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Kitchen with granite countertops.

White Granite Countertops vs Black Granite Countertops: How to Pick a Style

Kitchen with granite countertops.

White Granite Countertops vs Black Granite Countertops: How to Pick a Style

When it’s time for a kitchen remodel, selecting a kitchen countertop style is a big decision. The right kitchen counter shade can add tremendous visual appeal to your entire kitchen: highlighting major appliances, enhancing cabinet color, and tying appliances into the aesthetic.

 

Most customers often wonder: should I get white granite countertops or black granite countertops?

 

No matter your vision, your kitchen, and your budget, the professionals at Lifestyle Floors are here to help you make the decision that works best for your needs. 

 

Here are our pro tips on how to choose one over the other.

 

Four Benefits of White Granite Countertops

 

1. Opens up the kitchen and makes objects seem larger.

Visually white spaces appear more expansive: the optics of whites give a fuller frame of reference to objects placed on or around them. 

 

If you are seeking to make a space seem larger, installation of white granite countertops can visually maximize sightlines, specifically in the periphery and above the space. Most people want to make their home appear more spacious, so white granite countertops are usually the most installed and are found in virtually all kitchen and home styles. 

 

2. Helps brighten a space.

In addition to making spaces feel larger, white granite countertops can help brighten a space. If you sense there’s not enough natural light, installing white granite will refract more light in the space, making it feel more bright or open than a space with black granite countertops. 

 

3. Works best with brass and nickel fixture handles.

When it comes to choosing between white or black granite countertops, most people forget to think about fixtures and handles. 

 

White granite countertops have accentuated countless varieties of fixtures and handles in kitchens. Owners who love the polished brass or gold plated finish look find that white granite brings added visual presentation to the fixtures and helps frame key appliances or kitchen features.

 

4. Shows your spills to help you clean more effectively.

White granite countertops have long been preferred by those owners who want to keep their kitchen and meal prepping spaces spotlessly clean. 

 

Dirt and dust stick out like a sore thumb on white granite countertops. As a homeowner, this helps you identify any areas you missed and catch it before company comes over. Also, cleaning and polishing white granite countertops reveals a luster and shine that surpasses other types of countertops.

 

Four Benefits of Black Granite Countertops

 

1. Best for a classic, transitional, or modern kitchen.

Black granite countertops have long been associated with modern luxury. The combination of dark granite with polished fixtures and handles adds an element of class to the home kitchen. 

 

Black countertops are often paired with white cabinetry or meshed with a modern industrial styling that can add significant long term value to the home.  

 

2. Compliments a bulk of new appliances.

Appliances have changed greatly in their styling over the last 20 years. As plastic refrigerators have given way to stainless steel and chrome finishes, other appliances have changed their makeup as well. 

 

New home appliances come routinely in steel finishes, dark plastic, and matte slate finishes. These trends toward darker colors mesh well with dark granite countertops and provide a seamless look to your kitchen profile. 

 

3. Shows less dirt and grime.

Constant use of the counterspace will result in dust, dirt, and food debris buildup. What could present as a continued nuisance on a white granite countertop is now minimized on a dark surface. 

 

While cleaning routines are still regular, the appearance of cleanliness on a dark granite countertop will last far longer and keep you from feeling the constant need to clean the visual blemishes more pronounced on white granite countertops. When friends come to call, you can breathe easy instead of worrying about every possible spill or scratch.

 

4. Often more affordable than white granite.

In general, you will typically find that black or dark granite slabs are less expensive than white granite slabs. Pricing normally depends on the granite slab thickness, its composition, and color choices. On average, the black and gray styles run cheaper because of their ubiquity.

 

Coming mostly from mines in Asia and the Nordic regions, black granite can be mined and cut to custom whereas the white granites are becoming more scarce after decades of use.

 

Should You Choose White Granite Countertops or Black Granite Countertops?

If you are set on a particular stone, the team at Lifestyle Flooring will work with your vision to help achieve your dream kitchen. 

 

Or, if you aren’t sure which option would be best for your kitchen, come by the showroom and let the professionals at Lifestyle Floors walk you though some of the options. We can evaluate your existing kitchen setup along with your budget then recommend whether white or black granite countertops would be best for your space. 

