Wood flooring from Quantum Floors  in South Florida

5 Reasons NOT to Buy Solid Hardwood Flooring in Florida

Customers come into our showrooms asking for ?real? wood virtually every day. We tell them that we do not recommend solid hardwood floors in South Florida for the reasons we will expand on below. ?Although solid hardwood floors are a beautiful and valuable addition to any home or property, depending on where you live, some types are a better fit than others. Due to the heat, humidity, and beaches for which Florida is famous, it?s important to consider several factors when you shop for hardwood flooring. Don't make the mistake of installing high-quality, expensive solid hardwood floors and then experience some of the problems that Florida home owners encounter because of Florida?s tropical climate, and the damage it could possibly do to your solid wood flooring.

Expansion and Contraction

No matter the quality, even the best quality hardwoods expand and contract as the humidity level changes or the moisture content changes in the concrete slab. When solid wood expands, it expands across the grain, which has the effect of making the plank wider. If the plank expands too much, the expansion will cause the floor to change shape. This is known as cupping. When this occurs, your floor will need repair or replacement depending on the extent of the damage. When solid wood contracts, it will contract across the grain as well. With contraction, the plank becomes narrower. This will cause gapping in the floor between the boards.

Conversely, engineered hardwood?is 700% more dimensionally stable than solid wood, according to the National Wood Flooring Association (NWFA), because it consists of multi-layer construction. In engineered hardwood floors, each layer?s grain is laid at a 90-degree angle to the layer above or below it, canceling out the expansion factor, and creating a more stable product.

Wood flooring from Quantum Floors  in South Florida

Florida?s Climate

We all know that Florida's humidity can be high. In fact, Florida is the most humid state in the United States. Humidity is the key enemy to solid wood flooring in South Florida. A solid hardwood floor has a near 100% chance to show cupping and/or gapping, causing the floor to fail.

On the other hand, engineered hardwood flooring is an eco-friendly option that when installed properly, will last forever. In addition to the humidity, Floridians have to endure plenty of thunderstorms (the most in the US), hurricanes and tornadoes. To put it into perspective, we get several jobs a month to replace flooring that was damaged by Florida?s weather and climate.

Spilled Liquid Damage

It's not just humidity. Water and other liquids can harm solid hardwood floors. If you have a liquid spillage, then the water will usually get into the wood grain and cause localized damage. Since the hardwood usually has some sort of protection, it is not usually damaged from the top layer of wood, the damage usually happens from the liquid making its way to the underside of the plank. Pool owners have to be especially careful when coming inside when they are wet, and walking on their hardwood floors. In addition, solid wood floors are definitely not kid or pet friendly.

Wood flooring from Quantum Floors  in South Florida

Hardwood Flooring Costs

In general hardwood flooring costs are more expensive than engineered hardwood prices, especially when you take into account the total cost. The National Wood Flooring Association recommends that solid wood flooring be installed on top of a plywood sub-floor and also requires that a moisture barrier be installed under the plywood, all of which add to the cost of materials and labor. Engineered hardwood flooring is typically installed with glue. Higher quality glues can provide moisture protection and even some sound insulation. A glued-down engineered wood floor is less likely to squeak and creak as you walk on it than a nailed down solid wood floor.


A warranty for the finish on a solid wood floor is generally non-existent or very minimal. Unlike wood floors from ten years ago, which were commonly finished with polyurethane, today?s pre-finished floors utilize aluminum oxide, the same material used as the abrasive in sandpaper. The finish is amazingly hard and usually comes with 20 to 50-year finish warranties. Most people will never need to refinish an engineered floor during the time they own their home. Please be aware that a high-quality engineered wood floor can be sanded up to 4 times by a skilled practitioner. In our two decades of experience, our installation teams have not had to refinish an engineered wood floor.

Wood flooring from Quantum Floors  in South Florida

The Bottom Line

Both solid and engineered hardwood floors look beautiful and give your home a timeless look. While the finished products may look the same, there are definite advantages in selecting engineered hardwood such as material cost, stability of the floor and installation and maintenance costs. With so many flooring options on the market, it can be overwhelming to decide which flooring is right for you. At Quantum Floors, it?s our job to help you find the perfect flooring that you?ll love at a great value.

Click here?to download our free White Paper; 8 Reasons to Choose Engineered Hardwood Over Solid Hardwood.