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Solid Flooring vs. Engineered Floors

Here are my thoughts after 20 years in the business in regards to Engineered Floors vs. 3/4 Solid.

After selling, and then troubleshooting both exotic and domestic hardwood floors over the last 10 years, I have seen a great deal of flooring in both the Solid and Engineered formats. It has been my experience that engineered hardwood floors start to show signs of structural de-lamination in as soon as 5 years but mostly somewhere in the 7 to 10 year old range. Whether glued on slab, over radiant heat, or even floating, the same trend occurs in the severe winter markets where HVAC hot forced air heating systems or any HVAC system with out humidification exist.

The stress on the floor that takes place from the natural expansion and contraction causes problems. In residential homes or metro high rise markets where hardwood floor must endure dry winters and humid coastal summers, it is the drastic swing from 4% moisture content in the winter to 10% + in the summer which pushes the glue that laminates the layers of plywood in engineered flooring to its limit.

The industry does not have many engineered floors with over ten years history, and certainly not any with 200 years experience. This is my philosophy: since I can save you money on Solid ¾ Brazilian Cherry or other exotics, you can afford ¾ plywood and could engineer your own floor by laminating ¾ plywood and solid hardwood flooring.

I know this: this floor will not delaminate and will still be there, looking beautiful after 200 years.

I'm not the only one with this opinion. Howstuffworks.com agrees in its article on How Hardwood Floors Work that "solid wood floors will maintain their value better than engineered floors."

Let us know how we can help.

Dan Cosgrove
President,

Brazilian Direct LTD