Pre-Finished Solid or Engineered Hardwood?

I have had many discussions with customers about what kind of wood floor to get for their home. There is no way I will ever tell them what they should get. It isn't my home and every home should reflect the personality of the homeowners. There are some questions that they tend to ask themselves though. One on the top of the list is, "can this floor be sanded?". This question leads us to many other questions and things to think about.
When someone is buying a wood floor, should they be thinking of sanding it before they ever get it installed? You have to understand, sanding a wood floor is a major process and will require you to move everything off the wood floors to work on them. If you have a big home with lots of big furniture, this is not something you want to take lightly. If your home has no carpet, you will have to move as much into your garage (if you have one) or get storage containers to move out. Take a week or two vacation. You can't live in your home while this is going on.
Installing a prefinished floor the first time may be some work. Moving furniture around and maybe removing some old flooring as well. You don't have to move out of your home though. If you are getting a new wood floor, lest start with one good question. "Do you want a floor with character or just the traditional look of every other wood floor growing up?" Traditional wood floors usually refer to smooth finishes with a semi-gloss or satin finish. The color in the wood is very uniform. You can find this look in cheaper introduction price levels and very expensive price levels.
"How much are you able to spend on wood flooring?" Those entry level priced products will not give you a thick enough surface to sand, but a really good looking floor for a good price. If you want to have the surface that is able to be sanded, you will have to spend more money. This will allow you to look at two different products. Solid hardwood flooring that can be sanded is one of them. The second is an engineered flooring that the surface is thick enough to sand before getting into the plywood core. 
"Do you want a wide and long plank size?" If you go with a solid wood floor, you will be restricted on what width you can purchase. As a solid wood floor, you can only go up to 5" without using adhesive and having other issues. Engineered wood, with its cross layered core, can have much larger widths and lengths. These will have to be installed using adhesive though because nails alone won't hold the floor in place properly. You can still get engineered wood flooring that has a thick enough surface though that can be sanded if needed.
"How much character do you want in your wood floor?" As options come, engineered wood floors are going to give you the most selection in colors, sizes, thicknesses, and finishes. There are a number of surface finishes that you will find in this group. Hand scraped, distressed, thermal engineered finish, wire brush, chiseled edges, micro beveled, and UV oil cured are just some of the main things to describe the types of finishes and looks in engineered wood flooring. If you get flooring with all this character, sanding it is only going to ruin the floor.
There are other options for refinishing wood floors. Some installers provide a scuff and recoat to worn wood flooring. Another option is having it resurfaced using Basic Coatings Dirt Dragon. You can purchase whatever wood floor that you like. The catch is to maintain it well keeping it clean and free of trash off the shoes. If you can maintain the cleanliness of the wood floors and recoat them as needed, sanding should never be an option. You usually will need to sand a wood floor if it isn't taken care of and if there has been damage done to it that will only come out by sanding. Buying a solid wood floor doesn't have to be the only option. Proper care and maintenance should allow you to get the wood flooring that is right for your taste. The option to buy solid should come if it looks right in your home or not.