Engineered Wood Flooring: Choosing the Right Wood

Engineered Wood FlooringThe first project we decided to work on was to replace the mishmash of solid wood and bright colored carpet throughout the house with contemporary hardwood floors.

It seems easy, right?  Just pick the wood we want and be done with it.

I quickly learned that simple does mean easy.  I agonized over this choice, read 100’s of articles, and spoke to 15 different hardwood floor vendors – each with a different opinion.

We had two basic options: Engineered and hardwood wood.  Engineered wood is made of a veneer layer of real wood that sits on top of under-layers of plywood.  Hardwood is the traditional thick solid wood.

Initially, we wanted to install hardwood over our concrete slab subfloors:

Dining Room Concrete Subfloor

We felt the solid wood floors would add character and warmth to our home. But the instability of the clay soil and high levels of humidity in Houston were a big concern for us.

The soil is sensitive to changes in moisture here.  It expands when it rains and contracts when it is dry. The climate is also very humid and this often causes hardwood floors to warp, swell or split apart.

We decided to go with engineered wood flooring because we felt they were more stable and resistant to moisture.  Our floor vendor also assured us that we could basically get any type of wood in an engineered format.

We choose to go with hand scraped Imperial Oak Black Pearl in the dining room and throughout the house:

Engineered Wood FlooringWe choose this particular type of hand scraped wood because the grain pattern was contemporary.  It hid dents and scratches well and we were able to negotiate the price down to $3.29/per square foot.

Whenever I find a nick or scratch on the floor, I just grab my wood finish stain marker and fill it in.


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Hi! We’re the Hunter family from Houston, Texas. Our blog is dedicated to home design, remodeling, dream closets, energy efficient homes, travel, and living well. We are on a mission to help you create a home full of love, laughter, joy, happiness, fun, hope, memories and … style! Learn more..