Designer wood is usually less expensive until you enter premium collections, which are more comparable to solid wood floors. These can offer greater durability, have a thicker topcoat that allows for greater sanding and finishing, or have unique designs. Designer hardwood floors consist of a thin layer of wood on top (veneer) and several layers of backing (the core). The thickness of the sheet and core varies by design and manufacturer.
It is this construction detail that will play the most important role in the appearance of your floor, its stability and its durability. Some pre-finished designer hardwood floors have slightly chamfered edges, which creates slight grooves between the boards, while solid wood floors generally have very tight seams between the boards. While solid wood floors used to be mostly finished on site where the wood is delivered unfinished on site, then installed, sanded and finished on site, it is now increasingly pre-terminated on the manufacturing floor, making installation easier and less messy in the home. Due to the veneer layer, engineered wood floors could easily be confused with solid wood once installed.
When solid wood is sanded and refinished on site, there is a potential for truly smooth surfaces (i. Depending on the quality of the engineered wood you select, the top layer may be thicker or thinner, which determines how much you can refinish. Engineered floors are a sandwich of layers, called “layers”, of hardwood and plywood joined together through a heating and pressing process. It is usually made of a kind of hardwood, such as oak, maple or walnut, and its main advantage is that it can be sanded and refinished many times throughout its lifespan.
Designer hardwood floors are a better choice in high humidity environments than solid wood, making them a better choice for kitchens, bathrooms, and basements. Constructed from a solid piece of 100% hardwood, it is known for its durability, authenticity and timelessness. Engineered hardwood floors were once considered a pale imitation of solid wood, but improvements in product quality have eliminated this perception. Also, keep in mind that floating engineering hardwoods CANNOT be sanded & again, even if the top wear layer is thick.
When it comes to dimensional stability, your best bet is engineered wood, as cross-grain layered construction means the floor can better withstand expansion and contraction due to varying temperature and humidity. Designer wood, I want to mention subfloors and the importance of preparing them properly before installing any type of hardwood. Designer hardwood floors are a more affordable option, but they can't be repainted to extend their lifespan. You can usually rely on solid wood floors to stay strong for many years to come, even after several rounds of sanding and finishing.
A good quality engineered wood floor generally lasts 25 to 30 years, and is less expensive and easier for DIYers to install.