solid vs engineered diagram

While there are many options for hardwood flooring available on the market nowadays, the first choice you have to make before anything else is solid vs. engineered hardwood.

These are the two main types of hardwood flooring, and understanding the differences between them, will help you start your decision process properly.


Differences in the Manufacturing Process
As you can easily imagine, the difference between the two starts right in the beginning, during the manufacturing process.

Engineered Hardwood Flooring is a combination of few planks of hardwood pressed and glued together in an overlapping pattern.

Hardwood Flooring, on the other hand, is made out of one single, solid piece of wood that has been milled to the point where it became what we call a solid flooring board.

Because of the way they are designed, the two main types of hardwood flooring react completely different to various changes in the environment. This is why the environmental changes represent such a big factor in the solid vs. engineered hardwood comparison.

Engineered hardwood flooring will have a stronger tolerance to the moisture changes, due to the fact that the planks of hardwood that constitute its body are arranged in an overlapping pattern.

When choosing between solid vs. engineered hardwood, you will soon find out that the location of your new hardwood floor might be the determining factor in your final decision.

Because of its increased adaptability, engineered flooring is very versatile, being installed in almost any area of the home, including basements which had been a no-no for many years when it came to hardwood flooring.

The fact that it can be installed floating and glued down as well, makes engineered hardwood flooring the option of choice for the condominium units, where nailing of the floor is not an option and the sound-proofed floors are a main requirement.

Hardwood floors are almost always the first option for people living in single unit homes. They are known for their durability, and are thicker than engineered hardwood, therefore offering more sanding abilities and options for customization.

A hardwood floor, properly installed will last a lifetime.


Hardwood floors can’t be installed directly on top of a concrete subfloor. Hardwood floors must be stapled into a plywood subfloor. On the other hand, engineered floors can be glued directly to concrete or glued together in the tongue and groove and floated over a concrete subfloor. This is due to their increased level of moisture stability.


Hardwood floors might squeak in the future because it can only be nailed down. Hardwood floors require extra attention during the installation process in order to stay squeak-free for a long period of time. Unfortunately, very few contractors nowadays are taking the time to do the job right. This is why you should make sure you trust your contractor 100% before having him install your hardwood floor.


So, here you have it. Answer a few simple questions in order to find out what type of floor you will need.


Do you have a humidifier or not?

Hardwood is generally more sensitive to environmental changes. A good engineered hardwood floor will take the moisture changes much better than its solid hardwood floor opponent.

Inform yourself. Understand your options. Choose the right type/species of hardwood, and last but not least, your choice of a qualified contractor will assist in bringing your vision to life in the best manner possible. Soon you will be walking on an elegant floor, in a fabulous home. Your floor, your home, your creation…


What type of subfloor do you have?

Concrete subfloors require engineered hardwood, while plywood subfloors will accommodate solid hardwood or engineered hardwood floors.

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