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Many people think that having a solid wood floor means having thick 1 inch thick boards of solid wood. While that is sometimes true, it is also possible to purchase engineered wood floors. These floors provide the same look; for example, a piece of solid walnut flooring could look exactly the same, but cost less. However, costing less isn’t the only advantage to using engineered wood floors.

Engineered wood floorboards consist of layers of soft plywoods that then are topped with any number of hardwoods such as maple, cherry, walnut, oak, or hickory. The top layer is thin but can vary in thinness. Since the top of any floor is subject to wear, all floors are periodically sanded and refinished to bring new life to them. Critics of engineered wood argue that these floors can only be sanded 2 or 3 times providing a limited life span of 4 or 5 decades for high traffic areas. If 4 or 5 decades is not good enough for you, then consider buying boards with a thicker top layer which will still come at a far lower price than solid wood.  If the area is not high traffic, choose a thin top layer and be thankful for the savings!

Another advantage to engineered wood is its strength. Many people assume that one piece of solid wood is stronger, but when thin layers are all adhered together they gain strength because the ply layers are applied crossways to the top one.

These floors are also very resilient. With high resistance to humidity, these floors can be applied over virtually any floor from the living room to the basement. Modern adhesive and manufacturing technologies ensure that these floors will outperform their solid wood cousins in any climate.

What can be most surprising is the ease of installation. These boards are manufactured with a tongue and groove design that makes the floor fit together like a jigsaw puzzle. While first-time installers will have problems, contractors will love the process once they have done it a few times.

And last but not least, engineered wood is good for the environment. Using only a thin layer, the resources of these valuable hardwood trees can be stretched further. For more information about floors in general, please visit floors-web.com.