Engineered wood flooring is a type of wood flooring made from multiple layers of wood veneer that are glued together. Unlike solid wood flooring, engineered wood flooring has a top layer or wear layer made from high-quality wood glued to a lower layer of wood, plywood or HDF (High-Density Fiberboard). This layering process provides improved stability, durability, and moisture resistance. In this article, we will explore the pros and cons of engineered wood flooring, comparing it to traditional solid wood flooring.
Pros of Engineered Wood Flooring
- Affordability: Solid wood flooring can be expensive, and the price varies depending on the type of wood used. In comparison, engineered wood flooring is less costly as it is made from multiple layers of wood veneer, which can be sourced from less expensive wood species. This makes engineered wood flooring a cost-effective option for those who want the look and feel of wood flooring without breaking the bank.
- Versatility: Engineered wood flooring is also versatile, and it can be used in a variety of settings, including kitchens and basements. Due to its construction, engineered wood flooring is more stable than solid wood flooring. It is less prone to expansion and contraction due to temperature and humidity changes.
- Easy Installation: Unlike solid wood flooring, engineered wood flooring can be installed as a floating floor, which means it is not glued or nailed down to the subfloor. This makes it a quicker and easier installation process. It also means that engineered wood flooring can be installed over various subfloor types, including concrete, plywood, and even existing flooring.
- Durability: Engineered wood flooring is also durable, and it can withstand foot traffic, spills, and scratches better than low-quality solid wood flooring. This is due to its layered construction, which provides greater stability and resistance to moisture and wear and tear. Additionally, the top layer of engineered wood flooring is made from high-quality wood, meaning it can be sanded and refinished multiple times, extending its lifespan.
Cons of Engineered Wood Flooring
- Limited Wood Options: While engineered wood flooring offers more affordability and versatility, it has fewer options when it comes to wood types. Unlike solid wood flooring, which can be made from a wide range of wood species, engineered wood flooring typically only comes in a few popular wood types. This means that those looking for a specific kind of wood for their flooring may be limited in their options.
- Less Authentic Look: Engineered wood flooring may not offer the same authentic look and feel as solid wood flooring. While the top layer of engineered wood flooring is made from real wood, the lower layers are made from plywood or HDF, which can give it a different texture and appearance than solid wood flooring. This may not be noticeable to some, but solid wood flooring may be a better option for those looking for an authentic wood look.
- Limited Refinishing: While engineered wood flooring can be sanded and refinished multiple times, the number of times it can be refinished is limited compared to solid wood flooring. This is because the top layer of engineered wood flooring is typically thinner than solid wood flooring, meaning it can withstand fewer sanding and refinishing sessions. This can be a drawback for those who want a flooring option that can last for generations without needing to be replaced.
- Chemical Adhesives: One potential downside of engineered wood flooring is the use of chemical adhesives in its construction. Some people may be concerned about the chemicals used in these adhesives, which can emit volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that can harm human health. However, it's worth noting that many engineered wood flooring manufacturers use low-VOC adhesives, which are safer for humans and the environment.
Solid Wood Flooring vs Engineered Wood Flooring
Choosing between solid wood flooring and engineered wood flooring ultimately comes down to personal preference and the homeowner's specific needs. Solid wood flooring offers an authentic look and feel and can be made from different wood species. However, it can be expensive and may not be as durable or moisture-resistant as engineered wood flooring.
On the other hand, engineered wood flooring offers greater affordability, versatility, and durability. It can be used in various settings and is less prone to expansion and contraction due to temperature and humidity changes. However, it may not offer the same authentic look and feel as solid wood flooring. It may have limited wood options and refinishing capabilities.
Choosing the Right Wood Flooring
Solid wood flooring may be a good choice for those who want an authentic wood look and feel and are willing to invest in a high-quality flooring option. On the other hand, engineered wood flooring may be a better choice for those who want a cost-effective, durable, and versatile flooring option that can withstand moderate foot traffic, spills, and scratches.
It's also important to consider the type of wood used in your flooring. Malaysian homeowners have access to various wood species, including Merbau, Chengal, and Kempas, which are all popular choices for wood flooring due to their durability and aesthetic appeal. However, it's crucial to choose a wood species that is sustainably sourced and harvested and to ensure that your flooring is manufactured by a reputable company that uses responsible and eco-friendly practices.
Engineered wood flooring offers many advantages for Malaysian homeowners, including affordability, versatility, easy installation, and durability. While it may have some potential drawbacks, such as limited wood options and refinishing capabilities, it's still a popular pick for those who want the look and feel of wood flooring without breaking the bank.