 

Get in touch by giving us a call or stopping by our showroom in Colorado Springs.

Worker installing hardwood floor.

Find a Flooring Company Near Me

Worker installing hardwood floor.

Find a Flooring Company Near Me

You know your floor is in desperate need of an upgrade. You recently repainted your wall and switched out the kitchen cabinets, and suddenly your floor sticks out like a sore thumb. It’s finally time to give your floor some much needed TLC. 

 

When done right, quality flooring adds to the value and visual appeal of your home. Unfortunately, shoddy installations could make even the nicest of floor patterns look unseemly.

 

Choosing the right flooring company for your project can seem daunting at times, but it’s well worth it in the end. But simply searching “flooring company near me” on the internet yields hundreds of results. How do you know which to choose?

 

If you’ve been trying to find a Colorado Springs flooring company near you, one company stands apart from all the rest: Lifestyle Floors.

 

Here are four reasons why Lifestyle Floors is your best choice for flooring installation. 

 

1. Commitment to Quality

Lifestyle Floors’s services are well known throughout the region because of their commitment to delivering quality products and services. Their trusted installation professionals have a documented record of quality installation and bring that reputation to each of their projects. 

 

Our customers have much to say about our quality and service.

 

“The install team were respectful and accommodating of puppies and babies and luckily, a small project, they were in and out quickly, kept everything clean and the final result is exactly what I was hoping for.”- Katie G 

 

At Lifestyle Floors, we house multiple brands of flooring options so you can find the flooring that perfectly matches your needs. Whether you’re looking for flooring that’s durable hardwood or eco-friendly, there’s something for everyone. 

 

We provide hardwood flooring, laminate, tile, luxury vinyl, carpet, and area rugs in Colorado Springs. If you’re in the area and have been searching for a flooring company near you, look no further.

 

2. Fast and Reliable Service

The staff at Lifestyle Flooring is insured, licensed, and experienced. When it comes to in-home projects, the quicker and more professional your crew, the sooner you can get back to living your life without interruption. 

 

Hear from one of our clients about her experience with our fast and reliable service:

 

“The whole process of picking, getting measurements, and installation was beyond smooth!  It even took a day less to install than originally planned!  The installers were prompt, professional, pleasant, and clean and my floors are absolutely beautiful!” -Cristy W

 

Whether you are getting an installation or refinishing your floors, Lifestyle Floors team will take the time to make sure your needs are heard and understood. Once you experience our customer-centered service, you won’t need to look for any other flooring company near you.

 

3. 2 Year Installation Guarantee

Going above and beyond has long been a key characteristic of the service provided by Lifestyle Flooring. That’s why we provide our customers with a 2 year installation guarantee. 

 

The trusted team at Lifestyle Floors is confident that their installation will be a seamless process. But just in case there are unexpected hiccups, the team will make it right at our expense per our material specific checklist within the first 2 years of install.

 

“When they were installing the wood steps, they made some cuts on an area rug I had in a different room. This left a bunch of cuts in that area rug. If that was the end of the story, I would have given them 1 star. But I emailed them and was immediately refunded the full price of the rug.”- Patrick G

 

Following up with customers and exceeding expectations is what Lifestyle Floors is our mission. We strive to be the best flooring company near you.

 

4. The Confidence Guarantee

Picking the right flooring can sometimes be a process of trial and error. For couples, agreeing on a floor plan may be a difficult task.

 

The team at Lifestyle Floors is here throughout your whole renovation experience. To show they are committed, Lifestyle Floors offers a 30 day confidence guarantee on their installations. 

Lifestyle Floors “Confidence Warranty” guarantees if after the installation and within 30 days you are unhappy with your choice, we will replace your product at no cost to you. We ask that you live on the floor for 30 days and if you are still unhappy, we will replace that product. We ask that you pay to have it removed and reinstalled, but we will take care of the product itself.

 

“Their communication, dedication, and knowledge was extremely impressive and they made sure we were taken care of from the beginning. We have never had anyone be as considerate and respectful in our home as everyone was. We cannot wait to do our next project with Lifestyle and highly recommend them to anyone who is looking to upgrade their existing floors. Thank you for (sic) making our house feel even more like our home!”-Jennifer A

 

This kind of commitment to customer satisfaction has built a number of loyal customers all over Colorado. If you’re a local and have been searching for a flooring company near you, we want you to have the best and smoothest experience working with us.

