How to Choose Between Solid and Engineered Hardwood Flooring

How to Choose Between Solid and Engineered Hardwood Flooring

Engineered hardwood and solid hardwood appear almost identical from the outside, but the fundamental differences can be found beneath the surface. While classic hardwood is solid throughout, engineered flooring has a genuine wood veneer on top and artificial materials on the bottom.

The primary distinction between natural hardwood and engineered hardwood is their construction: one is entirely natural, while the other is a composite of natural wood and artificial materials. So, what do these structural changes mean for each level, and how can you choose the ideal one for you? We'll look at some differences and help you decide which one to choose for your flooring.


The boards of solid hardwood flooring are usually narrower compared to engineered hardwood. Solid hardwood flooring has very tight seams between boards and offers a broader choice of colours and species than engineered ones. Prefinished and raw planks of solid hardwood are available on the market.

Engineered hardwood flooring has broader floorboards. Some prefinished engineered hardwood flooring has slightly bevelled edges, resulting in minor grooves between boards. Engineered hardwood flooring is always offered prefinished, with fewer colour options and species than solid hardwood.


The durability of solid hardwood is mainly led by the product's species and the amount of protective treatment. Choose tougher woods such as oak and hickory for enhanced dent resistance. In general, solid hardwood will last for many years, even after numerous rounds of sanding and refinishing. (Not that you'll want to or need to redo them!)

Engineered hardwood may also be sanded and refinished several times if the top layer is thick enough, albeit not as frequently as solid hardwood. Depending on the type of finish, engineered hardwoods can also be scratch-resistant.

If moisture, humidity, or temperature are a problem, such as in basement installations, engineered hardwood should be preferred over solid hardwood. Adhesives bond together engineered hardwood under heat and pressure, making it resistant to cupping or warping due to extreme weather changes.


Solid hardwood is considerably easier to repair, especially when it comes to water damage (e.g., from a flood, broken pipe, or damaged appliance) or pet stains. When this occurs (and it is only on a portion of the floor), it is usually straightforward for a professional to match the wood (mainly oak) and then sand and refinish the entire room.

Engineered hardwood flooring is frequently tricky to match and repair, and if there is damage, you may need to replace the entire floor. Furthermore, if you are rebuilding or extending your space, solid hardwood is easier to deal with. When customers remove walls (particularly in the kitchen), they may find tiny chunks of hardwood missing. It's easier to add extra solid hardwood and weave it into the gap.

Installation & Cost

When comparing the costs of hardwood vs. engineered wood flooring, keep in mind that engineered wood flooring can be installed by a novice, or at least with minimal expert supervision.

In contrast, solid hardwood should almost certainly be done entirely by a professional. The expense of removing any existing carpet or other floorings should also be considered. Engineered hardwood ranges in price from $3 to $14 per square foot, whereas solid hardwood may range from $8 to $15 per square foot.

Final Verdict

Engineered wood flooring was initially seen as a poor man's copy of natural hardwood, but advancements in product quality have changed that. Solid hardwood may have a slight advantage in prestige for some, but engineered wood flooring's cheaper cost and ease of installation give it the edge. Additionally, engineered hardwood is more resistant to cupping or warping due to its manufacturing process, advantageous in areas with fluctuating humidity and temperature.

Are you looking for installers to do your hardwood flooring? Global Carpets installers have years of experience and professional skills to contribute to your flooring project. We have a wide variety of solid and engineered hardwood species. You can also choose from a variety of hardwood floor textures so you can have the best hardwood flooring in mainland for your needs. Get in touch with us today!