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Engineered Wood Flooring vs Hardwood: Which Suits Your Home?




The versatility of wood flooring makes it a perfect choice for any home, but with so many various types to pick from, choosing the perfect one for your home can be difficult. In fact, it would be impossible to distinguish between engineered and solid hardwood floors once installed, even though they are two entirely different floorings.


Both are crafted from genuine hardwood but are manufactured in quite different ways. Let's look in more detail at each choice to decide which is best for your home.


Key Differences

Let's first clarify the differences between these two flooring choices. Both alternatives are made of natural materials, despite the common misconception that engineered hardwood is synthetic.


Hardwood Flooring

The most common types of wood used to make hardwood wood flooring are:


  • Oak

  • Walnut


To interlock the boards during installation, it is milled with tongues and grooves on the opposing ends. It is usually secured to the subfloor with nails, which requires some expertise.


This hardwood flooring may be sanded down and refinished multiple times throughout its lifetime because it is made of solid wood.


Engineered Wood Flooring

While engineered wood flooring resembles solid wood, it is made of a relatively thin layer of hardwood that is adhered to two layers of solid fir wood laid in a longitudinal and lateral direction. This allows the flooring to expand and contract naturally and provides incredible thermal and humidity stability. The strongest engineered wood flooring will have a


  • 2 to 3 layers of solid wood construction

  • good flexibility

  • thermal and humidity stability


A high-quality engineered wood floor should last 25 to 30 years on average.


Which Flooring Is Best?

If you're building or remodelling and considering installing solid hardwood or engineered wood flooring in Singapore, we suggest consulting an expert. They can give you the best advice depending on your situation and house. Both alternatives have their place and time. The best choice for you will depend on the following:


  • Budget

  • Subfloor

  • Installation location


Appearance

Compared to engineered hardwood flooring, solid hardwood flooring boards come in smaller pieces and have a smaller selection of species and colours. This is because solid wood flooring is unstable in large pieces to thermal and humidity. Moreover, solid hardwood flooring requires the flooring pieces to be assembled and finished on-site, which can be time-consuming. However, the gaps between the boards are narrower and tighter, but it will have a smooth, consistent feel and finish that is either glossy or matte.


Engineered hardwood flooring typically has broader floorboards, which allows it to be thermal and humidity stable. Besides that, engineered hardwood flooring is pre-finished in the factory and only requires installation on-site. Hence, the installation is much faster and non-messy. As it is finished in the factory, it can come in many more colours and finishes that can only be achieved in the factory process. In addition, the flooring is available in a multitude of textures, finishes and edges, as it does not require on-site sanding and finishing. For example:


  • glossy finish

  • matte finish

  • weatherworn

  • fully natural textures


The edges also provide an additional sensory texture and design element and can come bevelled, square edge, worn, etc.


Sound and Comfort

Both solid hardwood flooring and engineered hardwood flooring require to be glued or nailed down to the sub-layer below. As such, the acoustic qualities of solid hardwood and engineered hardwood flooring are similar.


In terms of comfort, solid hardwood and engineered hardwood floor are similar as the interaction with the top layer of both flooring are hardwood.


Maintenance and Care

Both solid and engineered hardwood flooring requires only basic sweeping and cleaning with a damp mop and wood cleaner that has been certified or approved by your wood flooring manufacturer for use. Never clean a wood floor with water or steam.


In terms of maintenance, solid hardwood can be sanded and polished multiple times over its lifetime. According to industry professionals, two to four times is average. However, engineered hardwood can only be refinished once or twice before the surface hardwood layer wears off.


Lifespan

Since it can be repeatedly sanded and refinished, solid hardwood lasts at least 30 years and as long as 100. On the other hand, engineered hardwood flooring typically lasts 20 to 30 years.


Installation

While solid hardwood and engineered hardwood floors need to be nailed or glued to the subfloor below, engineered hardwood floors have an additional tongue and groove edging system. This is to provide an extra level of lateral movement security.


However, modern-day solid hardwood flooring has followed suit and comes with tongue and groove edging systems as well.


Water and Heat Resistant

Both kinds of hardwood are heat resistant. However, solid hardwood flooring is thermally unstable as it is a thick piece of solid wood. In contrast, engineered hardwood flooring has a cross-layering structure, allowing it to be thermally stable. As such, engineered hardwood flooring is suitable even for underfloor heating applications.


Neither material is ideal for application in severely wet conditions as it contains natural wood products. Hence, great care needs to be taken to keep water away from the flooring.


Environment Impact

Compared to engineered hardwood, solid hardwood requires more tree harvesting. But, the advantages of solid hardwood include its longer lifespan than engineered wood and greater capacity to be resurfaced, which means it doesn't need to be replaced as frequently.


Unlike most other forms of flooring, engineered hardwood is sustainable and beneficial to the environment. Since natural wood like Oak and Walnut takes a longer time to grow and mature before they can be used in flooring applications, engineered hardwood flooring can reduce the usage of those wood. The thinner hardwood top layer allows for a much higher volume of engineered wood flooring than solid hardwood flooring.


While it is common for standard composite wood flooring products to use harmful glues and chemicals in the manufacturing process, top-quality brands like Foglie d'Oro only use natural and European Commission CE-safe chemicals in the production of their materials. This ensures that the engineered hardwood flooring can be disposed of properly at the end of its lifespan.


Top Brand

FOGLIE D'ORO: Foglie d'Oro has complete control over the supply chain, which contributes to the great quality of its floors. Starting at the source, the finest raw materials are chosen in certified forests that the company owns and sustainably manages. This selection process continues through to the delivery of the finished product.


The elegant and varied selection of planks, chevrons, herringbone, and exquisite inlay-ed panels are handcrafted with ongoing research and development for newer designs and finishes. Each piece of wood is expertly processed by the hands of skilled artisans who can flawlessly interpret the design team's imaginative illustrations.


Which to choose?

There isn't a clear answer in this case. Everything boils down to your priorities. Hardwood flooring is the best choice if durability is more important to you.


However, engineered hardwood flooring is an excellent alternative for one looking for more style options, and a more elegant overall appearance and feel. In either case, wood flooring will undoubtedly add sophistication and natural comfort to your space.


Interested to install bespoke wood flooring in your home?

Consider engaging Lux & Beyond for finely crafted, fully customisable interior finishing and inspirational lighting. With more than 20 years in the interior industry and vast experience and understanding of the local market, the brands we curate are carefully selected to fit the local market, highly reputable, and well-established with good quality.

The suitability and sustainability of the materials and products are also taken into account based on the condition and humidity of the local environment. Find out more by visiting https://www.luxandbeyond.sg/contact-us.


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