 

The Best Flooring Company Near You

To take advantage of all the great products and services that Lifestyle Floors has to offer, get connected with us today.

 

The dedicated staff will walk you through the process, listening to your needs and wants and customizing a plan for your home. We want you to enjoy your new flooring for decades, and that’s part of what makes us the best flooring company near you.

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Best Flooring Materials for Colorado Springs

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Best Flooring Materials for Colorado Springs

Colorado climates are some of the trickiest to prepare for in the nation. Its combination of low humidity, high elevation, and cool and dry seasons paired with cold winters creates some of the most extreme weather events in the world. 

Any Coloradoan knows that being prepared for any season at any time is smart. The same can be said for your home’s interior floors. Being prepared for any season at any time in terms of flooring allows you the benefits of lower maintenance, maximum lifespan, and functionality just as choosing the wrong materials can be frustrating. 

If you have been wondering about the best flooring materials for your home, here are 4 styles to consider. 


1. Engineered hardwoods

For those who are looking for the feel of hardwood flooring but are concerned about the cost and maintenance of solid wood, engineered hardwoods offer the best of both worlds. These multi-ply materials come prepared with a realistic wood veneer. Engineered woods are pre-stressed, which produces a stronger finish that stands up to wear and tear.

Colorado dryness plus snow melt from boots can be brutal on natural wood floors.

Engineered hardwoods consist of numerous layers of shaved veneer that sit on top of multiple layers of plywood backing, adding a stable and finished look to a composed multi-piece plank. The manufacturing process for engineered woods is less intensive than lumbering for solid woods, and it’s much easier to find a replacement that matches your current finish should a plank warp or bubble. 

Additionally, because of its veneer composition, there is a greater variety of widths in plank. In larger open floor plans, wide plank engineered hardwoods, sometimes up to 8”-10” inches wide, are the flooring of choice. These wide planks add a look and feel that rivals solid wood but is less labor-intensive in the installation. 

While price points are similar to solid wood planks, for the customer who wants the look and finish of solid wood flooring but wants the greater footprint and adaptability not found in solid woods, an engineered hardwood floor may be a great option. 


2. Solid Wood Flooring

In contrast to engineered hardwoods, solid wood flooring is exactly what you would guess from the name. Solid wood pieces have a measured thickness, usually derived from cherry, oak, maple, birch, or pine trees and come in long planks. Solid hardwoods are either site finished or pre-finished to an average depth of half an inch. While not as durable as engineered wood, this finishing allows for some wear and tear without noticable damage. 

These flooring boards are lumbered and cut to a specific thickness and width, and on average tend to be more narrow than engineered hardwoods. Because of this, there is usually a need for a little bit more solid wood than engineered woods when flooring your home. This additional price increase is typically offset, however, by the resale value that is associated with hardwood flooring should you ever choose to pull it up and replace it. 

While solid woods have a greater propensity for warping in moisture-rich environments because of their single-piece composition, the lifespan of solid wood can be two to three times longer than engineered hardwoods for the same reason. Solid woods are still the preferred product for those seeking to add long-term value and durability to a home making it a worthwhile option if you are seeking a long-term solution.

If you plan to include an effective mudroom or entryway in your Colorado home, you can protect your wood floors from snow and dirt.  


3. Luxury Vinyl Plank

Luxury vinyl plank (LVP) is the most versatile and often most affordable of all the flooring types we will discuss. Vinyl plank flooring is a great option for customers who like the look of solid wood or engineered hardwoods, but don’t mind the lack of natural feel that comes from a vinyl plank. Most LVP clicks together for easy installation.

For Coloradoans, vinyl planks make sense if your home is prone to water deposits (via tracked snow, muddy conditions, or a dog’s water bowl that is constantly being overturned) because of their waterproof construction. Additionally, vinyl planks, unlike wood, are less prone to expand or contract in adverse temperatures, and more and more there are varying color and pattern options coming into the market. 

