Engineered or Solid Wood Flooring

White Oak RQ natural
Rift & Quarter Sawn White Oak Natural Solid

Allegheny Engineered or Allegheny Solid Unfinished Wood Flooring

 If you are researching engineered floors vs. solid wood floors online, I am sure your head is spinning about the different opinions from “experts”. For example, many blog posts imply engineered wood floors are better floors than solid wood flooring. In some cases, this can be true. However, most flooring companies know nothing or little about the stability benefits of rift & quarter sawn solid hardwood. Therefore, when they talk about solid being less stable than an engineered floor they are referring to a solid plain sawn solid floor.  

Allegheny Mountain Hardwood Flooring specializes in Rift & Quarter Sawn and Live Sawn. These specialty cuts create stability in the solid floor because of how the log is cut at the sawmill. Fortunately, we have our own sawmill and we are experts in cutting and drying specialty lumber like rift & quarter sawn.  This separates us from your average floor manufacture or flooring store. We truly understand the nature of wood.  Wood expands and contracts depending on the direction of the growth rings.  Rift & quarter sawn is cut so the growth rings are perpendicular to the face, so the movement is in the thickness of the board as opposed to the width.  As a result Rift & Quarter Sawn has more dimensional stability.  If you’d like to geek on on more wood information then you can learn more about the cuts here. 

Which flooring type is better? Solid or Engineered?

We typically recommend a solid wood option over engineered.  There is no problem installing our solid live sawn or rift & quarter sawn over radiant heat or in environments near the ocean or in the mountains.  Wide plank solid can be used in your home with proper installation and some environmental control.  Allegheny Mountain wide plank solid flooring is installed in homes across the country.   Look at some of our reviews and see for yourself.

Benefits of a solid wood floor

  • No Glue 
  • One Piece of real pure natural organic wood
  • Often less expensive than high quality engineered
  • Can be sanded & finished numerous times
  • Proven to last 100+ Years
  • If disaster happens & you have water damage solid wood may be able to be dried out and resanded with minimal damage.   If engineered delaminates it is definitely ruined. 
  • Solid live sawn or rift & quarter sawn can be installed over radiant heat. 

Livesawn Board Face With Edge

Our rift & quarter sawn and live sawn solid floors are top notch, however there are still occasions when engineered is truly the best flooring option. This is why we offer a very special, high quality, engineered product.  If you are not sure if your situation is best for engineered or solid it is best to rely on a National Wood Flooring Certified Installer to look over your specific situation and use their judgement.  They are up to date with all the latest floor technologies and building codes. There are many builders and architects who are not familiar with the rift & quarter sawn cut and only use engineered options. 

There is a wide range of prices and quality of engineered hardwoods on the market.  You are not comparing apples to apples when comparing our engineered flooring to most other engineered floors on the market.  Many engineered floors have a very thin wear layer that can not be refinished.

Allegheny Engineered Flooring is Special

  • Allegheny Engineered is made using real wood.
  • 100% made in the USA.
  • The engineered & solid are both made using the same 4/4” lumber from Hickman Lumber.
  • Engineered slices that lumber into 3 or 4 veneers. 
  • The top layer of wood (Veneer) is glued on the 11 layers (3/4”) & 9 layers (5/8”) of the highest quality Baltic Birch plywood using environmentally friendly, no added formaldehyde, low VOC adhesive that complies with the most rigid regulations of VOC limits anywhere in the country.
  • We offer 3/4” or 5/8” engineered with a 4mm wear layer.
  • Our 3/4” engineered has the option of 6mm wear layer.
  • Engineered may be less expensive when it comes to very expensive lumber like wide plank clear rift white oak.  
  • Installation: below grade, directly to concrete & over radiant heat are all acceptable.  

In conclusion, we are happy to supply you with a quality solid wood floor or a quality engineered wood floor.   Either of the products you purchase from Allegheny Mountain can be installed as an unfinished and sanded and refinished multiple times.   It is impossible to tell by looking at the floor after it is installed and finished if it is a solid or engineered.  Like I said before, it’s best to talk to an NWFA certified installer and get their expert advice for your home’s environment.  You can rest assured that whatever floor you decide to get with us will be a good choice for your family and home. 

White Oak Live Sawn - natural bona finish
White Oak Live Sawn Engineered

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