Solid wood flooring is 100% hardwood milled from lumber. As a natural material, hardwood reacts to changes in its setting, like moisture and extreme temperatures, which cause solid wood to shrink or expand. All solid hardwood can be sanded and refinished if needed over the years. Solid hardwood is not recommended for installation below ground level or in bathrooms.
Engineered wood flooring is built up of layers of wood. It consists of three to ten layers, called plies, that are glued together. This multi-ply structure gives engineered wood superior stability, greater than solid wood, which reduces concerns associated with shrinking and expanding when temperature and humidity change. Engineered wood can be installed below ground level making it a great choice for finished basements.
Prefinished vs. Site-Finished Hardwood
All Armstrong hardwood flooring comes pre-finished for a no fuss, no muss installation. There’s no dust from sanding, no fumes from chemicals, no waiting for the finish to dry. These floors are warranted to last longer than site-finished floors–typically 5 to 35 years, for residential use versus 3 to 5 years. This is because factory applied urethane finishes are much tougher and longer lasting than site-applied finishes. If you like the look of site-finished flooring, but want the durability of prefinished flooring, choose a product with a square end and edge.