One of the many options you have when designing your dream home is choosing flooring, and if you decide on hardwood, whether to use solid or engineered. Both come in a variety of styles, colors, and types, and both are worthy additions to your home. So how do you decide which to install? Here’s a comparison chart that should help you decide.
Solid Hardwood Flooring
Solid hardwood floors are milled from a single piece of lumber that can vary in thickness, from 3/4” to 7/16”.
Engineered Hardwood Flooring
Engineered wood flooring is constructed from multiple plies of wood with a solid wood top layer. High density fiberboard layers make up the middle, and the bottom has a hardwood backing.
Solid wood floors expand and constrict with moisture and temperature. Solid wood is best on ground levels and above due to its reaction to moisture.
Engineered hardwood flooring can be installed throughout your home because its design allows for fluctuations in temperature and humidity, making it ideal for areas such as basements and bathrooms.
Solid floors should only be installed over plywood, wood, or oriented strand board (OSB) subfloors.
Engineered floors can be installed on plywood, wood, OSB, and concrete subfloors.
Solid hardwood can be glued, nailed, or stapled to subfloors. Although it's possible to install solid hardwood yourself, it may be complicated, and you may want to consider professional installation.
Engineered floors can also be nailed or glued like solid floors. Many engineered hardwood has a click-and-snap feature to create a "floating" floor above the subfloor that eliminates glue or nails and makes self installation a breeze.
It's possible that the top coating on your solid hardwood floor will dull or start to show scratches. Solid hardwood can be sanded and refinished many times throughout its life—up to 10 times, depending on the board's thickness.
Although engineered hardwood is strategically reinforced to withstand wear and therefore needs refinishing less than its solid counterpart, it will not withstand more than one or two refinishes, due to its compilation structure.
Solid hardwood floors are rumored to cost more than engineered, but that’s not always the case. What’s more likely is that the overall cost is affected by the extras associated with solid flooring.
Due to their DIY-friendly nature, engineered floors are typically seen as a cheaper option than solid hardwood.