Engineered Hardwood Floors
This section will reveal the pros and cons of another viable option for hardwood floors in Florida and will offer some concluding thoughts on how to decide which type of wood flooring is best for your home. If you missed Part 1 of Best Hardwood Floors for Florida, you can check it out on our News & Tips page.
Option 2: Engineered Hardwood Floors
Having solid hardwood flooring in Florida is still very possible, but there is an alternative option for families who want the look of real wood without the upkeep. Engineered hardwood floors have been in existence for over thirty years and have become the most popular option for a DIY wood floor. Engineered wood flooring is all-wood, laminate plank manufactured from pieces of wood that comes in a variety of pre-finished shades. This type of flooring boasts a wood wear layer that tops three to twelve ply layers of various wooden materials, such as oak and poplar. These materials are cross-layered, glued, and pressed together.
Engineered hardwood is not the same as laminate because the top layer consists of real wood. This trait guarantees attractiveness comparable to solid wood flooring. It also means that engineered wood floors are capable of surviving several refinishes to achieve a fresh look, and it can be site-finished just like solid hardwood if the owner prefers.
Even though they can be sanded a few times like real wood, the real wood layer on top of engineered hardwood floors is much thinner than a solid wood plank, so engineered hardwood floors do not use as much wood overall. Depending on the way manufacturers cut the real wood for the thin top layer, engineered hardwood floors can produce almost no sawdust, which categorizes this type of flooring as more resourceful of wood and less wasteful on the whole.
Engineered wood floors bear a great resemblance in look and feel to solid hardwood, but they are designed to deflect the moisture problems of Florida specifically. Engineered hardwood floors are more impervious to higher moisture levels in the environment, so they are ideal for Florida and similar regions. They are also coated in a specially formulated, UV-cure urethane finish that intensifies their durability and resistance to scratches. With all the sand and sunlight that comes in to Florida homes, that extra protection is essential.
Some types of engineered hardwood floors, such as acrylic impregnated flooring, offer unparalleled durability due to a process that bolsters the strength of the wood to the point that it is 300% harder and more indent immune than natural wood. Engineered hardwood floors are also known to be more stable than solid hardwood as the manufactured wood moves less than real wood.
The installation process of engineered wood also seems catered to Florida housing communities; this flooring can be attached to a subfloor like real wood, but it can also be glued down directly over concrete slabs above or below grade, which is much more convenient for homeowners in Florida. Another difference in installation between real and engineered hardwood floors is the fact that real wood has to be nailed down, whereas engineered hardwood planks snap together and float over a thin foam-rubber underlayment, which ensures a quick and clean insertion with no gluing or nailing.
Even though engineered hardwood floors are shaded with many popular wood stains, the color options are limited to the choices of the manufacturer, so engineered hardwood floors cannot be personalized to the extent that solid wood floors can be.
Engineered hardwood floors also have a cap on the number of times they can be refinished due to the fact that the real wood layer on top is only a thin portion of each plank. Minimized sanding also means that engineered hardwood is incapable of concealing subfloor flaws, as there is usually no sanding during the installation, so this restriction necessitates perfecting the subfloor to prepare for the wood layer.
This lack of real wood to work with also leaves engineered hardwood floors harder to repair; a whole section may have to be replaced if the floor is damaged, and matching up the color and grain between the new and existing planks can be tricky depending on the supplying company.
Another notable con for engineered hardwood floors is that they are considerably more expensive than laminate, tile, and carpet, and prices usually start higher than even solid hardwood.
Lastly, engineered hardwood floors come in great ranges of quality, so homeowners must be extremely careful when buying. Inappropriately thin veneers shorten the life of the floor by resisting sanding and refinishing opportunities, and they can even cause premature warping and fading. If the core layers are made of fiberboard or strand board rather than high quality wood, the stability of the floor could be compromised, and the flooring will certainly be an inferior product.
Both solid and engineered hardwood floors are accessible for homeowners in Florida to incorporate into their houses, but there are clearly some specific benefits and drawbacks to going with either option in this state. Engineered hardwood floors may be a better choice for the ground floor simply because of the humidity situation, but solid hardwood floors can sometimes be added to upper floors that are farther away from the moisture. There are ways to make both types fit in Florida, but the personal factors and preferences of individual homeowners might make one choice standout as the most convenient option for them.
However, the work that precedes and follows the flooring procedure is also something to consider before making a definite decision. If different flooring already exists in the home, removing the old and preparing for the new are important steps that contribute to the eventual success of the future surface. There can be a lot to remove and repair to get ready for solid or engineered hardwood floors, and Speedy Floor Removal has experience with all of it. To learn more, review the professional services we can offer to your next flooring project, whether solid or engineered hardwood is the final choice, and contact Speedy Floor Removal today.
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