The look of vinyl that mimics real wood is getting closer and closer. 


4. Laminate

Much like vinyl plank, laminate flooring might look like wood, but it’s actually a combination of wood and melamine, a type of plastic. The top composite layer is usually printed to make it look like wood but is actually much cheaper than the woods that were previously mentioned. Much like vinyl, the prints that are available are getting closer and closer to a wood look, but at a far cheaper price point. What you save in price, you lose in quality. The feel of natural wood and laminate flooring aren’t similar. Most people prefer the feel of natural wood.

Laminate flooring is known for being the easiest to maintain and for having the greatest variety of finishes. While it’s known to be the most scratch resistant of the woods mentioned in this post, it may not perform well if left in wet conditions for ovr 72 hours. Thankfully, the cost and labor to repair laminate flooring is typically less than hardwood or vinyl replacement. 


What does Lifestyle Floors recommend as the best flooring material for Colorado Springs?

If your home is a long-term investment or you are looking for optimal resale value, then solid wood or engineered wood flooring would be your best bet. 

If weather and climate conditions are of chief concern or you have many pets or children, vinyl plank flooring may be a great cost-saving option. You won’t have to make a significant sacrifice in look and feel. 

Lastly, if there’s a short-term fix needed, and you know that the floors are going to take a beating from the weather, a laminate floor may be in order. 

Regardless of the type of flooring you want or think you may need, give the professionals at Lifestyle Flooring of Colorado Springs a call. Our expert staff can help you make a decision that meets your needs and your budget. 

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What to consider when installing a hardwood floor

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Hardwood Floor Installation: What You Need to Know Before Buying

Maybe you’ve reached your breaking point with carpet cleaning and sheet vinyl floors. Maybe you’re thinking of installing a hardwood floor in your home. While the task can seem daunting at first, a firm idea of the process, costs, and some technical know-how will put you well on your way to a seamless install. 

At Lifestyle Floors in Colorado Springs, we help people navigate the process of installing hardwood floors every day. Whether you try a DIY project or hire us to install your floors for you, here are a few tips to consider. 


Know your hardwood floor types

First and foremost, there are four basic types of hardwood floors you can install: 

  • Nail down/Staple – Often used for solid wood floors.
  • Floating – Often used with engineered hardwood, luxury vinyl planks (LVP), luxury vinyl tile
  • Adhesive – Often used with solid wood floors, engineered woods, luxury vinyl plank, luxury vinyl tile, vinyl sheeting

The type of floor you choose usually depends on your budget since the types of hardwoods that are available for each type vary significantly in cost. Because of the various installation methods, you should consult a professional before doing this project yourself.


Prep, measure, and fix 

Once you have determined the type of floor you want to install, you should measure out the square footage of the area you are wanting to refloor. You can do a simple calculation of length by width for square footage calculation. 

Once you know the square footage, it’s important to know what is under the floor you are replacing. Depending on the condition of your home, you may want to inspect the existing subf

Examination of the entire subfloor is essential because installation of a new hardwood floor on a broken or structurally unsound subfloor could lead to expensive repairs down the road. Planks may warp, crack, or become dislodged. Take the time to ensure subflooring is intact, water spots are remediated, and the wood planks are in good order. This will give you the peace of mind to know the newly installed flooring will be supported for the long term.

Additionally, when inspecting the subfloor, take a look at the floor joists and the direction they run. Knowing the direction of the floor joists gives you an idea of which direction the installed hardwood flooring should run. Ideally, you run the hardwoods across the floor joists, not along them. The cross-hatching method adds strength to the floor structure and allows for greater weight dispersion across the surface of the floor itself. Of course, hiring a professional means that they will take all of these steps. Remove a section of flooring to expose what is underneath, taking note of the type and age of the subfloor into consideration.


Hardwood preparation and underlayment

Depending on the type of floor you purchased, it’s recommended to let the wood sit in the environment in which it will be installed for a few hours to a day. Wood by nature expands in heat and is affected by moisture in the air. Your home environment is unique and letting the wood adapt to the environment before installation will help you during the installation itself. Check with your manufacturer for the proper acclimation time. Some solid hardwood may take weeks to acclimate, whereas engineered and vinyl materials might only take a few days.

