Hardwood: solid vs. engineered

Image courtesy of Armstrong[/caption]Consumers are faced with two options when it comes to hardwood flooring; solid and engineered. Below, we'll tell you a little more about the difference between these two and the things to consider when choosing one for your home.Solid hardwood is milled from a single 3/4" thick piece of hardwood. A solid hardwood floor can be sanded and refinished over several generations of use, because of its thickness. Solid hardwood flooring expands and contracts with the changes in your home's humidity.Engineered wood is produced with three to five layers of hardwood. Each layer is stacked in a cross-grain configuration and bonded together under heat and pressure. As a result, engineered wood flooring is less likely to be affected by changes in humidity and can be installed at all levels of the home.Things to considerLocation: Solid hardwood flooring is not well suited for below-grade installations (any floor below ground level), because of the possibility of moisture.  The construction of an engineered hardwood gives it enhanced structural stability that allows it to be installed at any floor level when a moisture barrier is used during installation.Subfloor: If you plan to install over concrete, you must use an engineered product to ensure structural integrity. Solid wood flooring or engineered flooring may be used over plywood, existing wood floors, or OSB subfloors.Source: Shaw Floors###