Updated: Feb 25, 2020
I have recently been helping a client to decide if they should install tile that looks like hardwood planks, or just go with actual hardwood or engineered wood planks. Here is what I gathered as I researched and asked a few flooring pros.
First of all, I want to bring to your attention that hardwood flooring falls into two categories, solid and engineered.
(Engineered is NOT laminate flooring. Laminate flooring that looks like wood is a whole different category.)
-It will last longer, often looks better and you can sand and re-stain it many, many times, simply because the whole plank is a solid piece of wood.
-It is usually easier to repair, and to match the stain to the rest of the flooring, when there is a partial damage or if you have an area where you had carpet but now want hardwood. You will be able to match that section of your home to the rest of the flooring in your house.
-it expands and contracts more. So if you are installing solid hardwood make sure it is nailed and glued for less movement.
-you will need to install plywood sub-flooring, so that might add to the cost of already expensive flooring.
- usually, though not always, solid hardwood is more money.
-you will see all scratches and dents.
- doesn't require plywood sub-flooring
-generally less expensive then solid hardwood
-less movement, often stronger then solid hardwood
-you can install it on top of your existing flooring (not carpet)
-in most cases you can not sand and refinish, because only the top level is a real wood
-some look more fake
-if you have damage in one area of your home, you most likely will need to replace all of your flooring. Unless you have stored away some extra. Suppliers change and discontinue floorings all the time. So if you choose to install engineered hardwood, it is a good idea to get some extra, just in case.