As the name implies, this type of wood is solid from top to bottom. It is the same as any piece of wood cut from a log nothing is added. Traditionally called hardwood flooring, it comes either unfinished or pre-finished, the latter being far from the most popular. As there are many different species of wood, it is important to pay special attention to the quality of wood and its suitability to the area requiring installation.
Its greatest advantage is that it can be re-sanded numerous times which will give you a beautiful floor for many, many years. Its greatest weakness is it cannot be installed in moist areas or areas prone to fluctuating humidity and moisture, i.e. basements or bathrooms. It can also be prone to expansion and contraction.
Engineered floors are made up of layers that are cross-layered and glued together to create a sandwich type look. The top layer is the same as solid wood, which is sand able. The inner core is generally either a hardwood or a soft plywood material, which incorporates the tongue and groove. The top layer is then glued to the core, which creates an extremely hard wearing, and equally important, very stable wood floor.
In most cases, a good, engineered wood floor is a better product than a hard wood solid wood floor. Though its top layer can be 4-5 mm, it can be sanded and refinished four times, whereas a solid wood floor can only be sanded to the tongue and groove – which isn’t much difference.
Engineered floors are more suited than solid wood to areas of slightly higher humidity, and are more stable in holiday homes.
Laminated flooring is not real wood in the way of solids and engineered. It is comprised of a top thin layer of resin infused paper all on top of a wood chip, or H.D.F composite. The resin layer is essentially a photograph of wood.
The advantages of laminated flooring are its scratch resistance, extremely hard wearing and without doubt, very easy to install.