Hardwood Flooring: Solid vs. Engineered

By Jill

Posted on Friday, October 31, 2014 10:41 AM


When shopping for hardwood flooring, one of the most important decisions you will make is whether to go with a solid wood or an engineered wood. While there are benefits found within each of these types of hardwood flooring, there are situations where one type of wood flooring may be better suited for your use than the other. Here’s a brief overview to help explain the differences between these two types hardwood flooring.

Solid Hardwood Flooring

Solid Hardwood Flooring

As its name implies, solid wood flooring is made from one solid piece of 100% natural wood. Planks are available in various widths, lengths, and thicknesses, with most traditional planks offered in a 3/4” thickness with a tongue and groove fit. Solid wood can be stained and finished at the factory during the manufacturing process – referred to as prefinished or factory finished. Or you can choose to sand and finish this flooring after it is installed. And, if a high-traffic area becomes worn, or if the floor becomes scratched, solid hardwood floors can be sanded and refinished multiple times to restore the flooring to its original beauty. For installation, solid hardwood flooring requires nailing or stapling planks to an approved wooden subfloor. It’s not recommended to install over concrete slabs.

Engineered Hardwood Flooring

Engineered Harwood Flooring

Engineered hardwood is also 100% wood. The difference here is that it is manufactured by permanently bonding together multiple thin layers of wood, called plies. Each ply is arranged in the opposing direction of the ply above it, so that grains run in opposite directions. This cross-ply construction produces a highly dimensionally stable plank that is not affected by moisture like solid wood flooring. Engineered wood planks are available in various widths and lengths, much like solid woods. Planks range from about 3/8” to 3/4” thick. The top wood top layer is usually stained and finished at the factory with a combination of aluminum oxide crystals for extra durability and several coats of UV-cured urethane. Engineered wood planks with at least a 1/8” thick top wood layer can generally be successfully sanded down and refinished, if needed. Most engineered wood floors can in glued, stapled, or floated over a variety of sub-floors on all grade levels.

Which Type of Hardwood Flooring Works Best in Your Home?

In terms of appearance, it’s almost impossible to tell the difference between solid and engineered hardwoods once the flooring is installed. Both types are offered in a variety of wood species, widths, and finishes. Both can be stained to a variety of colors and are offered in several finishing options such as beveled or smooth edges and hand-scraping for added character. Hardwood-13_0010-Knotty-Walnut-SavannaThe major difference is that solid wood planks are more susceptible to the effects of moisture. Extreme temperature changes, high humidity, and excessive dampness will cause solid planks to expand and contract, resulting in gaps between the planks, referred to as cupping. Therefore, solid hardwood flooring is not recommended in humid areas, sites with extreme temperature changes, or for installations over concrete slabs or in rooms that are below grade level, such as basements. In contrast, the cross-ply construction of engineered wood flooring prevents the planks from growing and shrinking with changes in moisture and humidity levels, effectively avoiding the issues found in solid wood flooring. This makes engineered wood flooring the better choice for homes in areas like California where humidity and moisture are often a top concern. Engineered flooring can be installed over concrete slabs and even over radiant heating systems. In fact, engineered wood floors work well in just about any room of your home.

The Right Choice for You

New flooring checklist. Los Angeles Carpet & Flooring Store.Understanding the differences between solid and engineered hardwoods is an important step to choosing the wood flooring that’s best for you. Whether you choose solid or engineered wood flooring both will add pretty much the same resale value to your home. Need help finding the right hardwood floor for your home? Give us a call or stop in our Barry Carpet showroom. We’re happy to answer all your questions about hardwood floors and make sure the flooring you choose is the perfect one for your needs and budget.

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To find the hardwood flooring that best meets your needs, contact us. We’d be happy to answer all of your hardwood flooring questions and show you the latest trend in hardwood flooring.  

Why Shop a Specialty Flooring Store?

By Jill

Posted on Monday, October 20, 2014 6:53 PM


Why Purchase Flooring from a Specialty Store?

While national flooring retailers and big-box stores often attract customers with the promise of a great price, there’s far more involved in making the right flooring purchase than price alone. Some customers come into our Los Angeles flooring showroom after having first gone to one of those locations, where they were left feeling frustrated about their shopping experience. Oftentimes, the sales clerks lack the knowledge to give customers the correct answers to their flooring questions. Or, the customers encountered a high-pressure sales associate who only focused on the final price of a product without really explaining the total costs. Or, maybe there was no sales associate available at all, and the customer was left feeling confused in a sea of flooring samples.

Personal Attention from Flooring Experts

Specialty Flooring Store Los Angeles, CA There’s something to be said for the personalized service you receive at a local specialty flooring store. In fact, superb customer service is usually a small flooring retailer’s biggest asset. You like to shop where you feel comfortable and where you know you will get trusted answers to your questions. New flooring is definitely an important investment in your home and one that is pretty permanent. So you want to get it right. Choosing a specialty flooring retailer is gives you access to the knowledge from sales professionals who are truly experts in flooring, because all they focus on is flooring. They are aware of the latest flooring styles and technologies and how different flooring types will perform in different situations. For example, there may be reasons why a floating floor is the best choice for your room, but there also are important considerations to keep in mind when choosing this type of installation. A good specialty flooring retailer will clearly explain all this. As a specialty flooring retailer, Barry Carpet has been serving the flooring needs of the Los Angeles area since 1965. In those 50 years, we’ve learned a thing or two about the products we sell. We understand each flooring type’s unique advantages, as well its limitations. We know the quality of our products, and we can explain what is covered under the manufacturer’s warranty – and what is not. When we quote a price, we give you a true breakdown of all the costs involved in a flooring installation – comparing apples to apples so you can make the most informed decision that meets your flooring needs – and budget.

Large Selection

Specialty Flooring Store Los Angeles, CASpecialty stores typically carry a large selection of products, often from top name brands. So while you may find an image of flooring you like on Pinterest, Houzz or in a magazine, a specialty store is where you can go to actually see and feel the product for yourself, get more detailed information about how that product performs and usually get samples for you to take home to see how the flooring works with your décor. Furthermore, many specialty flooring stores, like Barry Carpet, offer design assistance and free in-home consultations to help with your selection and ensure measurements are accurate – before you place your flooring order.

Professional Installations

Many specialty flooring stores have longstanding relationships with local contractors who are experts in flooring installations in your area. This means that they will confidently stand behind your flooring installation, often with a guarantee of 100% customer satisfaction. A specialty flooring store is also more likely to take the time to explain the proper maintenance of your new flooring and will be available in the event you have questions – long after your installation is complete.

Come See for Yourself

Specialty Flooring Store Los Angeles, CAWe invite you to visit our Barry Carpet showroom in West Los Angeles to find out for yourself the many advantages of shopping a specialty flooring store.

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Find Out More

To find the hardwood flooring that best meets your needs, contact us. We’d be happy to answer all of your hardwood flooring questions and show you the latest trend in hardwood flooring.