Homeowners today have the option of many different types of wood and varieties of hardwood flooring to get a timeless appearance to their home. 

One decision you may need to make is choosing between classic solid hardwood or modern engineered hardwood for flooring.

In this post, we discuss the differences between engineered hardwood and solid hardwood to help you decide which flooring is right for you.


What is the difference between engineered hardwood and solid hardwood?

engineered hardwood floor

Solid hardwood boards are a homogeneous product from top to bottom and side to side, cut from a single piece of wood, while engineered hardwood is created by bonding together a thin slice of hardwood on top of a base of high-quality plywood in a cross-grain construction.

  • Solid hardwood can be delivered prefinished or unfinished; engineered hardwood almost always comes pre-finished.
  • Solid hardwood is usually 3/4″ in thickness while engineered hardwood is 3/8″ to 1/2″ in thickness.
  • Solid hardwood floors can be refinished several times, while engineered hardwood floors can only be sanded once or twice.
  • For hardwood flooring installation, solid hardwood can be nailed or stapled down but is never installed on a floating basis. Engineered hardwood can be installed by stapling, nailing, click, or glue.
  • Although engineered hardwood is good for durability, solid hardwood is considered the most durable product.
  • Because of its structure, engineered hardwood can stand up to moisture better. Solid hardwood can be permanently warped by flooding.

Both solid and engineered flooring is available in many species, stains, and styles.


Which is better: Hardwood or Engineered?

Tigerwood hardwood floorFor a long time, solid hardwood was considered superior to engineered wood. Today, this attitude has changed and engineered hardwood has actually become the first choice in a majority of new homes.

As far as which is better, this may depend on who you talk to. They are both popular and neither of them is clearly better, although one type may be better suited to your needs.

Engineered hardwood is the best choice if you are installing hardwood flooring below grade in a basement area because it can stand up to moisture better.

Solid hardwood has great durability and if you’re installing it for the long-term, it is likely to last longer.

We hope this post helps you in your decision making!

Art Z Flooring logoLocated in Geneva, IL, Art Z Flooring is one of the most trusted installers of hardwood floors in the Chicago area.  

Contact Art Z with your questions to learn more about our available hardwood flooring options, restoration and installation services.