Choosing the Right Flooring: Solid Hardwood vs Engineered Hardwood

A home with beautiful hardwood floors.

If you’re deciding between solid hardwood and engineered hardwood floors, you’re not alone! Our customers frequently ask us which type of wood they should choose for their home. The truth is, there is no one-size-fits-all answer; it depends on your unique situation. To help you make the right decision, we have put together this short video about solid hardwood vs engineered hardwood flooring:

Manufacturing Solid Hardwood vs Engineered Hardwood

As its name suggests, solid hardwood is crafted from a solid piece of wood. Each board is ¾ inch thick, with a tongue on one side and a groove on the other.

In contrast, engineered floors are made using three to nine layers of different wood veneers. While the top layer is high-quality hardwood, the sublayers are made from plywood that may or may not be from the same species of tree. The layers in engineered floors run in different directions, which makes the boards very stable.

Dealing with HumidityA basement with hardwood floors.

If you will be installing your floors in an area that experiences large swings in humidity throughout the year, we suggest choosing engineered floors. Solid hardwood expands when it comes into contact with moisture, which is bad for your floor.

Engineered floors are much better at standing up to moisture than solid hardwood because of their plywood base. With layers that run in different directions, engineered floors are less likely to warp in humid environments.

For Concrete and Basements

Engineered hardwood is preferable if your floors will be installed on a concrete slab or in a basement. While it is possible to use solid hardwood flooring over concrete, it is not recommended because doing so requires the use of a very expensive glue. Because basements are prone to leaks and moisture, a high solid glue is needed to keep solid hardwood boards from moving. With engineered floors, however, this expensive glue isn’t necessary.

Sanding and Refinishing

An advantage of solid hardwood flooring is that it can be sanded and refinished many times. If your floor becomes scratched over the years, or you would like to change its color, this is a great option. With proper maintenance, solid hardwood floors can look wonderful for decades.

Engineered floors can also be sanded and finished, but only once or twice. The hardwood layer of engineered floors is thin, so it cannot withstand more than a couple sanding sessions.

Color sample boards for hardwood floors.About ReallyCheapFloors.com

We hope that you have found this guide to solid hardwood vs engineered hardwood helpful. ReallyCheapFloors.com is proud to offer both solid and engineered floors at competitive prices. All of our flooring is manufactured right here in the United States and the majority of our solid wood floors are made within 50 miles of our warehouse in Murphy, NC.

For over 40 years, ReallyCheapFloors.com has been a leading provider of discounted, overstock, and seconds in hardwood flooring. To start upgrading your home, browse our selection of solid and engineered hardwood floors. If you have any questions or would like a recommendation, don’t hesitate to give our friendly staff a call!