. There is some resin in the form of the thin top wear layer, and perhaps an attached underlayment, but it is mostly made of wood.
Laminate flooring ranges from very cheap (about $0.50 for 6mm oak-look laminate) to moderately pricey (about $3.00 for long-plank 12mm oak-look boards).
Laminate flooring cannot be refinished. You can fill in deep scratches on a spot-by-spot basis. But should the entire surface become dull or scratched, you will need to re-install.
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