What’s the difference between solid and engineered hardwood flooring?

What’s the difference between solid and engineered hardwood flooring?

We hear this question frequently in our hardwood flooring company because they both look similar on the surface. With either wood flooring, you can have gorgeous oak, maple, or hickory floors, among others, all with knots, grains, swirls, and undertones.

Different constructions

Underneath, where you can’t see it, is where the distinction lies. As the name implies, solid hardwood flooring is one thickness, while engineered includes three or more layers of wood, combined with a bit of resin, then placed in a crosswise position. The result is a floor that's more stable and better able to handle water.

Like solid, these floors can be refinished and add value to a property, but, unlike solid, they can also be placed in below-grade areas of the home, including basements.

Other differences include:

  1. Installation: While solid is always the traditional tongue and groove/nail-down, engineered can also be glued-down or float. When a floor floats, pieces click together, mat, then hover over the subfloor. Engineered can also be easily installed over most subfloors, including concrete.
  2. Good resistance to warping: Because it’s more stable, engineered floors will not warp when exposed to humidity.
  3. Price: Engineered is somewhat less expensive, mainly due to the uncomplicated installation.
  4. Thickness: While the ideal density for solid is ¾-inch, engineered comes in a range from ⅜-inch and up. Thicker is better since that number will determine the number of times the floor can be refinished.
  5. Plank size: Engineered floor planks tend to be wider, but manufacturers are constantly adding new dimensions. Best to speak to your flooring professional.

Solid and engineered wood are similar in cleaning, only requiring sweeping, dusting, and periodic damp mopping with a wood cleaner.

With over 20 years in operation, Expert Floors provides quality products at competitive prices with superior sales and installation services. To learn more about solid and engineered hardwood flooring and get a free quote, come into our showroom in Idaho Falls, ID, especially if you live or work in New Sweden, Ammon, Orvin, Lincoln, Cotton, Beachs Corner, Iona, Payne, or Woodville.