There are two main types of hardwood flooring: solid and engineered. Solid is just what it sounds like, a solid plank of wood. Engineered wood is also 100% wood. Most people confuse this with laminate, which is a completely separate product. Engineered wood is constructed in plies. This makes it almost 70% more structurally stable than a solid wood. Both of these types of wood come factory finished and provide a very durable wear layer. The main question most people have is whether to go with solid or engineered. The answer depends completely on the application. There are several factors to keep in mind in which we can discuss when you come in to the show room.
We also offer stair retread systems from EZ Tread. If you are tired of your carpeted stairs and love the look of wood steps, we can do that for you. They offer select colors options or you can customize your tread and riser colors to match a new or existing floor.
The main things to consider:
What is the subfloor? If it is concrete, engineered is the better option. If the subfloor is wood, either is appropriate.
What width wood do you want? If you are following the trend for wider planks, engineered is the way to go. In Pennsylvania, we have cold dry winters and warm humid summers. This variance in temperature and moisture will cause solid wood floors to expand and contract. In wider width solid planks, this movement can cause gaps and eventually cupping and bowing. The structural stability of engineered allows it to not be affected by these changes in temperature.
What direction will the wood run in the room? If you are going over a wood subfloor, solid can only be run in the opposite direction of the floor joists. Engineered can be run either direction allowing greater flexibility in design.
What area is this being installed in? While wood is not necessarily the best option in a kitchen or area that may be prone to spills, if you are thinking about this, engineered is again the better option. The stability allows it to resist swelling due to direct moisture better than solid wood.