What's the difference between solid wood and engineered wood flooring?
The main difference between solid wood flooring and engineered wood flooring is the composition of the wood panels. Solid wood is wood cut from a tree and then cut to size into flooring panel dimensions, while engineered wood flooring is composed of several layers of wood pressed and glued together to the desired thickness and then cut to the specified dimensions.
Solid Wood is made from a single piece of wood which is typically 18 - 20mm in thickness.
Solid Wood floors can give you years of service and pleasure, with different width sizes, boards, lengths and finishes. It can also be sanded back to restore the finish.
Solid Wood Flooring can be oiled, lacquered or unfinished.
Solid wood traditionally have a tongue and groove installation and we recommend that Solid wood floors are professionally installed. Solid Wood floors are generally warm to walk on and strong but they are not suitable for underfloor heating. Solid Wood Flooring is available in many forms of oak, walnut and maple.
A good quality Solid Wood floor can last a lifetime if it is maintained and adds more character with wear and tear over time.
How to compare
The durability and performance of engineered timber varies, and the strength of the top layer is no different to solid wood. Generally speaking, engineered wood is better protected and pre-finished with special treatments, plus its edges bevelled for an attractive appearance. Engineered panels are longer and wider than solid wood ones. Often engineered timber has a tighter fit, too. What’s more, installation costs are usually less than solid wood installation.
However, solid timber offers several advantages in spite of its limitations. Solid wood is generally thicker than engineered flooring, which allows for future re-sanding to smooth the surface if it becomes marred with use. Thin engineered flooring, on the other hand, does not give much depth for future sanding. Solid wood is also less expensive than engineered wood.
So which should you choose?
Engineered wood is the more practical choice for the majority of homeowners, simply because of its versatility and suitability to conditions solid wood simply wouldn’t tolerate – ie, concrete subfloors. Engineered wood allows you to get that real wood look without the drawbacks. Better still, the engineered pieces fit together for quick and inexpensive installation, while also costing less than wood installation.
However, if you’re looking for flooring for a really high-traffic area, real wood is by far the best option. Then, the thicker panels last longer and could be sanded and refinished in future. If in doubt, consult the experts.