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Engineered vs. Solid Hardwood Floors by Daniel Smith





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Engineered vs. Solid Hardwood Floors by
Article Posted: 06/23/2013
Article Views: 33
Articles Written: 17
Word Count: 415
Article Votes: 0
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Engineered vs. Solid Hardwood Floors


 
Business
By Bret Lowder
Floor Store VP & General Manager

Solid Hardwood Flooring
"Solid" means what it says: each plank is a single piece of wood with tongue and groove sides. Solid planks are typically nailed down over a wooden sub-floor. It's not recommended for use directly over a concrete slab (such as a floodable basement) or below ground level, primarily because of its sensitivity to moisture and temperature. When it’s cold outside and warm inside, the wood can contract — even to the point of creating gaps between the planks. When summer comes and humidity increases, the wood will expand. This may solve the problem of the gaps, but too much moisture can cause cupping or buckling.

But these are not reasons to reject solid wood, only to be sure you install it where it belongs. One of the strongest arguments in favor of solid is that it can be sanded and recoated or completely refinished many times, which can extend its life by decades. You've probably walked on perfectly serviceable hardwood floors that are more than a century old, and you may even have noticed that they have a patina and character richer than anything you can buy from a showroom.

Engineered Hardwood Flooring
Engineered wood floors are made of three or more thin sheets (called plies) of wood that are laminated together to form a single plank. The cross-ply construction creates a floor that is dimensionally stable and not affected by the variations in moisture and temperature that can plague solid wood.

Engineered wood has steadily increased in popularity since its introduction in the 1960s, and now accounts for 30% of all wood flooring sold in the US. The principal reason is that it can be installed practically anywhere, including over wood sub-floors, concrete slabs and below-ground basements. It can be nailed down, stapled down, glued down, and even floated over some types of existing flooring. And where solid wood almost always calls for professional installation, a competent do-it-yourselfer can install an engineered floor without professional help – a significant money-saver.

Both solid and engineered floors are available unfinished or pre-finished at the factory. Our next post will examine the pros and cons of each choice.

The Floor Store has Northern California’s largest in-stock selection of hardwood flooring, both solid and engineered. Visit www.floorstores.com to find The Floor Store location nearest you, in Albany, Concord, Dublin, San Rafael, Santa Rosa, and Pittsburg.

Related Articles - the floor store concord ca, the floor store dublin ca, the floor store pittsburg ca, the floor store richmond ca,

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