Solid and engineered hardwood
Hardwood is an easy way to improve the look, durability and value of your home. Learn more about the types of hardwood flooring and what you should take into consideration when choosing this type of flooring for your home.
Watch as we explain how solid hardwood and engineered hardwood are similar and how they are different. You'll learn the strengths of each type so you'll be prepared to make the best choice for your home.
Solid Hardwood Flooring
Shaw Solid Hardwood Flooring Diagram - Solid wood is milled from a single 3/4" thick piece of hardwood. Solid wood flooring expands and contracts with changes in your home's relative humidity. Normally, installers compensate for this movement by leaving an expansion gap between the floor and the wall. Base molding or quarter round is traditionally used to hide the extra space.
Solid Hardwood Styles
Shaw EPIC Plus™ Engineered Hardwood Flooring
Shaw EPIC Plus
™ Engineered Hardwood Flooring - Shaw's Stabilitek core is made for high performance and lasting durability.
Constructed from wood fibers bonded with proprietary chemistry, Stabilitek
holds up to the challenges of climate fluctuation and sub-floor moisture. EPIC Plus Hardwood built with Stabilitek resists denting up to 30% more than 7 ply Asian imports.
EPIC Plus Engineered Hardwood Styles
Shaw Engineered Hardwood Flooring
Shaw's Engineered hardwood core is made up of multiple layers of wood stacked in a cross-grain configuration which minimizes expanding and shrinking.
Like EPIC Plus Engineered hardwood, Shaw Engineered can be installed above, on, or below grade.
Engineered hardwood provides an advantage over solid hardwood because of the ability to install in multiple areas of the home.
Engineered Hardwood Styles
Before deciding on Solid or Engineered hardwood flooring, consider these factors
Location, Location, Location
The location of your hardwood flooring basically falls into three categories:
- On Grade - at ground level
- Above Grade - any second level or higher
- Below Grade - any floor below ground level, including basements or sunkenliving rooms.
Traditional solid hardwood flooring is not well suited for below-grade installations, because of the possibility of moisture issues. The construction of an engineered hardwood gives it enhanced structural stability that allows it to be installed at any grade level when a moisture barrier such as Selitac Thermally Insulating Underlayment or Silent Step Ultra 3 in 1 is used during installation.
What type of subfloor do you have?
If you plan to install over concrete, you must use an engineered product to ensure structural integrity. Solid wood flooring or Engineered flooring may be used over plywood, existing wood floors, or OSB subfloors. Be sure to refer to Shaw's installation guidelines for specifics on subfloor requirements.
Will there be moisture in the room?
If you are considering flooring for a bathroom where continuous moisture is expected, you will want to select a product other than hardwood. While the moisture resistance of an engineered hardwood makes it suitable for rooms below grade or ground level when installed with a moisture barrier, it is not advisable to install any hardwood flooring in a bathroom.