Choosing the most suitable thickness of wood flooring


Today, engineered wood flooring has become the flooring of choice among many proud homeowners. However, with such a vast selection of different wood types, shades, grades, and finishes available, finding the best-engineered floors most suitable for your home can be confusing.

Putting synthetic multi-layer fused laminate flooring aside, you have two reliable choices when it comes to choosing wood flooring for your home: solid hardwood flooring or engineered hardwood flooring mentioned above.

Solid hardwood flooring

As the name implies, solid hardwood flooring is made from planks of natural wood, and while many people think that it is prone to warping, much depends on the company manufacturing the planks. Before selecting a solid hardwood floor, be sure and do your due diligence and check customer reviews and the manufacturer’s warranty.


Engineered hardwood flooring

Engineered hardwood flooring is made by infusing a natural hardwood veneer on the top of multi-layers of plywood. Because each layer of wood is laid out in the opposite direction, engineered hardwood tends to be more durable and moisture resistant. Much depends on the climate where you install the flooring, with drier climates like Arizona, Nevada, and Sothern California being more suitable for solid hardwood flooring.

Natural hardwood flooring provides more options

Before delving into it deeper, most people considering a hardwood floor for their homes don’t realize that selecting a solid hardwood floor gives them more options. Solid hardwood floors can be manufactured in different lengths, widths, and thicknesses, whereas engineered hardwood floors are only available in set sizes. Because of this, using an engineered hardwood floor in a large room can make it look busy due to the many seams.

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Traditionally wood planks are between 2 ¼ inches to 3 inches wide, and while this consistency works well for most rooms, trends have changed. Today many homeowners are drawn to wider planks with widths from anywhere between 3 inches to two feet. The wider your wood flooring planks are, the fewer the seams. Wider floorboards also bring out the wood’s character allowing you to appreciate the natural grains and knots in the wood. Of course, if you were to go the wide plank route, it would be solid hardwood flooring and not engineered.

Floor thickness

Typically solid wood flooring ranges from 1/2″ to 3/4″ inches in thickness. Solid wood flooring has a considerable advantage over engineered hardwood flooring because it can be sanded and refinished as many times as you like. Engineered hardwood flooring only has a thin veneer of natural wood, limiting the number of times it can be refinished. Depending on the quality of the engineered flooring, some manufacturers say that it should last between 40 and 80 years.

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Engineered hardwood flooring is best for humid climates

With regards to engineered hardwood flooring, there are two components to consider. The thickness of the backing plywood structure and the veneer wear layer that you walk on. When selecting an engineered hardwood floor, the backing should be much more comprehensive than the outer veneer, as this helps maintain the integrity of the flooring. Where engineered hardwood flooring surpasses solid hardwood is when this type of hardwood is used in places with high humidity, such as Florida, America and other warmer climates. Engineered hardwood flooring is better suited for use in a kitchen because of its moisture resistance.

Quality is the key

Before selecting a hardwood floor for your home, remember that quality is the key. If you live in a historic home, solid hardwood flooring is the way to go, as it can best match the home’s character. If you live in a newer house and have children running around, you would probably be better off with a well-made engineered hardwood floor.


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