Engineered vs. Hardwood Flooring in Southern Ontario’s Niagara Region

Are you considering renovating your floors this spring? One of the biggest decisions you’ll have to make is choosing between engineered hardwood and solid hardwood flooring. Both options have their advantages, so it’s important to review them carefully to determine which one is best for your home and lifestyle.

Let’s start with engineered hardwood flooring. This option has been gaining popularity in recent years, thanks to its versatility and durability. Engineered hardwood flooring is made with a top veneer of real hardwood over a plywood or solid-sawn wood fillet core, making it more structurally stable than solid hardwood flooring. This is ideal for homes in Ontario where we have temperature fluctuations – high humidity in summer and dry low-humidity heat in winter.

On the other hand, solid hardwood flooring is a classic, timeless option that will add beauty and warmth to any room in your home. It is milled from a single piece of hardwood, which gives it unmatched longevity as solid hardwood floors can be sanded and refinished multiple times. However, they are more susceptible to moisture and temperature changes, which can lead to gapping, warping, or cupping over time. In terms of style, both types of hardwood flooring come in a variety of colors, surface finishes, and styles. From rustic to modern, there’s a hardwood flooring option that can fit any design aesthetic. Plus, with proper care and maintenance, both engineered and solid hardwood flooring can last for years and continue to add value to your home.

Engineered Hardwood – Preferred Choice for Moisture & Humidity

Ultimately, if you live in Southern Ontario and in particular the Niagara Region, moisture and humidity can be a factor when you look at choosing flooring. This area is surrounded by water between Lake Ontario to the north and Lake Erie to the south. The Niagara River flows through the region and eventually cascades over Niagara Falls before emptying into Lake Ontario. There’s also a canal system that connects Lake Ontario and Lake Erie, passing through 12 municipalities including St. Catharines, Thorald, Welland, Pelham, Lincoln, Grimsby, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Niagara Falls, Fort-Erie, Port Colborne, Wainfleet and West Lincoln. We recommend engineered hardwood flooring as the preferred choice due to its higher degree of resistance to moisture and temperature changes. Its versatility and affordability are worth the investment. Wide planks ranging from 5” up to 10” and board lengths that exceed 6’ in length, make for an exceptional look throughout homes. Wire brushed and hand scraped wood textures combined with low-gloss finishes allow for authentic looks that will perform well in active households.

Common Question: Is laminate flooring a type of engineered hardwood?

Many people ask if laminate flooring is considered a type of engineered hardwood flooring and the short answer is no. Laminate is a floating floor product made of a high density fiberboard core and top layer of high resolution photo that is printed on the surface to replicate the grains and textures found in natural wood. Laminate is often the most affordable among wood-look alternative floors. Check out Rhoda’s Rants for a professionally candid opinion on laminate flooring versus engineered hardwood.

No matter which option you choose, make sure to work with a reputable flooring contractor who can help you select the right type of hardwood flooring for your home and provide professional installation. With the right care and maintenance, your hardwood floors can be a beautiful and valuable addition to your home for years to come.

From Aristocrat Floors, St. Catharines, Ontario, April 2023