Are you looking for the best material for the flooring of your hotel or restaurant? If you are, you might be considering going with timber flooring. Why not? Timber flooring is becoming an increasingly popular option because of its long-lasting and durability features, apart from providing a natural texture to your living space. No flooring material can match the appeal that a beautiful timber can provide. Timber flooring is streamlined, clean, pleasing, and doesn’t date. When we think of timber flooring, one thing that comes to mind is the expensive solid timber floor. However, the recent advancement and innovations have provided us with a more cost-effective and superior flooring option: Engineered timber flooring.
While both solid timber and engineered timber bring an earthy, natural feel to your home, they are available in countless styles, colors, and finishes. But both flooring materials have their own benefits and drawbacks. Here is a comparison of solid timber flooring and engineered timber flooring to help you make a decision on what type of timber flooring you should choose:
Solid timber flooring is a traditional-style wooden floor made completely from hardwood, such as maple, oak, cherry, walnut, etc. Often, this type of flooring is installed in raw form, and the timber will then require sanding and polishing after installation. The surface of the solid timber flooring can be sanded and polished multiple times throughout its lifespan to regain the lost shine and finish, making it a long-lasting and durable flooring option.
Engineered timber flooring is made to provide the same look and feel as solid timber flooring. But, the engineered timber flooring material is constructed using a thin layer of timber veneer (1mm to 4mm) to get the desired appearance. This very thin layer of hardwood is bonded over a ply, rubber, or pine wood substrate. The top layer is kept very thin to considerably reduce the chances of contraction and expansion.
Engineered timber flooring manufacturers can create floorboards with a great finish that doesn’t need polishing or sanding. The flooring material is very easy to install, and the whole flooring can be laid out and ready to use within a day. Engineered timber flooring is comparatively less expensive than solid timber, and most engineered timber can be sanded and polished only once as the hardwood surface is very thin.
Let’s compare these two timber flooring materials based on factors like appearance, cost, lifespan, maintenance, installation process, hardness, and moisture resistance.
While both flooring materials provide the same look and feel, solid timber boards are thinner than engineered timber flooring boards. Solid timber boards are available in unfinished as well as pre-finished boards. Moreover, solid timber flooring is available in a broader range of species, colors, and textures than engineered timber boards.
Both types of flooring materials are resistant to heat, but they are not suitable for high moisture and humidity areas. Engineered hardwood provides a better resistivity to moisture than solid timber flooring. As the lower layer is made of plywood, the board is less susceptible to warping. If you want to install the timber flooring against concrete sub-flooring, engineered timber flooring is a better option.
Solid timber flooring is easier to clean and maintain. Solid and engineered timber floors only require sweeping and vacuuming to clean. You can use a special timber cleaning solution to remove stains from the floor and revitalize its looks. However, solid timber is more suitable for the long term as it can be sanded and polished several times to restore the look, whereas engineered hardwood can only be sanded once or twice.
Solid hardwood flooring has a longer lifespan than almost all types of flooring options. The lifespan of a solid timber flooring can be from 30 to 100 years. As engineered timber flooring can only be sanded once or twice, it has a shorter lifespan, but it can last for about 30 years with proper maintenance.
Solid timber flooring is one of the most expensive types of floorings available. On the contrary, engineered timber flooring is a budget-friendly flooring option while providing a luxurious and classy look and feel like solid hardwood.
Solid hardwood floors are installed using tongue-and-groove planks or are nailed to the subfloor. The timber boards are usually attached to the subfloor, which is mostly made of plywood, and planks are then nailed to the subfloor using a tongue.
Most engineered timber flooring boards are available in the click-and-lock option. However, some tiles are nailed to the sub-flooring. For the click-and-lock installation process, the timber boards contain tongue and groove, made of cork or foam, that lock with each other.
The standard solid timber flooring board size is 2¼ inches in width, ¾ inches in thickness, and 12 to 84 inches in length. These planks are available in several thicknesses and widths, but timber flooring planks are not more than four inches wide.
Engineered timber flooring boards are only available in thickness of 3/8 to 9/16 inches. However, the maximum width of the engineered timber is up to seven inches, and the length may range from 12 to 60 inches.
The hardness of solid timber flooring can range from soft to very hard, as found in natural wood species. Engineered timber flooring material is also available in several different variations of hardness. The MDF variation is medium-hard, whereas the HDF is dense and harder. The particle board is less durable and softer than other types of engineered timber.
Solid timber and engineered timber flooring are often used interchangeably in most flooring applications. Both the materials have similarities not only in look and feel but also in quality, maintenance, durability, and almost every aspect, making a choice between the two a personal decision. Moreover, both the flooring options are available in a wide range of colors, textures, and styles. When deciding on what type of timber flooring you should choose, the decision comes down to your personal style and budget preference. If you want to read a similar comparison, but for melamine and laminate, please click here.
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