Engineered hardwood floors are constructed from multiple layers of real wood. Depending on the thickness of the top layers, some engineered floors can be sanded and stained. They are more resistant to moisture and humidity. Most solid hardwood floors overtime will expand and create gaps between boards. Due to the construction of engineered wood expansion gaps are less likely to occur. You can also glue engineered hardwood directly to concrete floors. Solid hardwood floors can not be glued or used with concrete floors. It is very difficult for even trained professionals to distinguish the difference between solid and engineered once installed. Engineered are also more environmentally friendly because recycled wood products can create the core. They are also less expensive to buy, install and maintain.
Cons of Engineered
We all know that accidents are part of life. One downside of engineered wood, is that it can be very difficult to repair a broken or damaged board. If the boards are glued down its nearly impossible for it to be taken out. The tongue and groove system is amazing but sometimes to repair one board you have to remove over half of the flooring. Its always good to order extra wood just in case something is to happen. You need to be careful when you want to refinish your engineered hardwood floors. The thinner the top layer, the more likely your floors will be damaged by sanding. Only consider sanding and refinishing when you have a thick top layer. Engineered wood floors are not for you if your on a budget. They cost less then solid hardwood but far more then carpet and laminate. Engineered wood is not recommended in areas where there could be water leaks or excessive humidity. Always make sure that all spills are cleaned immediately because water and wood floors don't mix.
Why Solid Hardwood
Many home owners insist that they must have solid hardwood floors installed in their home. Solid hardwood floors are just that. From the top of the board to the bottom, it is one piece of solid wood. Solid wood floors adds tons of value to anyone's property. Solid hardwood can be sanded and refinished multiple times. If you have high traffic area's in your house solid hardwoods might be theway to go. Unlike other hard surface products, solid hardwood is the easiest to repair.
Cons of Solid Hardwood
Just like engineered hardwood, solid hardwood is not budget friendly. It can be thousands of dollars more then engineered wood. Solid wood floors can only be nailed down to a wood subfloor. In areas that have concrete floors, hardwoods must be floated or glued down. This means that solid hardwood is out of the question. It is also important to monitor moisture and humidity levels. Solid hardwood naturally wants to expand and contract. Too much moisture and humiditywill cause solid hardwood to create gaps in between each board. Gaps can be up to 1 inch and will need to repaired.