Over the years, Sunset Homes has worked with many clients to achieve their dream home. We can guide and support you through every stage of the process, from initial concept and architect’s plans through to starting the build and full completion.
If you are building your own home, you’ll have to make a lot of different decisions, of course. One of the most common is to decide what type of flooring you want installed.
Hardwood is a popular choice but can be expensive. It’s also less sustainable than you might think. One mid-end option that looks just as good, and is certainly built to last, is engineered hardwood.
Here we take a closer look at why you should consider this type of flooring beyond the lower cost compared to traditional hardwood.
What is engineered hardwood flooring?
Engineered hardwood has a number of different names, including manmade or composite wood. It’s made by bonding different layers of wood and then finishing with a solid, high-quality layer. This is the polished surface that you see when it is laid in your kitchen or living room.
You have a choice of surfaces, for example, oak or walnut. This layer is actually thicker than in veneered wood, the type of product that you find at your local DIY store so it’s considered a mid-end selection.
The boards are produced in a range of different sizes and can be fitted together with a tongue and groove or click mechanism. You can also opt for finished boards, where the wood has been treated, and unfinished, which means the wood needs to be stained before it is ready.
Solid hardwood vs engineered hardwood
Solid hardwood is a what it actually says on the box. It’s a solid piece of timber from the tree of your choice which is then stained and treated and cut to fit your space. While everyone seems to love the look of solid wood flooring, it’s use is actually on the decline in North America for a variety of reasons which we will discuss in the benefits section below.
The benefits of engineered hardwood
1. The cost
Depending on which products you choose, solid hardwood can be around 20% more expensive than engineered hardwood. That’s not the only consideration that you should take into account when making your decision based on cost.
Installing solid hardwood floors is a highly specialized undertaking and not all areas of your home are likely to be suitable. Engineered hardwood is easier to fit and generally comes with a less expensive installation cost.
2. The look
Unless you are a professional who deals in hardwood floors, you will probably be hard-pressed to notice the difference between solid wood and an engineered product. When fitted by experts, they both look fantastic, it’s just that engineered wood is a lot less severe on your pocketbook.
The look and the cost of engineered hardwood products are probably the two primary features that our customers look at. Once they see what a finished floor of this type looks like they are often won over.
3. A durable hardwood top layer
Engineered wood flooring is highly durable and relatively easy to maintain over time. If you do need to sand it down and refinish at a much later date, it’s just as easy to do as with solid hardwood floors. That’s because it has quite a thick hardwood top which sets it apart from standard, thinner veneers.
4. Temperature and humidity
Solid wood floors are moisture sensitive and expand and contract depending on the weather and indoor conditions. That makes them unsuitable, for example, for installing below ground where moisture can be an issue.
Engineered hardwood flooring, on the other hand, is highly resistant to moisture and can be installed absolutely anywhere and on any surface. If you are planning underfloor heating for your home, for example, engineered hardwood should be the preferred option.
5. It’s flexible
Engineered hardwood flooring can be applied in more areas. You can install it on underlay, have it fixed to a subfloor, installed in a cellar, the kitchen, bathroom, in fact, practically anywhere. It’s also easy to maintain and clean.
6. Quick and easy to install
The speed and ease with which engineered hardwood can be installed means that you pay less on these costs than you would with a solid hardwood installation. If damage does occur for any reason, the boards are relatively easy to replace.
7. A wider choice
You have a much wider choice nowadays when it comes to engineered wood. Some species of solid wood flooring are extremely expensive and in short supply and it a be difficult to find a local installer who understands what your needs are.
8. It’s sustainable
Finally, choosing engineered wood over solid hardwood is now considered the more eco-friendly option. For a start, the manufacturing process is highly efficient and less hardwood is used. It also looks natural when it is fitted in your home.
Why choose Sunset Homes for your custom home construction
The potential to use engineered hardwood for your flooring is just one option we will discuss with you when developing the plan for your custom home construction in Calgary.
Making the right selections for your property is generally a case of getting value for money balanced against aesthetic choice.
We work with a wide range of different clients to help build their dream home. Some are young professionals looking to settle down and build a place they can truly call their own. There are investors who are looking to get a return on their investment. There are retirees who now want to create a hub for their extended family.
Everyone has a different vision and that is what makes creating a custom home construction such an exciting process.
Whether it’s choosing the right flooring, picking the best plot or helping you build your architectural plan from initial concept to starting construction and then watching you step into your new home for the first time, Sunset Homes will be with you every step of the way.