Solid vs. Engineered Hardwood Floors: What’s the Difference?

Are you planning an interior design renovation? There are many difficult decisions to make, from coming up with concepts to measuring the space to planning designs that balance style and practicality. But what can be even more difficult is to select is the correct flooring material.

In terms of longevity and durability, nothing can beat hardwood flooring. There are two main types on the market: solid and engineered wood.  Traditional solid hardwood floors have been in demand for decades, but engineered hardwood floors have seen a recent surge in popularity. Both provide a flawless finish.

To help you differentiate between the two and make an informed decision, we have put together this list of five significant differences between solid and engineered hardwood.


What Is Solid Hardwood?

What Is Solid Hardwood

Solid hardwood has been a traditional flooring material for hundreds of years. It is made from species like oak, maple, teak, rosewood, and walnut. Many customers prefer it because it can be sanded and refinished many times.

It is manufactured from slabs obtained by cutting down fully matured trees. It is known for its hardness and longevity, so you can pass it on from one generation to the next. Constant exposure to moisture can damage its surface, but you can polish it to restore its shine.

Unfortunately, it is costly because it is made out of real, full-grown wood, which takes a long time to grow back when cut down. That is why it is considered a non-renewable resource.


What Is Engineered Hardwood?

What Is Engineered Hardwood?

As a result of the continuous depletion of natural woods, different varieties of engineered wood were created as a substitute. Engineered hardwood comprises a plywood base and has a veneer of finished hardwood. This makes it less susceptible to expansion and contraction, and more dimensionally stable. It is usually between ⅜” and ⅝” thick, sometimes even ¾”. A high-quality engineered hardwood can be sanded and refinished by an expert. They are less expensive and more environmentally sustainable than solid hardwood.

Different kinds of engineered woods popular in the market include Armstrong hickory engineered hardwood, MDF, et cetera. As they are topped with a thin slice of natural wood, the veneer looks similar to polished natural wood. Moreover, they are durable, resistant to moisture, and suitable for making modular kitchens, bookshelves, and wardrobes.


Differences Between Solid Hardwood and Engineered Hardwood

There are specific differences between solid and engineered hardwood flooring. Here we will discuss five of them.

1. Installation

Because of their multiple-ply planks, engineered hardwood flooring is less likely to react to heat, excess humidity, or changing temperatures than solid hardwood. However, the latter can expand and contract due to dampness or moisture. That is why you can only install it on or above ground level.

But the inherent dimensional stability of engineered hardwood floors makes it an excellent choice for radiant heat systems. That is why it can be installed fast and in a variety of spaces. It can be glued or nailed down, or you can opt for a type that locks the planks together without fasteners. On the other hand, solid hardwood takes longer to install, where each board is blind-nailed to the subfloor down through tongues at the edges of the boards.

2. Cost

If you are thinking about expenses, first decide your budget, as this will help you determine the best option. As mentioned, engineered hardwood is less expensive than solid hardwood, but it also depends on the quality of the product. So, the price range varies as per the quality.

Engineered hardwood generally costs $3 to $14 per square foot, but can vary depending on the thickness and wood species. Solid hardwood floors cost between $8 and $15 per square foot based on their durability and hardness.

To learn more about installation labour costs and other flooring details, contact professionals.

3. Stability and Durability

Solid hardwood and engineered hardwood are both durable and tough, although the former is inherently sturdier and is permanently nailed or glued to your subfloor. But against temperature fluctuations, engineered woods have greater structural stability, which offers better resistance against buckling. On the minus side, its thin surface means engineered hardwood is prone to chipping. But high-quality engineered woods can give you extended durability.

4. Maintenance

You can refinish a solid hardwood many times to regain its shine using traditional techniques like hand-scraping and oil finishing. By comparison, engineered hardwood can be refinished at most twice before its surface is exhausted. But its planks are more moisture resistant and less likely to flex or warp. So it’s best to install engineered hardwoods for your kitchen or bathroom floors or any areas that require regular mopping.

5. Resale Value

Solid hardwood and engineered hardwood are not significantly different in terms of appearance, but real estate professionals and potential buyers often prefer the former because of its longevity. Both flooring materials add good real estate value to your home.

We hope this outline of their differences and their advantages will help you in your decision-making. If you are still indecisive or looking for an expert opinion, contact us here. Or come to our showrooms to get a clear idea about in-demand solid & engineered hardwood. You can also explore different sizes, colours, and finishes, suitable for all residential, commercial, and institutional sectors. Our products and services are fully insured. So, from purchasing and installation through to sanding, refinishing and staining, we are ready to help.

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