Engineered materials gaining in popularity among homeowners as lower-maintenance alternative
Engineered Hardwood: Where traditional solid hardwood is just that — all wood — engineered hardwood has a veneer of hardwood but is composed of several thin layers of backing, mostly plywood, but it could also be fiberboard or unfinished hardwood. According to Pinto, the layers add stability to the overall strength of the material. Where there can be issues with solid hardwood floors contracting and expanding, engineered hardwood’s composition makes that a nonissue. It also comes with different finishes. Urethane and oil finishes are very popular, said Pinto.
Laminate: Like engineered hardwood, laminate planks are layered materials, but instead of a wood top layer, it has a high-definition photographic wood-look layer, complete with graining, and sits above a moisture-resistant, stabilizing base layer topped by a core of high-density fiberboard, all finished in resin.
Porcelain Tile: Porcelain tile planks can resemble wood, even with a textured grain. They come in a variety of styles, colors, and designs — from sleek to rustic. They’re scratch-resistant, stain-resistant and water-resistant.
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