Read about the advantages and disadvantages of engineered wood flooring in this comprehensive article.Written by: Yarl Christie
What are the Pros & Cons of Engineered Wood Flooring?
If you want to choose the best flooring for your environment, understanding the different types is key. Each offers its own pros and cons, so you’ll need to know which one best matches your requirements.
Engineered flooring has become one of the most popular types of flooring for both homes and businesses. The question is, how does engineered wood differ from solid wood and what pros and cons does it deliver? Find out everything you need to know below…
What is Engineered Flooring?
Engineered flooring is a type of wood flooring, made up of several layers. It consists of a real wood top layer, alongside multiple layers of plywood. It looks just like solid wood flooring, only it offers a few distinct advantages. You can read more about what engineered wood flooring is in this article we have put together.
But, for now, let's look into the pros and cons of this popular type of flooring...
The Pros of Engineered Flooring
Engineered wood floors have become highly popular due to the sheer number of benefits they provide. Some of the main pros of engineered flooring include:
- Cheaper alternative to solid wood flooring
- Resistant to changes in temperature and moisture
- An eco-friendly choice
- Easier to install than solid wood
- Hundreds of designs to choose from
Although it looks just like solid wood, engineered wood flooring comes with a more affordable price tag. It is highly durable, which means these floors provide great long-term value for money too. If real wood floors are out of your price range, you may find engineered wood flooring is a great alternative.
As only the top layer of the floors is made from real wood, they are also a lot more resistant to changes in temperature and moisture. This allows you to install them in more areas across the home such as the kitchen, where solid wood flooring wouldn’t be suitable. It also makes the floors much easier to maintain. However, it is important to note that engineered wood floors are NOT waterproof. Therefore, you should avoid installing them in high-moisture environments such as the bathroom.
Care about your impact on the environment? Engineered wood flooring is an eco-friendly choice. As it uses less real wood than solid wood flooring, fewer trees need to be cut down to create the planks. The wood is also sliced, rather than saw-cut. This means more of the wood gets used when making engineered flooring than it does with solid wood flooring.
Installation is another advantage. Most engineered wood floors come with a tongue and groove system, allowing you to slot the planks easily into place. However, you can also find newer floors that incorporate a click system. This is the easiest installation method; you just click the planks together for a speedy fit. Whichever installation method the floor comes with, you’ll find it easier to install engineered wood yourself than you would with solid wood flooring.
Finally, when you shop for an engineered wood floor, you’ll find there are hundreds of designs to choose from. You can select from a wide range of finishes, colours, and styles. Whatever look you are hoping to achieve, you’ll find an engineered wood product to suit it.
As you can see, engineered floors have a lot of advantages. So, what about the disadvantages?
The Cons of Engineered Flooring
There aren’t many disadvantages to engineered flooring. However, there are some potential cons you need to be aware of. They include:
- More expensive than alternative flooring types
- You can’t sand it down as many times as solid wood
- It isn’t waterproof
- Quality can drastically vary
While engineered wood flooring is cheaper than solid wood, it is more expensive than alternatives such as laminate and LVT. It provides the most realistic wood effect and benefits from increased durability.
Engineered wood flooring does boast excellent durability. However, solid wood flooring has the potential to last much longer. This is because it can be sanded down more times than engineered wood flooring. With an engineered floor, you can typically sand them down 1-2 times, depending upon the thickness of the veneer.
You’ll also find that engineered flooring isn’t a good option for high-moisture areas. They may be more resistant against temperature and moisture changes, but they are not fully waterproof. So, if you’re looking to add a wood effect into the bathroom, you’d be better off choosing a waterproof laminate or LVT floor.
The last disadvantage worth mentioning is that the quality of engineered wood floors can vary. Some may be created with poor quality materials, meaning they won’t last as long as they should.
Engineered wood flooring is one of the best types of flooring you can invest in for the home. While it does come with some disadvantages, the benefits often outweigh them. Consider the pros and cons listed above to help you decide if engineered flooring is right for you.
At Stories Flooring, we sell premium engineered wood floors from leading manufacturers. While there are some disadvantages to this type of flooring, it offers far more benefits.