Engineered Hardwood Floors versus Solid Hardwood Floors

While doing our Long Island and New York City home inspections, we are often asked “What’s the difference between solid hardwood flooring versus engineered hardwood floors”.

Solid hardwood floorboards have been used for hundreds of years.  Usually, they are three quarters of an inch thick with varying widths and can be refinished multiple times before they need to be replaced.  We have seen solid wood floors in place for over 150 years and still look great. Make sure the person doing the refinishing is a real professional because the floor may just require a light abrasion or cleaning to rejuvenate the floor versus a total sanding.

Engineered hardwood floors consist of a thin wood veneer applied on strips of plywood.  They are durable and look great.  However, typically engineered floors can only be refinished 1 or 2 times because the process can wear through the veneer and expose the plywood.  The floorboards are mechanically strong because the plywood base is strong.  In addition, engineered hardwood floors include a durable factory applied finish, but don’t expect this type of floor to last nearly as long as solid wood planks.

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