Engineered wood flooring has other benefits beyond dimensional stability and universal use. Patented installation systems allow for faster installation and easy replacement of boards. Engineered wood also allows for a floating installation where the planks are not adhered to the subfloor or to each other, further increasing ease of repair and reducing installation time. Engineered flooring is also suitable for underfloor and radiant heating systems.
Solid hardwood floors are made of planks milled from a single piece of timber. Solid hardwood floors were originally used for structural purposes, being installed perpendicular to the wooden support beams of a building known as joists or bearers. With the increased use of concrete as a subfloor in some parts of the world, engineered wood flooring has gained some popularity. However, solid wood floors are still common and popular. Solid wood floors have a thicker wear surface and can be sanded and finished more times than an engineered wood floor. It is not uncommon for homes in New England, Eastern Canada, USA, and Europe to have the original solid wood floor still in use today.
Regardless of the floor, the protective finish will play a large role in how scratch and stain resistant it is. Both hardwood and Rigid Core flooring are available with various types of protective finishes. Rigid Core flooring goes a step beyond hardwood though, and also has a transparent solid wear layer that protects against gouging and deeper scratches. Hardwood Floor
It is difficult to compare solid wood flooring to engineered wood flooring due to the wide range of quality in both product categories, particularly engineered. Solid wood has some limitations. Recommended maximum widths and lengths are typically 5" / 127mm wide and 7' / 2100mm long. Solid hardwood is also more prone to "gapping" (excessive space between planks), "crowning" (convex curving upwards when humidity increases) and "cupping" (a concave or "dished" appearance of the plank, with the height of the plank along its longer edges being higher than the centre) with increased plank size. Solid wood cannot be used with underfloor radiant heating. However extra care is necessary with the planning and installation of the heating system and the wood flooring, such as limiting the temperature to 85 °F (29 °C), avoid sharp temperature fluctuations, utilizing an outdoor thermostat to anticipate heating demands, and monitoring the moisture content for the subfloor before installation. Hardwood Floor