The Pros and cons of hardwood flooring construction.
Each type of hardwood flooring comes with its advantages and disadvantages:
Solid – Solid wood can be pre-acclimated or dried to a lower moisture content to adapt to slightly drier environments. As a thick piece of material, its primary benefits is its wear layer, the material above the tongue and groove, which can be sanded down and refinished numerous times throughout its life.
Solid wood floor are mostly stapled or nailed down.
On the flip side sloid wood is more prone to shrinkage and expansions, which can cause the floor to cup or warp. While gapping can be reversed by adding humidity, cupping with expansion is permanent and is increasingly unstable the wider and longer it is.
Engineered – Engineered wood is more flexible, which allows it to be made in wider widths and extreme lengths. This helps in utilizing the faster growing hardwood species for the core of the material and less usage of the slower growth hardwood for the veneer.
Engineered floors can be nailed down, glued or floated.
Despite this greater flexibility in in terms of dealing with moisture, in extreme conditions, the veneer can crack and core the core.
Composite – Hybrid wood features composite cores that aren’t made of wood at all and mimics those found in the resilient category of stone and plastic. This construction provides waterproof performance and the indent resistance of rigid core flooring without sacrificing the authentic design of wood.
Composite flooring is usually installed by floating.
These hybrid cores also lend themselves to worry free maintenance. But being a new product on the market it still needs to find it’s niche.