Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Kitchen Battle: Solid vs. Engineered Wood Floors

Courtesy of Cultivate
Wonderful Wood
Wood is enjoying a comeback as a surface of choice for kitchens—no surprise given how much warmth, depth, and sophistication gleaming new planks of wood can add to the hub of the home. Once you’ve made the choice to put wood underfoot, you’ll find yourself confronted with all sorts of additional decisions. Should you go with solid or engineered wood? Pre-finished or custom stained? Classic American hardwood or an exotic species? Fortunately, it’s not about right versus wrong. Your budget, your personal style, and our primer on wood flooring can help you decide.
Shown here: Hickory Engineered Flooring by Armstrong
Solid Wood: The Basics

Solid wood is just what its name implies: Each plank is a solid slab of wood, usually about 3/4-inch thick. A traditional floor often has 2 ½-inch-wide planks, but for a different, usually more rustic, look, you can opt for planks as wide as 6 inches. A hardwood floor can be finished in your kitchen for a truly custom look, though that means additional down time for sanding, staining, and sealing. Pre-finished planks let you use the room right away; however, you have to choose from the colors the manufacturer offers.

Shown here: Oak Solid Wood Flooring by Bruce


Engineered Wood:
The Basics
Engineered wood floors are made up of three to twelve layers, or plies, of wood with a top layer of veneer in the wood and finish you’ve selected. As with solid wood, the planks come in a variety of widths. A well-made engineered wood floor looks every bit as beautiful as a hardwood floor. Because engineered floors are pre-finished, your color choices are limited by what the manufacturer has.
 Shown here: Birch Engineered Flooring by Armstrong
Solid Wood: Pros
The thickness of solid wood means it can be sanded down and refinished many times over the years, so it can look as good as new generations from now. Solid wood can also be matched to existing hardwood flooring quite easily, lending continuity to your interior design.
Shown here: Hickory Saddle Hand-Scraped Solid Wood Flooring by HomerWood
Solid Wood: Cons
Solid wood isn’t as environmentally friendly as engineered wood, simply because it uses more high-quality wood. According to Hosking Hardwood, a North Attleboro, Massachusetts, company, every square foot of wood that goes into solid wood flooring could be used to make four square feet of engineered wood. (You can limit your impact on the environment by choosing manufacturers that use only Forest Stewardship Council-certified woods). Solid wood is a more expensive option, and it also requires a subfloor, which can be an added expense.
Shown here: Black Acacia Solid Wood Flooring by Armstrong

Engineered Woods: Pros
 Engineered wood is a “greener” choice, especially if your tastes run to the more exotic, less sustainable woods such as Brazilian cherry, African mahogany, or teak. It’s also generally a less expensive option than solid wood; all things being equal, a top-quality solid wood floor is costlier than a top-quality engineered wood floor. Unlike solid wood, engineered wood can be laid on concrete or even over your old tile or vinyl flooring. It also stands up to high humidity better than solid wood.
Shown here: Maple Engineered Flooring by Shaw Floors

Engineered Wood: Cons
Engineered wood is not quite as durable as solid wood. This might be perfect for empty nesters with a quiet household, but if you have lots of foot traffic through the kitchen, or if you have large dogs, engineered wood won’t stay looking good as long as solid wood will. Because engineered wood has a relatively thin top layer, it can only be sanded a limited number of time, so refinishing more than once may not be an option.
Shown here: Hickory Engineered Flooring by Bruce
Whether you opt for solid wood or engineered wood will depend on your lifestyle, your priorities, and your budget. Rest assured that, no matter which you ultimately choose, both make a good choice for bringing classic warmth and beauty to the kitchen.
Shown here: Northern Red Oak Engineered Flooring by Shaw Floors
Cabinet-S-Top can help you select the wood to put underfoot in your  home.  Visit our showroom located at:
1977  Medina R0ad
Medina, OH  44256



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