The right type of flooring is integral for any type of building project, which is why sometimes only the natural warmth and beauty of wood will do. Yet, even with wood you have choices to make. One of those decisions is whether to get solid wood floors or engineered hardwood. The following guide can help you determine whether engineered wood is a good choice for your project.

Do you need to trim your budget?

Engineered hardwood offers the same beauty as solid wood, since it is a true wood product. You still get to choose your wood of choice, which is then laid as a veneer over a wood core made of layers of hardwood plywood. This means it looks the same and is just as durable as solid wood, but for less cost.

Is dampness an issue?

One place where engineered hardwood shines over solid wood is in damp areas or climates. If you have moisture or humidity issues, the engineered core of these flooring planks is less prone to shrinkage and swelling. This means your floors won't develop waves or gaps. Engineered hardwoods are perfect for use in finished basements, kitchens, or in other areas with high air moisture.

Do you foresee frequent refinishing?

Solid wood can be refinished many times over its lifetime. This is a good thing if you are hard on your flooring and need to buff out stains or scratches often. Engineered hardwood, on the other hand, can only be sanded down and refinished once or twice before the top veneer is worn through. One option is to choose a durable thick finish on the engineered hardwood so most damage never penetrates to the wood. Then you can just buff off the old finish instead of having to sand down damaged wood.

What is the subfloor material?

A major issue for buildings on a concrete slab is that a secondary subfloor is needed to install solid wood floors. This is because the slight moisture seepage that occurs through concrete can damage solid wood flooring. Also, solid wood must be nailed directly to a subfloor to ensure it remains stable and doesn't warp. Engineered flooring can usually be installed directly over the concrete slab, since it uses a tongue and groove installation style that locks the boards together, plus it isn't as prone to moisture issues.

Contact an engineered hardwood flooring manufacturing if you have more questions or to get a better idea of what is available.