Once you’ve prepped the subfloor and know your hardwood type, most contractors recommend installing a specialized underlayment. These can be made of rubber, foam, or a material similar to roofing felt. The type you need depends on the flooring you have chosen, but remember that if you choose a nail down floor, the underlayment cannot be too thick or else the nails won’t be able to grab the solid subflooring beneath. 

The underlayment also serves the hardwoods well during heat and cold snaps as the expansion and contraction of the wood are supported by a flexible layer, reducing friction between the floor and subfloor and between the flooring connections.  

When rolling out your underlayment, you should practice the same cross-hatching method, working against the lines of your floor joists, and you should let the layer creep up the wall a few inches since you will trim down the underlayment before re-installing hardwood floorboards. The underlayment will likely have adhesive strips on the edges, so when you have laid down the line of underlayment, peel off the adhesive and attach it to an adjacent piece. Easily done. 


Installing the hardwood flooring

Once the floor has been prepped and your underlayment installed, you are free to install the flooring itself. 

Some types of flooring may be constructed with a built-in locking system. Determine the non-locking side before you start and place that side toward the wall. Since you will be starting at the wall and working away from it, you should mark a line one or two inches from the wall itself. These expansion gaps will help you during installation since you will need to put spacers against each side of the hardwoods so as to not damage the walls during the snapping-in or setting process of the wood planks. Baseboards will eventually cover this expansion gap.

Once you have laid down your first line of hardwood, depending on the type, you can nail down the wood to the subfloor, putting a nail in every 6 to 8 inches. After setting your primary plank line, you need to make sure the separations in the wood are staggered so the separations in the planks don’t line up with separations on the next line of woods. Having lined-up seams will reduce the structural integrity of the floor and look unappealing, so be sure to avoid lined-up end segments. 

As you progress to the far wall, you will likely have to blind nail the last two boards or make cuts to a hardwood piece to fit the final few inches of flooring. The same process you used for installing the pilot line you should use here, nailing down the boards every 6 to 8 inches along the wall, leaving a few inches for the floorboards to be reinstalled. 


Lifestyle Floors is your destination for hardwood flooring installation

Hardwood flooring installation can be a complicated process. Without proper preparation, you may find yourself ripping out newly-installed boards due to human error. When in doubt, reach out to the professionals at Lifestyle Floors, your hardwood flooring installation experts in Colorado Springs.

We are happy to answer your questions and set you on the path to success!

SHOWROOM SPOTLIGHT…

PRODUCT OF THE YEAR!… TuffCore

TuffCore Product

LifeStyle Floors is excited to bring you this Exceptional new product with what we consider one of the Best In The Industry Flooring Lines with some of The Best Affordable Pricing!

SHOWROOM SPOTLIGHT…

PRODUCT OF THE MONTH

PRODUCT OF THE MONTH...

Mannington Adura Vinyl Plank

The wow without the worry.

LVP room scene

About ADURA® Vinyl Plank

Incredible detail. Stunning style. High performance. You’ll get the wow without the worry when you choose any ADURA® vinyl plank floor. Available in a variety of shapes, sizes, textures, and installation options, any ADURA® vinyl plank will deliver award-winning fashion to your home. 

Why Choose Mannington ADURA® Vinyl Plank?
• ADURA® floors are waterproof, scratch-and indentation-resistant and easy to maintain
• ADURA® is perfect for any room where style and performance matters in a new home. Special attention has been paid to style details like realistic wood grains and surface textures, long and wide planks, variable width planks, and ceramic tile looks
• Available in a variety of shapes, sizes, textures, and installation options
• All Mannington floors are FloorScore® certified which means they are independently tested and meet stringent indoor air quality standards. This certification also qualifies all of our floors for low VOCs

  • icons waterproofWATERPROOF
  • icons kidandpetfriendlyKID & PET FRIENDLY
  • icons cleanmaintainEASY TO CLEAN & MAINTAIN
  • icons scratchresistantSCRATCH RESISTANT
  • icons fadeandstainFADE & STAIN RESISTANT
  • icons indentationINDENTATION RESISTANT
  • icons floorscoreFLOORSCORE® CERTIFIED
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Meet the ADURA® Vinyl Plank Family

      

ADURA®MaxAPEX

 

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ADURA®MaxAPEX are high-style, statement-making floors for any room, especially those that set the style tone for your home (foyers, living areas, dining spaces).

