Engineered versus hardwood....need advice!

Old 01-16-14, 09:45 AM
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Engineered versus solid hardwood....need advice!

Hi everyone,

We are getting ready to have new flooring installed in our home and we've narrowed our choices down to 2 floors. Both are hickory; however, one is a solid hardwood installed with nails and the other is a click and lock engineered hickory. We really prefer the click and lock (that's what our current laminate floor is), but we mainly just want what is going to be the most durable and look great for many years. The engineered one is actually a bit more expensive than the solid hardwood one. I personally prefer the idea of solid hardwood, but my husband is leaning more towards engineered as he thinks it will hold up better through the years. We do have pets (2 golden retrievers, a black lab, and cats) and we always keep their nails trimmed very short, but there is still the possibility of them getting scratched when they run on the floor. We also want something that will be pretty moisture resistant since we will be installing this in our kitchen as well. Both floors look great in the store, but we want to be sure to choose one that will last for many years and will always look great. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

Last edited by Johanna Wheeler; 01-16-14 at 10:11 AM.
Old 01-16-14, 02:35 PM
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Welcome to the forums! Both engineered and prefinished hardwood come with 25 to 50 year wear warranties on the finish. Both have their attributes. Engineered flooring goes down fast and without all the noise. Engineered flooring can't be laid continuously for long distances (see mfgr comments). Changing directions, say, in a closet is more difficult. Hardwood makes use of reversing splines for that.. If you need to repair a damaged piece of engineered' you can't just cut it out and replace it like you can with hardwood.

I install them both and like 3/4" hardwood a little better.
Old 01-16-14, 03:56 PM
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6 of one, half dozen of another - each type of flooring has its pros and cons. Engineered sounds hollow if something is dropped on it. Nail down is more subject to squeaks and expansion gaps and such. But the top layers are exactly the same, the look will be exactly the same (more or less depending on size of engineered planks). A good installer will make sure both installs are seamless and done correctly.

Hickory (pecan) is a much harder wood than oak or maple. On the Hoboken scale of hardness (rated 1000 to 3692) Red oak is 1290, white oak is 1360, maple 1450 and Hickory/Pecan is 1890. So it is the best choice for a household with pets. I would try to abuse the samples at the store to see how tough the finish really is. When in doubt, remember the engineered flooring can only be refinished once or twice at most. Solid can be refinished multiple times. For the best of both worlds, some engineered can also be nailed down.

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