It seems simple-you want your new flooring to last, look great in your home, and require little maintenance. But as you start shopping, you soon discover there are a lot of considerations and choices when it comes to choosing a hardwood floor.

Many hybrid flooring options look like real wood but consist of artificial materials rather than natural wood. This has created a lot of confusion around what’s available—and what’s possible. This has even led some to believe that“engineered” wood is fake.

We’re going to debunk this myth for you. To remove that stigma, we’ve provided an overview of the different types of engineered wood available and how it features natural wood throughout its composition.

Solid Wood Flooring

Let’s start with solid wood flooring.You guessed it; it’s made from solid wood throughout its composition.Wood is a natural substance and has pores that will expand and contract with humidity and temperature changes.It’s difficult to install wood planks in solid wood that are over four inches wide because the expansion and contraction will cause gapping and“cupping” when the seasons change. The wider the wood, the more expanding and contracting you can expect. That’s where engineered wood is highly beneficial.

Engineered Wood Flooring

Engineered is just a term to describe the construction of specific hardwood flooring. All engineered hardwood features a real wood face, but there are differences in the materials used underneath the plank for the other layers.

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Rather than milling a solid piece, usually 3/4” thick and containing a tongue and groove milled into the sides for installation, engineered wood is made from alternating layers of thinner slices of hardwood to achieve a dimensionally stable and more durable plank. This balances the forces of expansion and contraction to create a stable plank, even as humidity and temperature change.

After assembling the layers, the planks are milled and produced in varying widths without sacrificing that stability. As longer and wider planks are becoming more popular, the sale of engineered hardwood flooring has exceeded solid wood in recent years.

Types o f Engineered Hardwood Floors

● All - Wood Veneer Hardwood Floors

Veneer—meaning sheet—is one popular type of all-wood hardwood. Wood veneer is made by either rotary peeling or by slicing the sheet out of a log. You get a rotary-peeled surface through a process of pressing a knife blade against the length of the log and spinning it so that the sheets come off like a roll of paper towels.Sliced veneer is cut down the log horizontally and can be cut in thicker faces and typically has more linear grain than rotary veneer. The other layers underneath in an all-wood construction would be rotary because it is less expensive due to the higher yield per log. This still equates to a 100% wood plank.

● Hybrid Plank Flooring

Hybrid plank flooring, featuring a composite core with a real wood face, is becoming more popular. It offers a combination of the best parts of both hardwood and laminate.You ideally always want a solid wood face layer because the visual is natural and random, but laminate flooring contains a core material that is made from high-density fiberboard (a wood composite). As long as the core is of high quality, the indentation resistance usually increases in the flooring, and the dimensional stability is the same as veneer-core hardwood.

Flooring with Wood Looks

Wood is such a popular look that other types of non-wood flooring try to replicate it. Laminate, LVT, and WPC or rigid core flooring is often made to look like wood but use a printed visual with a repeating pattern. Ceramic tile is also offered in wood looks.No doubt, wood is a very popular visual, but just because something says it has a wood look doesn’t mean it’s the real deal. And just because it says it’s engineered doesn’t mean it isn’t 100% real hardwood.

Made in America

At Hearthwood,all of our products are 100% real wood and “Made in America.”Our leaders have taken extra care to provide clients with durable, beautiful,American-made flooring at a time when most are manufactured overseas.Not only is our mill factory located in Tennessee, but the wood used in all our flooring is sustainably harvested from trees right here in America. When you buy Hearthwood Hardwoods, you know you are purchasing an all-American product.

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