Solid Wood vs. Engineered Wood Flooring

Solid Wood vs. Engineered Wood Flooring Guide

Understanding the pros and cons of solid hardwood vs. engineered wood will help you make the right choice for your home.

Choosing the floor for your next home improvement project can be a lot of fun and a little bit overwhelming all at the same time. There are so many choices, styles, and finishes to choose from that it can leave you feeling like you need to go back to school for another degree just to get through it all. Thankfully, this handy guide is here to help you understand how Engineered Wood Flooring compares to Solid Hardwood and hopefully make it a little less overwhelming for you.

Solid Hardwood 101

What is Solid Hardwood Flooring?

Solid wood flooring is made from a single piece of wood and makes for a robust and high-quality floor. It can be sanded down and refinished many times and last for decades. You can also choose from different types of wood, wood fibers, grain patterns, and stains, giving you an incredible amount of options for selecting the right floor for your home.

Engineered Wood Flooring 101

What Is Engineered Hardwood Flooring?

Unlike solid hardwood, engineered hardwood has a layer of natural wood attached to a plywood or birch core. The top layer of the engineered hardwood is made from the same type of wood as traditional solid hardwood. This gives you the classic look of solid wood without worrying about warping or cupping from moisture and also gives you the option to have a wider width. Solid hardwood usually has a limit of a 5” wide plank due to the reaction of solid wood to moisture and temperature. Engineered wood can be used over cement subfloors and radiant heat systems.

Solid vs. Engineered Wood Flooring

We get asked a lot about the pros and cons of solid wood vs. engineered wood flooring. There are several things to consider when deciding between the two, and we’ve rounded up some of the most important ones for you.

Wood floors are an environmentally-friendly choice for your home because they’re sustainable and renewable resources. Solid and engineered wood flooring adds value to your home, so if you’re thinking about resale value or just want the last floor, you can’t go wrong with wood! The professional wood floors installation also comes with an extended warranty—25 years or more!

But that doesn’t mean there aren’t differences between these types of floors. Solid hardwood is milled from one piece of high-quality lumber, while engineered hardwood is made from a layer of hardwood over a core that is usually plywood.

These layers of wood are compressed together under extreme pressure to form the plank. While solid hardwood can be sanded and refinished multiple times during its lifetime, engineered floors have a thinner wear layer. They can only be sanded once or twice before showing signs of wear like scratches or fading.

When you understand the pros and cons of each type of flooring, you can decide which kind of flooring is right for your home.

The bottom line is that the right flooring choice for your home will depend on several factors. You will want to consider everything from the design style of your home to the temperature ranges in your area and even whether or not you have pets. 

But despite all these things, no flooring material is perfect, and some are better suited for certain types of people. And as we mentioned above, if you're torn between solid wood and engineered wood flooring, it ultimately comes down to your personal preference. If both types seem like options that would work well for you and your home, don't feel like you're tied to one over the other. Most importantly, just be sure to pick something that you like!
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