Photo: Shaw Floors
Installing hardwood flooring is an easy way to improve the look, durability and value of your home. Consider these factors before deciding on whether you prefer solid or engineered hardwood flooring.
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 sunken living rooms.
Traditional solid hardwood flooring is not well suited for below-grade installations due to 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’re 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’s not advisable to install any hardwood flooring in a bathroom.