Engineered vs Solid Hardwood Flooring

Compare engineered hardwood vs. solid hardwood side by side and you might not be able to spot the differences right away. They both look similar. They both look like full planks of hardwood. But the differences in these popular flooring types are profound enough to make you think twice about which one is the right purchase for you.


Perhaps the biggest difference is how these types of floors are made. Engineered hardwood is made by attaching a veneer of real hardwood over a core board or plyboard center. Think of it as the perfect mix of a hardwood and laminate floor. Solid hardwood is made singularly out of real hardwood. A big difference in the design is the thickness of the plank. Often real hardwoods are used in new homes, when an engineered product is used in remodels.


You want your floors to be durable, and although both types of floors are strong, one stands apart from the other. Engineered hardwood is more durable in rooms with radiant heat, moisture, or cement subfloors. Solid hardwood is durable and often lasts the lifetime of a house. The surface of hardwood is less durable with scratching and dents, so proper maintenance is required. Resurfacing and finished hardwoods are always an option.

Climate Change

The climate where your flooring is laid has a major impact on its performance. Engineered hardwood works well in more extreme temperatures and humid climates because it is more resistant to expansion and contraction. Solid hardwood can cup, expand, and buckle as the temperatures fluctuate since it is a raw materials.


There are no two logs that have identical grain patterns and lines. That’s the beauty of this type of flooring. However, one wood offers a more uniform pattern than the other. Engineered hardwood has an overall more consistent look due to the manufacturing process. Solid hardwood is better known for its personality and showing off its character through unique planks and pieces since it is all natural.


Just a short amount of research will show that engineered hardwood is more cost effective than solid hardwood. Not only are the materials cheaper, but so is the installation and long-term maintenance.

Which Is Right For You?

Deciding between engineered hardwood and solid hardwood isn’t always easy. However, if you live in a climate with high temperatures and humidity, engineered hardwood is the way to go. This type of flooring will mimic the look of solid hardwood and stay looking spectacular for years to come.


Have questions? Need a little bit of extra help? We’re here for you. Start a chat with one of our flooring experts in the box on this page and get a fast answer to your laminate flooring installation questions.

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