It is inevitable that customers ask us to compare different types of flooring to determine which is best for their situation. At Floor Coverings International of Austin, we have the experience and expertise to recommend the right type of flooring for your home or office. We stand behind our recommendations, and we offer plenty of good reasons for our choices.

One of the more popular discussions Floor Coverings International of Austin experts get into with customers revolves around comparing engineered wood floors to real hardwood. Both have their appeal, but there are differences between the two that help to determine which floor to use in various situations.

How They Are Made

Real hardwood flooring planks are made from real hardwoods. The grain and the color of a real hardwood floor is natural to that species of wood, which is why many people prefer hardwoods for their home or office.

Engineered floors have a core that is usually made up of plywood, with layers of real hardwood affixed to the core. Engineered floors look like real hardwood floors, but they are more resistant to moisture, and they are not affected as much by the changes in temperature that most floors are exposed to.

Withstanding The Conditions

Engineered floors can be used in any part of your home, regardless of the environmental conditions that may occur. For example, basements tend to get damp and cold, which would be a big problem for many types of flooring. But engineered floors can handle those conditions, and engineered floors can also withstand the intense heat that many attics experience.

Real hardwoods can warp and buckle when exposed to heat, cold or moisture for an extended period of time. A real hardwood floor would do very well in your bedroom or living room, but it would not last long in your attic or basement.

A Floating Floor

If you are designing a home studio or home movie theater, then using a hardwood floor may not be the best solution. A hardwood floor is nailed or glued in place on the subfloor. Because the floor is nailed in place, it is more apt to buckle and warp. But a floor that is nailed in place is also very bad for absorbing sound.

An engineered floor can be installed as a floating floor, which is not nailed or glued to the subfloor. When you are building a room that is sensitive to sound, a floating floor will help you to get much better results.

Refinishing Costs

In general, a hardwood floor can be refinished anywhere from eight to 10 times after it is installed. The number of times a floor can be refinished depends on the thickness and species of the wood. Most hardwood floors need to be refinished every three to five years, which is something our professionals would be happy to do for you.

The durable nature of engineered floors means that they do not need to be refinished nearly as often as hardwoods. An engineered floor might need to be refinished once or twice in the same span of time that a hardwood floor would be refinished eight or ten times.

When you choose between an engineered or hardwood floor, you have to decide which type of flooring is best for your situation. Both types of flooring look great after they are installed, but each has its own traits that make them advantageous in certain situations.

Photo Credit: Wuttichok Panichiwarapun