     

ADURA®Max

 

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ADURA®Max dampens sound by 30%, for more peace and quiet in homes with multiple stories, plus those with media rooms, music rooms and kids play spaces.

      

ADURA®Rigid

 

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ADURA®Rigid is strong and durable with superior indentation resistance, ideal for home gyms, kids rooms and kitchens.

      

ADURA®Flex

 

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ADURA®Flex is a stable and reliable glue-down floor that can be installed in long runs without transition strips, ideal for homes with open floor plans.

Social Buzz…

“When we researched the different products that we could use for flooring we found that this Mannington product stood up better than any other on the market. Not only for the high traffic but also for spill, etc… It is so easy to maintain and also looks beautiful in every room of our home. The different styles and color options were incredible! Jennifer T.”

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Heated Floors To Get You Through The Winter…Cozy!

wood floor room scene

Heated Floors To Help Get You Through The Winter…Cozy!

Electric Radiant In-Floor Heating Systems

Discover the Warmth and Comfort of Radiant Floor Heating

Say goodbye to drafty rooms, chilly wood floors and cold bathroom tiles. The moment you step on a ThermoSoft heated floor, you’ll appreciate the difference it makes to the comfort of your family. Radiant floor heating feels luxurious, but it also has practical benefits: it offers clean, energy-efficient warmth without the allergens or dry air associated with traditional forced-air heat.

Electric floor heating is an affordable upgrade to your home that can be installed under any floor type in any space – from a single room to an entire house. No regular maintenance and long-term dependability mean your underfloor heat will keep you comfortable and happy for years to come.

Exceptional Comfort

Warms rooms, not ceilings: Underfloor heat puts heat near people, keeping extremities warm and the room comfortable.

Uniform, ideal heat pattern: Electric radiant heat applies heat gently with even energy distribution thanks to consistent heating element patterns.

Say goodbye to drafty rooms: Reducing or eliminating the use of forced air heat means no drafts created by blowing fans.

Invisible and silent: No unsightly vents, no audible fans, total comfort with no interruptions.

Individual room control: Take total control of your home comfort with room-specific thermostats.

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Cleaner, Healthier, Maintenance-Free

Maintenance-free: No filters, no vents, no moving parts to worry about. Once electric radiant floor heating is installed, it can last indefinitely.

No dirty vents or ducts: Radiant heat is cleaner because it reduces or eliminates the need for vents and ducts actively distributing dust and allergens in your home.

No more drying out your air: Radiant heat doesn’t pump in dry heated air like an HVAC system, which means more comfortable air for your eyes and sinuses.

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Energy-Saving

100% Efficiency: With electric radiant heat, our system converts all input energy to heat. No other system matches this.

More comfort, less energy: Radiant heat typically achieves a comfortable environment at a lower temperature than forced air heat.

Use less energy by needing less heat: Radiant heat establishes a feeling of comfort at a temperature lower than what is needed from a forced air system. This lower demand on your home’s heating systems means a more efficient way to stay warm.

Heated Floor thermostat

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Bathroom

shower

Shower

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Basement

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Kitchen

bedroom

Bedroom

foyer

Foyer

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Sunroom

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Mudroom

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Bonus Room/Den

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Garage

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Living Room

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Solid Wood vs. Engineered Wood

Solid wood flooring, as the name suggests, is made of solid wood throughout its thickness. It is usually made of a hardwood species, such as oak, maple, or walnut, and its major advantage is that it can be sanded and refinished many times over the course of its lifespan. Engineered wood flooring looks very similar on the surface, but it is made from a thinner layer of hardwood bonded over a substrate of high-quality plywood made of hardwood as well. Engineered flooring is somewhat less expensive than solid hardwood, but don’t let that fool you!. The engineered flooring has a factory aluminum oxide or ceramic bead finish that is formulated to not require re-sanding during it’s lifetime. Also, if sanded, you would be sanding out the characters that made you fall in love with the floor in the first place. The clear advantage to one form of wood flooring over the other boils down to the geographic area you live in and your lifestyle. Your choice depends on how much you value the relative benefits of each.

