We are building anew house. Want to use hadwood in the first floor. We are considering going with Engineered hardwood... how is does this compare to true hardwood? what are the issues we should be aware of ? we currently have laminate in our houseand it has worked great w/ 3 young boys... no real scratching or anything.
There are some good engineered floors out there. You should check to see how thick the wear layer (top layer of wood) is. Check how many and what kind of top coat it has. It should at least have an aluminum oxide finish on the top.
Save money and go with a 3/8" thick engineered wood. The wear layer doesnt really matter unless you plan on beating the wood up and need to sand and refinish every few years. I had the same debate untill I went to a place in Temecula called Nextday Floors Inc. and they geared me towards the 3/8" 5inch wide distressed hardwood. Its distressed so when my kids put a ding in the wood I just take my black majic marker and fill it in, cant even notice. Id suggest going to a wholesale flooring store to get material and then find a reputible contractor to do the install....youll save big $$$