Real Wood vs Wood Look

A common question that we are asked, “What are the differences between the Solid, Engineered, Vinyl and Laminate?”
Below are the definitions, pictures, and tips to keep in mind about each one.

Real Wood 100% Solid Wood

Solid Hardwood Flooring

Solid wood is just that – one piece that is milled from the lumber. It comes in a variety of widths, from 2 1/4″ to 5″ wide and beyond. It also comes in different thicknesses: 3/4″ is standard, but you can also find “thin Profile” solid that is 5/16″ thick. The wide array of options makes solid wood an adaptable choice for various construction and design needs. Additionally, the natural beauty and durability of solid wood contribute to its timeless appeal in both traditional and modern settings.

  • Moisture and extreme temperature changes can cause solid wood to shrink and expand, potentially causing gaps between boards during colder and dryer seasons.
  • All solid hardwood flooring can be sanded and refinished if needed (possibly every 15-20 years).
  • All urethane coated floors can be screened and recoated as needed to renew the surface of the floor. This is more economical than sanding and refinishing.
  • Because each floor is different from home-to-home, these are only tips to keep in mind; not true for every circumstance.

Real Wood Multiple layers solid wood

Engineered Hardwood Flooring

Engineered wood is REAL wood, but instead of one solid piece, it consists of 3 to 10 thin layers of wood, called plies, that are assembled and glued in a cross-ply construction. The top veneer layer of wood can range from .5 mm to 4 mm thick. The industry average is 2 mm thick. Overall board thickness ranges from 1/4″ to 3/4″. Due to its multi-ply structure engineered wood is much more stable than solid wood and is less susceptible to shrinking and expanding with changes in temperatures and humidity.

  • Engineered wood can be installed directly over concrete and can also be installed below ground level, providing versatile and durable flooring options.

  • Engineered wood with a top veneer layer thinner than 2 mm cannot be refinished; however, it can be screened and recoated to renew the surface of the floor.
  • Engineered wood with a top veneer layer from 2.5 mm to 4 mm can be sanded.
  • Because each floor is different from home-to-home, these are only tips to keep in mind; not true for every circumstance.

Wood Look

photograph of wood over fiberboard Core

Laminate Flooring

Laminate flooring contains NO actual wood. Laminate is pressed particle board with a photograph of wood applied to the surface. The inner core layer is the stability layer of the floor made from high-density fiberboard (HDF) that is reinforced with a special resin to increase durability. Unlike solid wood, laminate’s synthetic composition makes it more resistant to moisture and offers a cost-effective alternative while still mimicking the aesthetic of real wood.

  • Surface Appearance: Laminate flooring features a photograph of wood applied to its surface, providing a wood-like appearance.
  • Stability: HDF core layer provides stability to the laminate floor and ensures it remains flat and even.
  • Affordability: Laminate flooring is often more cost-effective compared to hardwood flooring.

Wood Look

PHOTOGRAPH OF WOOD over Stone or Plastic Core

Vinyl Flooring

Vinyl flooring is a versatile and resilient synthetic material widely used in both residential and commercial spaces. Its popularity stems from its remarkable durability, low maintenance requirements, and adaptability to various interior design styles. This cost-effective flooring option comes in a wide range of colors and patterns, mimicking the look of natural materials such as wood, stone, or tile, while providing superior resistance to water, scratches, and wear and tear.

  • Scratch Resistance: It is resistant to scratches, making it suitable for high-traffic areas.
  • Comfort: Some vinyl products have added cushioning for increased comfort underfoot.
  • Vinyl flooring is an excellent choice for those seeking a budget-friendly and long-lasting flooring solution that can seamlessly enhance the aesthetics of any room.
Engineered Hardwood Flooring Installations Orlando Florida

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