Friday, January 19, 2018

There are some distinct differences between solid and engineered flooring that should influence which product you purchase and install in your home. In order to guide you in your purchase decision, this article will examine what characterizes both of these product types and answer some key questions that should be assessed leading up to your flooring selection.

The Basics

Solid Hardwood

Solid hardwood flooring has been around for hundreds of years, standing the test of time as the premium flooring choice for your home. Many homeowners prefer solid hardwood because it is timeless, durable, and authentic.  At Superior Flooring, we make our solid hardwood ¾” thick and up to 4 ¼” wide. Aside from the finish, our solid hardwood is 100% wood and does not contain any glues or other un-natural products. All of our hardwood is ethically harvested in North America. 

Engineered Hardwood

Engineered hardwood flooring is a relatively new product and is becoming more popular as consumers request wider flooring boards that will still stand up to normal living conditions in versatile applications. We offer Superior Engineered Flooring with a Baltic Birch plywood core and Enhanced Hardwood Flooring with a 3-ply solid hardwood core. Our engineered products are available ½” or ¾” thick and between 3¼” and 7” wide. All options of this product-line are environmentally friendly, VOC free, and pass CARB II emission standards for formaldehyde content.

Where can I install my new flooring?

Hardwood flooring products can be installed in any room of your house, but will perform the best in rooms where moisture levels are balanced. Many people choose to install hardwood in their kitchens and powder rooms, but extra care is required to make sure that it does not get exposed to excessive moisture.

Solid Hardwood

Solid hardwood flooring is specifically designed to be installed over plywood sub-floors either at or above grade since these products are sensitive to humidity levels in your home. It is important to understand that installation below grade or other areas with exceptional moisture levels could cause solid hardwood to react with issues like cupping, buckling, etc.

Engineered Hardwood

The versatility and stability of engineered flooring allows it to be installed in almost any room in your house or condo. Our Engineered hardwood flooring can be installed over concrete, concrete with radiant heat, wood sub-floors, and wood sub-floors with radiant heat. While it is still important to monitor the humidity levels in your house, engineered hardwood can accept a broader range of humidity fluctuation before it fails.  


Can I refinish my hardwood flooring?

Superior Flooring uses a 4mm wear layer on all engineered flooring, Enhanced Flooring, Superior Engineered and Superior Flooring product lines allowing it to be re-finished multiple times. This is not so with many of the engineered floors sold on the market today. Other manufacturers do not have a thick enough wear layer, and as a result one will sand down into the core when they proceed to refinishing their floors.   

Which is more durable?

Solid Hardwood

Solid hardwood is exactly what the name implies, solid hardwood throughout the entire product. This makes it an exceptionally durable product that can withstand a great deal of life’s wear and tear before it is refinished. The hardness of the species also adds endurance to the product. Refer to the Janka Scale here to learn which species of hardwood can withstand more abuse than others. Our Water Clear™ finish further increases the durability of your floor.This premium environmentally friendly finish can withstand years of use in a normal household setting because of its unique formulation containing Aluminum Ceramic Oxide particles.

Engineered Hardwood

Even though engineered hardwood is typically more stable than solid hardwood, the durability factor is equal. Our engineered hardwood flooring has a thick (4mm) wear layer which can withstand years of normal use and refinishing. The combination of the hardness of the species and the wear layer qualities of the finish allows the durability of the product to match that of the solid hardwood.

How does the value compare?

Solid Hardwood

Solid hardwood has been the benchmark of quality used for centuries in home construction. While it is more expensive than many of the other flooring products in the marketplace, the fact that it can be refinished several times means that it is cost effective and more environmentally friendly than other products. The price of solid hardwood can vary greatly and is dependent on the size, grading, finish, and texture of the specific product. Hand scraped and wire brushed options are typically more expensive as hand-finished products take more time to produce than smooth flooring.  

Engineered Hardwood

Quality Canadian-made engineered products are typically more expensive than solid hardwood. This can be broken down to the construction of the board itself. To produce a higher quality product which is stable and environmentally friendly, we use premium adhesives and an intricate core-construction.

Our Superior Engineered products use a high-quality Baltic Birch core. When purchasing Baltic Birch, we pay close attention to the makeup of the plywood. Many companies use cheaper and less stable substitutes such as Poplar within the core and still market it as Baltic Birch. Our Enhanced Engineered Flooring uses a 3-ply solid hardwood core that has been engineered to far exceed the longevity of any hardwood flooring product. There are less expensive products available on the market, but Superior Flooring chooses to produce and sell cost effective products that will last a lifetime.