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Solid Wood Flooring vs. Engineered Wood Flooring

 

Solid wood flooring comes in long planks, usually made of a hardwood species. It is milled with tongues and grooves on opposite edges so that the boards interlock when installed. It is always nailed down to the subfloor, a process that requires some skill. Because it is solid wood, this flooring can be sanded down and refinished several times over its life.

Engineered wood flooring looks very much like solid hardwood, but its construction features a thinner layer of hardwood bonded over a premium-quality plywood layer also made of hardwood that gives the flooring the best stability. A good-quality engineered wood floor typically lasts 25 to 50 years, and it is both less expensive and requires less maintenance due to it’s aluminum oxide or ceramic bead finish.
 Solid HardwoodEngineered Hardwood
Lifespan30 to 100 years (depending on structure,
lifestyle & atmosphere)
20 to 50 years (most having a 50 year warranty)
Cost$10 to $15 per square foot$5 to $14 per square foot
Sanding, Refinishing2 or 3 times over life of floor50 Year finish, not required
StabilityMay warp in humid, damp conditions, too dry or seasonal shrinkageGreat resistance to warping, cupping and seasonal changes
Plank thicknessAbout 3/4 inch3/8 to 5/8 inch
Plank Width2 1/4 to 4 inches2 1/4 to 9 inches
Plank Length12 to 72 inches36 to 72 inches
Installation MethodNail down, tongue-and-grooveNail down, floating, or glue-down

Appearance

 

Solid Hardwood Flooring

Solid hardwood flooring boards tend to be narrower than engineered hardwood flooring. Solid hardwood generally has very tight seams between boards, and there is a great range of colors and species. Solid hardwood is available in both pre-finished and unfinished boards. This article mainly compares the unfinished sand & finish solid hardwood. 

wood room scene

Engineered Hardwood Flooring

 

Floorboards tend to be wider with engineered hardwood flooring (due to it’s stability.) Some pre-finished engineered hardwood flooring has slightly beveled edges, which creates slight grooves between boards causing a more defined look, while solid hardwood flooring generally has very tight seams between boards. Engineered hardwood flooring is almost always sold pre-finished, and there is a broader range of available colors, character, species and application than with solid hardwood.

ServicesPage Hardwood Flooring

Best for Appearance?: Tie

Which version of hardwood flooring you find preferable really boils down to personal preference and which floor fits your needs and lifestyle.

 

Water and Heat Resistance

 

Both types of hardwood have good resistance to heat. Neither material is recommended for installation in truly wet locations. Engineered can however be installed over concrete and in basements below grade.

 

Solid Hardwood

Solid hardwood is not recommended for installation against concrete slabs, since moisture migrating through the concrete can cause solid hardwood to swell and warp. 

 

Engineered Hardwood

Engineered hardwood has much better performance in humid locations since its plywood construction makes it more stable and less susceptible to warping. If installation against a concrete subfloor is necessary, engineered hardwood is the choice.

 

Best for Water and Heat Resistance: Engineered Hardwood

Engineered hardwood flooring comes out the winner here, since its plywood base makes it less susceptible to warping caused by moisture. Engineered flooring is also great over a floor heating system as well.

 

Care and Cleaning

 

Solid Hardwood

This flooring is easy to clean with simple sweeping and vacuuming, and occasional damp-mopping with an approved wood cleaner.

 

Engineered Hardwood

Care and cleaning of this flooring look the same as for solid hardwood: sweeping or vacuuming, and occasional damp-mopping with a wood cleaner.

 

Best for Care and Cleaning: Tie

Both types of flooring are relatively easy to care for, requiring simple sweeping and cleaning with an approved wood cleaner. Avoid using water or steam to clean any wood floor.

wood floor room scene

Durability and Maintenance

 

Solid Hardwood

Solid hardwood has the disadvantage here, but since it can be sanded down and refinished several times over its lifespan it would be something to consider as a more long term durability.

