Advice from a hardwood rep for those shopping
I've contributed to this forum for well over one year. I used to be a district manager for Armstrong Wood Products. We made and distributed Bruce, Hartco and Robbins. I see the same questions over and over again. What brand is best? is my favorite. You all need to realize that no one makes 100% of their own products these days. Mohawk doesn't own a sawmill, they buy wood from many sources. Bruce imports some and so do most other brands. Engineered wood comes as single plank or strips or as a 'plank' with 3 or 4 rows of 'wood' shown. In other words there are multiple varietys of 'engineered'. Wear layer is not that important. It would take a lot of 'walking' to walk thru the finish down to the wood. Prefinished wood can be recoated and won't need to be resanded. Solid isn't neccessarily better than engineered just because its thicker. Many of you seem to worry excessively about scratching, dogs etc. No one warrants against scratching etc. Your happiness will be based on finding a product that has some graining and character to help mask a problem. Laminate floors can not be refinished in any way. Laminate have a picture of wood and are not the same as engineered floors. If buying hardwood or carpet were as easy as saying buying x is the best we wouldn't be discussing all this. Education is hard but its possible to educate yourself. Best thing is to see a product installed and go with something you like. Aluminum oxide finishes are far more durable than site finished floors. This fact is from testing those products in a lab not from marketing BS. I wish I had some simple site for you to go and get your questions answered. Its a slow process I understand, but because someone posts a warning about some brand being good or bad means very little as each brand has multiple variations of the same product so it means little unless you have excactly the same. Everything has tradeoffs. What you are willing to accept may be different from the next person. I hope this helps somewhat.