One choice you may not have thought of when considering a new wood floor is whether or not you should opt for solid wood flooring or engineered wood flooring. There are differences in what these can offer you, as well as what you are hoping to achieve in your new wood floor.
Solid wood flooring is exactly as it sounds. The floor is made out of a solid wood species of your choice, cut in the fashion that you request, and in the grade that you decide upon. No matter what, you don’t have to worry about where the wood is being sourced, because when working with a reputable manufacturer, the wood will come from responsibly managed forests.
Solid wood is best for at or above grade applications. This means that there won’t be any direct glue to concrete actions taken, nor will it be used when the house includes radiant heat. Remember, over the course of the years, even if you can’t see it, wood will absorb and lose moisture. When placed over radiant heat, the wood can become much too dry and split or otherwise warp, ruining your beautiful floor. With application to concrete or in other below grade applications (such as basements), the moisture content may become too much and the wood can end up warping or even rotting.
It is with below grade applications, radiant heat, or direct glue to concrete applications that engineered wood flooring is your best choice. This doesn’t mean the quality has to be any less, however. Good manufacturers will have a smart design for their engineered flooring, which means there is much less expansion and shrinkage in the wood, which makes it ideal for these types of installations. Typically a core material is placed between a thin layer of surface veneer. The construction is given a thorough testing, and you can expect great results when a piece can be submerged for 48 hours and have no delamination!
Because of the construction of engineered wood flooring, moisture and heat are much less of a problem than they can be for solid wood. Both come in a variety of colorings due to species, can come in a variety of widths for your needs, and much more. Speak with the manufacturer and let them know where you intend to install your new floor, what type of moisture content or heat issues there are, and which will be best for your home.