Solid Hardwood Flooring vs. Engineered Hardwood Flooring: What You Need to Know

If you are looking for a flooring option that adds warmth, beauty, and value to your home, hardwood flooring is a great choice. But did you know that there are two types of hardwood flooring: solid and engineered? In this blog post, we will explain the key differences between them and help you decide which one is best for your needs.

What is Solid Hardwood Flooring?

Solid hardwood flooring is made of solid wood planks that are milled from a single piece of hardwood, such as oak, maple, or walnut. Each plank has a tongue and groove edge that allows them to interlock when installed. Solid hardwood flooring can be sanded and refinished multiple times over its lifespan, which can be up to 100 years or more. Solid hardwood flooring is available in different widths, lengths, grades, and finishes. It can also be stained and finished on-site to match your preferences.

What is Engineered Hardwood Flooring?

Engineered hardwood flooring is made of a thin layer of real hardwood veneer that is bonded to a high-quality plywood or composite core. The veneer gives it the same appearance as solid hardwood flooring, while the core provides stability and resistance to warping and moisture. Engineered hardwood flooring can be sanded and refinished once or twice, depending on the thickness of the veneer layer. Engineered hardwood flooring comes in various widths, lengths, styles, and finishes. It can also be installed using different methods, such as nail down, glue down, or floating.

How to Compare Solid and Engineered Hardwood Flooring?

There are several factors to consider when comparing solid and engineered hardwood flooring, such as:

  • Cost: Solid hardwood flooring tends to be more expensive than engineered hardwood flooring, both in terms of material and installation costs. However, solid hardwood flooring may have a lower long-term cost due to its longer lifespan and higher resale value.
  • Installation: Solid hardwood flooring requires professional installation or experienced DIY skills, as it involves nailing down the planks to a wooden subfloor with precise alignment. Engineered hardwood flooring is easier to install for DIYers, as it can use a click-lock design that snaps the planks together without nails or glue. Engineered hardwood flooring can also be installed over concrete or radiant heating systems, unlike solid hardwood flooring.
  • Durability: Solid hardwood flooring is more durable than engineered hardwood flooring in terms of wear and tear, as it can be sanded and refinished many times to restore its original look. However, solid hardwood flooring is more prone to warping and shrinking due to changes in humidity and temperature. Engineered hardwood flooring has better dimensional stability and resistance to moisture damage than solid hardwood flooring. However, engineered hardwood flooring cannot be repaired as easily as solid hardwood flooring if it gets scratched or gouged deeply.
  • Appearance: Both solid and engineered hardwood flooring can offer a wide range of colors, textures, and finishes to suit your style and taste. However, solid hardwood flooring has more natural variation and character than engineered hardwood flooring, as it reflects the grain and knots of the original wood species. Engineered hardwood flooring may have more uniformity and consistency than solid hardwood flooring, as it uses a thin layer of veneer that is cut from selected wood pieces.

Which One Should You Choose?

The choice between solid and engineered hardwood flooring depends on your personal preferences, budget, and lifestyle. Here are some general guidelines to help you decide:

  • Choose solid hardwood flooring if you want a floor that will last for generations, can be customized on-site, has more natural variation and character, and adds more value to your home.
  • Choose engineered hardwood flooring if you want a floor that costs less upfront, is easier to install yourself, has better resistance to warping and moisture damage, and can be installed over different types of subfloors.

No matter which type of hardwood flooring you choose, you will enjoy the benefits of having a beautiful, warm, and timeless floor