Engineered Hardwood Flooring: What Are the Pros & Cons?

Are you looking to add a timeless appeal to your home, along with warmth and a sense of refinement? Then engineered hardwood floor  is the right way to go.

It’s a practical variant of natural hardwood, the primary difference being that it isn’t completely solid. While this might sound like a negative, each plank has a top layer of real wood. This way you can enjoy the appearance and feel of natural hardwood with greater structural integrity and a lower price tag. Furthermore, its installation and maintenance are comparatively easier than natural hardwood flooring.

If you’re unsure whether engineered hardwood flooring is right for your home, this comparison of its pros and cons may help you decide.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Engineered Hardwood Flooring

Pros & Cons of Engineered Hardwood Flooring

Read about the pros and cons of engineered hardwood flooring.


1. It’s resistant to temperature fluctuations and moisture

Thanks to the multiple layers of wood used in its construction, engineered hardwood planks can withstand sudden changes in temperature and resist moisture much better than natural hardwood. This means you can install it in high-humidity areas that are regularly exposed to heat and steam (like kitchens and bathrooms) as it won’t contract or expand. Hence, homeowners don’t have to worry about their floor warping or cracking.

2. It can be refinished multiple times

Since the top layer of engineered wood is real hardwood, it can be sanded and refinished many times, greatly prolonging its life. Additionally, scratches and dents aren’t as visible as on other materials, so you don’t have to change the flooring as frequently.

3. There are many installation options

Engineered wood flooring is easier to install than laminate, carpet, or vinyl. It can be effortlessly fitted by being glued down, stapled, floated, or locked, depending on the type you purchase.

Of course, it’s best to have your flooring fitted by an expert to ensure the job is done properly. They will take accurate measurements and take spacing constraints into consideration before installing the planks.

4. There are many styles to choose from

The wide range of options available when it comes to engineered hardwood flooring means homeowners can find something suitable for any interior style, ranging from traditional to modern. For instance, you can purchase 2- or 3-strip planks, or ones with a parquet appearance to create an authentically rustic vibe. Planks also come at varying price points to ensure there is something for every budget.

5. It’s easy to maintain

A damp mop is enough to clean engineered hardwood floors. Alternatively, you may also use a vacuum cleaner.

As engineered hardwood doesn’t have to be stained like traditional hardwoods, this reduces the need for chemical cleaners.

6. Available at Cost-Effective Prices

While traditional solid hardwood flooring is MUCH sought-after, being a natural material, it is often quite expensive. This is why many homeowners prefer engineered hardwood flooring in Canada. However, the precise amount you need depends on various factors such as the design, location, and project complexity. The material is also much more affordable to install. You can find engineered hardwood that looks like solid hardwood in a wide range of wood species. Since their core is plywood, even more exotic wood varieties become affordable.

7. Provides the Aesthetic Appeal of Solid Hardwood

Being a manufactured product, engineered hardwood planks can mimic the appearance of solid hardwood at a fraction of the cost. There are numerous finishes and colours you can choose, so you will find something to match your preferred interior style or existing décor. Unlike laminate flooring, the top layer of engineered hardwood planks is made from real hardwood. This ensures you get a product that looks and feels like solid hardwood.

8. An Eco-Friendly Solution

If you are worried about how your purchases will impact the environment, engineered hardwood flooring in Canada is the way to go. Since this flooring uses less hardwood per plank compared to solid hardwood, it is a greener alternative. Even if you are interested in rare or exotic wood species, you will be able to find varieties to suit your requirements. Moreover, engineered hardwood flooring does not require chemical glue to adhere the plywood core and solid hardwood top together, and there is little to no sawdust. So, engineered hardwood flooring planks are a much more sustainable and eco-friendly option. That said, the composition varies by manufacturer. So, make sure you speak to your engineered hardwood flooring provider about product details. Also, look at the environmental certifications of the flooring company from whom you are purchasing the product.

9. Provides Higher Durability

One of the top advantages of engineered hardwood flooring in Canada is the durability it provides. These planks are manufactured and layered in such a way as to prevent moisture absorption and wear. They contract and expand to prevent the negative consequences of humidity. These hardwood planks consist of a wear layer, a plywood layer, and a wood veneer. This wear layer guards the material against scratches and dents. The wood veneer provides a solid hardwood-like appearance. And the plywood core supports the plank’s different layers. When combined, these different layers make engineered hardwood planks durable and give them the ability to withstand the various threats to which they may be exposed.

10. Adds Value to Your Property

When installed properly, engineered hardwood flooring in Canada can add value to your home. If you are thinking of putting it on the market, consider upgrading your flooring. Since it looks and feels like hardwood, new homebuyers will love the warmth and appeal it adds. Even if you aren’t looking to sell, engineered hardwood flooring is an investment in your future.

11. A More Hygienic Flooring Option

Engineered hardwood flooring won’t trap pet dander, dirt, debris or unpleasant odours like other materials (like carpet) will. This makes it suitable for homes with pets and small children where frequent accidents are likely. Plus, being a manufactured material, it won’t conceal any parasites or bacteria and can be cleaned promptly and easily. This makes it one of the most hygienic flooring options available.

12. Wider Planks Are Available

If you are searching for a flooring material with wider planks, engineered hardwood flooring is your best option. These boards come in wider configurations than solid hardwood. Indeed, you can easily find boards as wide as 7 inches, as opposed to solid hardwood, which has a maximum plank width of 4 inches.


1. It may fade if exposed to direct sunlight

Like natural hardwood, engineered hardwood flooring is susceptible to fading with daily exposure to direct sunlight. This cannot be fixed easily, especially if exposure occurs over a long time.

You can minimize the damage by investing in suitable window treatments and drawing them closed during the day. Alternatively, you can use area rugs to protect areas that receive more sunlight than others.

2. There are only basic wood grain and staining options

While engineered hardwood mimics the appearance of natural hardwood, it doesn’t have the same structure or qualities. There is no need to stain it as the planks come with a pre-existing wear layer. So, the grain is noticeable but not as much as it is in natural wooden planks. But then again, the differences aren’t as apparent unless you compare them side by side.

3. Some types are stronger than others

Though there are numerous varieties of engineered hardwood flooring, some manufacturers use inferior products to make their planks. They may look good, but they will be structurally weaker and more unstable, meaning you may have to change your flooring sooner than if you’d purchased a higher-quality alternative.

4. Walking on it may produce a hollow sound

Certain types of engineered hardwood flooring, which produce a hollow sound when stepped on, need to be installed by professionals for a perfect fit.

As you can see, the advantages outweigh the disadvantages when it comes to engineered hardwood flooring, making it a worthwhile investment. However, whether you choose this material for your home will depend on your location, purpose, and budget. Consider these factors along with the pros and cons to ensure you make a smart purchase.

5. Some Varieties Cannot Be Refinished

Many homeowners prefer investing in solid hardwood floors as they can be sanded and refinished multiple times. However, there are certain varieties of engineered hardwood that cannot be refinished more than once; other varieties cannot be refinished at all. It comes down to the thickness of the veneer. Remember, the thicker the veneer, the more times the boards can be sanded and refinished.

You may consider purchasing prefinished engineered hardwood flooring in Canada. These boards have a durable UV-cured finish that doesn’t require sanding and refinishing multiple times. Instead, they can be resurfaced, which is much less time-consuming and does not require the wood to be sanded down.

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