I still get folks coming into our showroom asking for “real wood”. By this they mean 3/4″ solid hardwood flooring. We have this selection, however I have to explain that engineered hardwood flooring is also real wood. In fact, if they want a hardwood floor that will look great and perform well with ease of maintenance, this is what they should look at.
We live near the ocean where the moisture and humidity can be high or fluctuate. These are the conditions that the qualities of an engineered floor really shine.
A 3/4″ solid floor is typically installed, sanded and finished in place. The finish is then sanded smooth. A few installers are even creating a distressed look before they coat it with finish. You’ll be looking at spending $16 – $24 per square foot installed and even more for some custom looks. These are finished on site and require clients to leave the home for about a week to finish the work. Over time, these finishes will need a fresh coat applied. As with any solid wood floor you should expect some expansion and contraction of the boards. At times, you may see some gaps as the wood dries, only to see them close in more humid times of the year.
An engineered Hardwood Floor is a more stable product and will not expand and contract enough to create the gaping you see in solid wood floors. Finished in a controlled environment with all types of finish options. You might like the smooth finish with a gloss or satin coat or a wire brush finish, a true hand scraped look. The finish applied could be as light as a oil finish you can apply yourself or an aluminum oxide enhanced urethane that is warrantied to last up to 50 years. These prefinished floors offer so many looks and worry free maintenance options it really is a great way to beautify your home with hardwood that will look great for years and be easier to care for.
So next time someone asks you about real hardwood remember to ask them about how they want to care for this new floor. Are they up to living with some gaping and having someone come in and add a coat of finish every few years? Or would they like to look at a Hardwood that has more finish options and less maintenance needs.