Don't buy solid hardwood in Florida, Here are 5 reasons why

Five reasons why you should not by hardwood flooring -(instead buy Engineered hardwood) in Palm Beach county. (This article is based on advice from Quantum Floors of Boynton Beach, a premium professional Hardwood flooring installation West Palm Beach FL)

Don't make the mistake of installing quality expensive solid hardwood floors and go through some of the problems that Florida home owners encounter because of the high South Florida humidity, and the damage it could possibly do to your wood flooring.

The Five Reasons

Once you read the 5 reasons below, you can make an informed decision on solid hardwood vs engineered hardwood floors. You will not regret reading these 5 simple tips.

1. Expansion and Contraction

It does not matter about quality, even the best quality hardwood expand and contract as the humidity level increases or decreases.

Wood is a hygroscopic material, meaning that the wood's moisture content and temperature will equalize with that of the surround air. That moisture content causes wood to swell, and lack of moisture will cause it to shrink compared to previous dimensions.

When solid wood flooring expands, it is not the length of the grain that gets bigger, it is the width of the grain. When the width of planks gets too wide the planks will curve into a concave shape or sometimes convex, this is called cupping and crowning respectively. When a plank shrinks, it shrinks width wise, and cause gaps in between the wood planks, this is called gapping.

Engineered hardwood is 7 times more dimensionally stable than regular solid hardwood flooring. This basically means that the expansion/contraction is extremely low (don't forget that laminate wood flooring expands and contracts as well).

2. Florida's Humidity

We all know that Florida's humidity can be high, sometimes it is 90% or more, but does that affect your indoor hardwood floor if you have the air conditioning on?
Unfortunately yes, even when you have the A/C on, the humidity in your home can still be high. It will definitely be lower than if you did not have A/C, but most A/C units do not remove all humidity.
You can reduce humidity problems by circulating air, and running dehumidifiers, but there is a better way to get a hardwood floor without expansion/contraction issues - Engineered wood flooring

3. Spilled water damage

It's not just humidity. It's water in general that can harm solid hardwood floors. If you have a liquid spillage, then the water will usually get in to the wood grain and caused 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 it's 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 floor.

4. Hardwood floor prices

In general hardwood flooring prices are more expensive than Engineered flooring prices.

You also normally pay quite a bit more for finishing installation of natural solid hardwood products compared to engineered hardwood installation. Usually it is recommended to install solid hardwood on top of a sheet wood product as well as a moisture barrier, which increases the install costs. These are nail down floors.

Engineered flooring is usually glue down directly to a concrete slab, saving money.

5. Warranties

In general, the warranty for solid wood flooring finish does not exist, or is very minimal. However engineered wood floors will often come with 20-50 year finish warranty depending on the quality of the product.
Please be aware that also a good quality engineered wood can be sanded up to 4 times with a skilled practitioner, however at quantum floors since 2000 (15 years in the trade) they have not had to refinish a floor at all.

In conclusion

- Don't buy Solid Hardwood Flooring, we recommend that you buy Engineered hardwood flooring.
Although the finished product looks the same, there are definitely pros and cons. The design of modern engineered hardwood floors has advanced immensely. If you are still stuck on a Solid Hardwood installation, then take precautions against water and humidity.

Quantum floors is located in central Palm Beach County on Gateway Blvd 2 lights west of I95 in Quantum Corner. Quantum floors has very large wood floor samples for a better experience.