Premier Selection of Wood Floors in El Paso, TX and Las Cruces, NM
While solid wood floors have been the highest standard of quality flooring for years, there are actually different types of wood flooring that use different manufacturing techniques. Our team receives questions about the differences all the time. Here’s how we explain the two main types of real wood floors to our customers. Take a look and then visit our showroom today to compare samples of both side-by-side or get an estimate.
Solid Wood Floors
Durability, weight, grain depth, and sanding capability are inherent to any solid wood product. Instead of highlighting the specifications of a solid hardwood, this type of floor can be better explained through detailing its manufacturing process.
First, trees are planted and arranged in controlled forests to comply with worldwide-accepted harvesting procedures. Second, once the mature trees are ready, they are cut and stored in yards or “staging” areas to dry out for processing. Third, lumber is cut in a variety of methods to produce the most out of each tree, the maximum yield. The outcome is a thick piece of lumber, usually 12 inches wide by several inches thick by the total length of the tree.
Next, the wood is dried out further, followed by milling the wood to desired size and thickness. Then, using ultra-precise machinery and industrial blades, the lumber is cut into the plank form you will use for your wood floor project. Finally, the stain color, top clear coating, and packaging are completed. The final masterpiece is often a wood plank, sized at two and one-quarter inch to eight inches wide and three-fourths inch thick. Solid wood floors are available in hand scraped (textured surface) form, smooth surface form, and unfinished (for custom staining and coating on the job site).
Engineered Hardwood Floors
As the humidity and temperature fluctuate in a home or business, so too does the physical dimension of a wood product. To subdue over-stretching or shrinking of a wood plank, floor manufacturers produce—or engineer—layers of wood (glued to each other) to move individually in different directions. That way the whole plank can combat changes in humidity. What does that mean for you at home? First, it means less seasonal gapping between planks compared to solid wood, as well as a flatter-looking floor overall. Second, under normal installation circumstances, the engineered products can be installed with adhesive over concrete subfloors without additional costly vapor barriers or plywood base.
For the most part, the construction and manufacturing process of engineered hardwood is very similar to solid or laminate floors. However, it is important to know that this type of flooring is made of several layers of real wood. Top and bottom layers of the plank are produced in different sizes of any species, but the middle layers are the most stable types of hardwood on the market, such as poplar wood. Cost typically ranges from $6.50 to $16 per square foot installed—meaning the price to include labor, wood planks, and adhesive.