Solid hardwood flooring, engineered hardwood, is there really a difference? And is one truly better than the other? We’re here to find the answer, to get to the truth behind this age-old question.
Material and Durability
Solid hardwood is comprised of one thing: wood. As one single piece of wood, this flooring choice is extremely durable and reliable. Solid hardwood is known for its durability due to its solid form factor. Because it’s one piece, the plank can be sanded down and refined multiple times. The surface durability of solid hardwood floors comes down to the type of wood used. Species like maple, oak and hickory are resistant to dents and wear better over time than other woods.
Engineered hardwood is crafted from five to seven layers of intertwined plywood, squished between two pieces of natural wood. Due to its highly stable core, engineered flooring is less likely to expand, contract or shift when exposed to moisture, humidity and varying temperatures. It’s a great option for moist spaces like basements, or to put over materials like concrete. Like solid hardwood, this engineered flooring can be sanded and refinished many times over its lifespan and is available in multiple species like walnut, cherry, oak, birch and more.
There’s a huge selection of solid hardwood flooring available, from traditional light woods to trendy, grey-washed planks. Sizing can vary as well, going from wide five inches planks to a super thin, vintage look, all with an average thickness of ¾ inches.
Engineered hardwood is also available in a wide range of styles, from traditional to specialty designs with features like multi-colouring and handcrafted tool marks. This flooring type is your only option if you’re looking for extra wide planks. Slightly slimmer than its solid counterpart, engineered hardwood is perfect if you need to match the height of any existing flooring.
Solid hardwood flooring can be installed anywhere but the basement, due to moisture possibly warping the planks of this expensive investment. They can only be installed using nails, so no floating solid wood floors for you.
On the other hand, engineered hardwood floors can be installed anywhere, and there are multiple ways to do it. Stapling or gluing the planks down is an option to keep them from squeaking or sounding hollow. Or for the do-it-yourselfer, some boards have a locking technique where the planks hook into one another securely.
If you’re on a tight budget, engineered hardwood floors are the way to go. You can get high-quality boards without having to fork over too much money. Although, for the purists, there’s nothing like solid hardwood floors under your feet, no matter the price.
At Milton Hardwood, we provide authentic, great quality flooring and exceptional customer service. Servicing Halton Region, the GTA and Tri-City Area, we’re here to make sure our customers are happy and well taken care of. We carry both engineered hardwood floors, such as the Enhanced Flooring collection by Superior Hardwood, as well as a wide collection of traditional hardwood floors. Shop online or visit our Milton store to see what we have to offer.