 

Engineered Hardwood

Engineered hardwood can be refinished once, or at most twice, but honestly, should not need any sanding as the engineered floor has a very hard aluminum oxide or ceramic bead factory finish (designed to avoid the need of sanding and refinishing) that will withstand years, if not decades of use before the surface hardwood finish layer is exhausted.

 

Best for Durability and Maintenance: Engineered Hardwood

Engineered hardwood flooring holds the edge here since it has been designed to be more stable and the factory aluminum oxide finish eliminates the need for sanding and refinishing for many years. All solid-wood floors can benefit from a renewal of the surface varnish coat every few years.

 

Installation

 

Solid Hardwood

Solid hardwood flooring is installed with a tongue-and-groove system, in which each board is blind-nailed to the subfloor down through tongues at the edges of the boards.

 

Engineered Hardwood

Some engineered wood flooring is also installed with the same nail-down methods used for solid hardwood, but there are also forms with “click-lock” edges that can be installed as a “floating floor.” Engineered wood flooring can also be glued down against a concrete subfloor, yes, even in “below grade” basements. 

 

Best for Installation: Engineered Hardwood

You will find that the click-lock or glue-down forms of engineered hardwood are easier to work with than the nail-down methods used for solid hardwood.

 

Cost

 

Solid Hardwood

Sand & Finished solid hardwood averages about $10 per square foot, within a range of $8 to $14 per square foot.

 

Engineered Hardwood

Engineered hardwood flooring is slightly less expensive than solid hardwood. The typical range engineered hardwood flooring is $5 to $10 per square foot, with most types falling in the $5 to $8 per square foot range. But, keep in mind it also requires less maintenance due to it’s factory finish.

 

Best for Cost: Engineered Hardwood

The edge here goes to engineered hardwood flooring. For both types of flooring, installation labor can add $3 to $10 per square foot, depending on prevailing labor costs in your area and the complexity of the home layout. Solid wood sand & finish having the more expensive variables.

 

Lifespan

 

Solid Hardwood

Solid hardwood typically lasts at least 30 years and as much as 100 years, since it can be sanded down and refinished several times.

 

Engineered Hardwood

Engineered hardwood flooring generally lasts 20 to 50 years. Most engineered floors having a manufacturers 50 year warranty.

 

Best for Lifespan: Both Hardwoods

Because its solid wood construction allows it to be sanded and refinished several times, solid hardwood flooring comes out on top when it comes to longevity. Engineered takes the maintenance over time lead because of it’s lack of need for sanding and refinishing. Engineered will also hold up better to humidity issues and will show less seasonal changes.

 

Sizes

Solid Hardwood

Standard hardwood flooring planks are 3/4 inch thick, 2 1/4-4 inches wide, and sold n various lengths from 12 to 84 inches. Other thicknesses and widths are also available, though solid hardwood flooring is rarely more than about 4 inches wide.

 

Engineered Hardwood

Engineered hardwood boards are often thinner, with 3/8- to 9/16 inch-thick boards common. Engineered hardwood is often sold in much wider boards, up to 9 inches, and the lengths typically run 36 to 72 inches

 

Best for Sizes: Tie

There is no particular winner here, unless you have a particular preference for narrower boards (in which case solid hardwood will be preferable for you), or wider boards (in which case engineered hardwood flooring will be a better choice).

 

Resale Value

 

Solid Hardwood

In appearance, solid hardwood is not noticeably different from engineered hardwood, but real estate professionals and potential home buyers may place a premium on a solid hardwood floor for its greater longevity.

 

Engineered Hardwood

Engineered hardwood flooring will rarely be a turn-off to prospective buyers, though they may recognize that these floors have a shorter lifespan but excel in character and finish.

 

Best for Resale Value: Both Hardwoods

Both solid hardwood and engineered hardwood are premium flooring materials that add good real estate value to your home.

 

The Verdict

 

Engineered wood flooring was once regarded as a pale imitation of solid hardwood, but improvements in the product quality have eliminated this perception. Solid hardwood may hold a slight edge in prestige for some people, but the lower cost, easier installation and lower maintenance of engineered wood flooring give it the edge for others. Further, engineered wood uses less hardwood trees, a fact that appeals to environmentally conscious consumers.

 


 

Top Products:

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