Engineered Hardwood vs. Solid Hardwood

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Flooring, Hardwood and Laminate

Hardwood is a timeless household improvement that people have been adding their homes for centuries. It brings the raw beauty of nature inside our homes and just looks fantastic! With hundreds of species, sizes, and styles, you can find the exact look you want for your home. Plus, hardwood is a luxurious floor that can become the showcase feature of any home’s aesthetics. If you are considering adding hardwood to your home, you will quickly notice there are two categories of hardwood: solid and engineered. These two different categories are exceptional floors; however, there are several key differences you may want to note.

Solid Hardwood

Solid hardwood floor is the traditional style in which you would buy your hardwood floors. If you wanted an oak floor, each plank would be made with 100% oak. It is pure and authentic throughout the entire plank. Solid hardwood is usually more expensive; however, it can increase the resell value of your home due to its value. Plus, solid hardwood can be refinished by sanding the top layer and staining the wood. You can repeat this process repeatedly until you get down to the nail. Additionally, solid hardwood is not a good option for wet areas or high humidity because the boards are more prone to warp.

Engineered Hardwood

Engineered hardwood is not 100% authentic. If you purchased a walnut engineer floor, only the top layer of each plank would consist of walnut. Below the top layer would be several layers of plywood. This plywood layer is there to save money for the consumer as well as prevent the boards from warping under various conditions. Engineered hardwood may not raise the resell value of your home but does have the opportunity to do so. It handles better against moisture, but neither hardwoods are great for wet environments. Engineered hardwoods may also be a little easier to install and do not always require nailing.

All and all, it comes down to preference. Both floors perform exceptionally well and have beautiful selections from which to choose. Engineered wood may be more adaptable to certain situations and elements, yet many homeowners pride in the genuine authenticity solid hardwood provides. Having a good understanding of each flooring can help you make the right decision that is best tailored for your home.

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Comments (2)

  • Hardwood Revival


    Hi Pete,

    Thank you for the article!

    What about the laminate? Which is better for the living room – commercial-grade (high-traffic) laminate or engineered hardwood? Is engineered hardwood as durable as hardwood?



  • Jenn Hess


    Hi, Harold,

    Thank you for your question!

    Each flooring product comes with a different set of pros. In regards to durability, laminate will provide you with a more scratch-resistant surface, whereas engineered hardwood will give the ability to refinish your floors if scratched. On the other hand, luxury vinyl planking (LVP) provides waterproof properties that contribute to its durability. All in all, it depends on your lifestyle (children, pets, etc.) and where you are installing your floors to determine which is the best solution for your space.

    In regards to engineered hardwood vs. solid hardwood, solid hardwood floors give homeowners the ability to refinish their hardwood an additional amount of time compared to engineered floors due to their construct. That being said, durability will rely on the type of finish that the manufacturers use.

    We hope you find this information helpful. If you would like further assistance, one of our expert sales associates at Century Tile would love to help you.

    Century Tile


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