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ASK KEN - EP. 17:

Is engineered wood really better than solid wood? Why should I choose it for my home?

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Ken's Quick Answer:

"98% of the world agrees that engineered wood is the best performing wood product. The other 2% live in New England."

Ken's In-Depth Answer:

"I have a lot of customers who come in and say, “I don’t want that engineered wood, I want real wood.
I want to tell them, “engineered wood IS real wood.” Not only is it real wood, but it’s better wood. 98% of the world uses engineered wood because it’s a better performing product. (The other 2% live in New England.)
Why do they prefer engineered wood? It’s simple—because of the way engineered wood in constructed, it performs better than any other wood. It has a dimensionally stable core-board that inhibits movement. Movement is what causes all the problems with a wood floor!
In other words, humidity and temperature—the archenemies of wood—cause problems precisely because they make the floor move. Thankfully, engineered wood is a very stable floor, so these problems are reduced.
So, then people say “well, can I refinish the floor?” It used to be the case that refinishing engineered wood wasn’t possible because the wear layer was very, very thin. Nowadays, there are engineered floors with a thicker wear layer that allow for refinishing.
In the video above, I show you two products with a thicker wear layer. The first product is from Lauzon and it’s called Smoky Grey Maple. It’s 3/4” thick and it’s got a heavy wear layer that can actually be refinished up to two times. The second product is from Hallmark and is called Orange Blossom Hickory. On the sample board, you’ll see they demonstrate how you’re able to refinish the wood up to two times.
Overall, engineered wood is increasingly the way to go. It allows you to use wide planks and comes in a wide variety of styles, textures, and colors. Frankly, the only reason I’d go the other way with a solid wood is if I were a landlord having to refinish the floor between renters.
That’s if you want to refinish! I can think of very few things I’d dislike more than having to refinish the floors in my house. Maybe a root canal.
But always remember, if you have a damaged board or an area of the floor that’s damaged, you can actually do a board replacement on a nail-down engineered floor and not know that anything was ever wrong.
We like engineered wood. We think it’s the best product that you can buy. So the next time you go looking for a wood floor, ask your retailer to show you engineered wood.

If you need any help selecting enginered or solid hardwood for your home, don't hesitate to give us a call at 401-214-0285 or visit our showroom. We serve customers throughout Rhode Island and southeastern New England, including Newport, Middletown, Jamestown, Portsmouth, Bristol and more.

Ken Fain smiling and wearing a green and yellow collared shirt

About Ken: Ken Fain is the co-owner of Island Carpet in Middletown, RI and a floorcovering veteran of more than 40 years. His popular 'Ask Ken' video series answers common flooring questions on a variety of topics. It has reached more than 100,000 viewers on both YouTube and Facebook.


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