*Knock* *Knock*: Difference between Hardwood and Engineered Hardwood

hardwood flooring

It’s certainly relaxing to enter your home after a strenuous day at work and step onto warm timber flooring, especially if you love the feel of wood-grain against your bare feet! The sleek look and smooth texture of the surface contribute, in its own way, to easing the stress of everyday life.

Wooden flooring is a popular choice among a majority of residents in North America. But if you’re planning to join their ranks, it’s important that you understand the distinction between hardwood flooring and engineered hardwood flooring. Apart from the refined look, which is common to both, there are a few disparities that you need to be aware of in order to pick the right one for you.

The Stark Contrast

To reiterate the point, both solid hardwood and engineered hardwood provide the same classic finish to your floor but their composition, uses, and application are quite different.

How They’re Made

Solid Hardwood Flooring

First off, solid hardwood flooring is only composed of planks that are milled from a 100% real, wood trees and at our store we carry wide variety. This is the only material used to create this type of flooring. You can find that most flooring comes in narrow strips, wide planks, or a parquet square, which is a sort of wooden tile with a stylish geometric pattern. These floorboards are commonly 5/16″ to 3/4″ thick, and ranges from 2″ to 7″ in width. The most common used profile for solid wood flooring is called tongue and groove also known as T&G.

What is Engineered Hardwood?

Engineered hardwood is made up of 2 or more layers of plywood, or HDF (high-density fiber). These layers are glued together and a coating of veneer is added to the top, which is a thin covering of fine wood. Although ‘engineered wood flooring’ may sound synthetic, it has all the charms of a natural wood surface and looks nothing like a photographic layer. The higher density of the wood which is due to the use of plywood or HDF makes it a tad bit more stable than solid-wood flooring and therefore, they do not shrink and expand. The most common profile for these floors are click lock technology however, they do come in T&G profile and their thickness ranges from 3/8″ to 5/8″.

Engineered Hardwood Manufacturing


The Qualities They Possess

Hardwood Vs Engineered Sandable Surface

Solid Hardwood Flooring

Whether you opt for pre-finished or unfinished hardwood, this type of lumber is thick enough for you to sand and refinish (illustrated above). Pre-finished flooring is refined at the factory where the wood is milled while unfinished flooring is sold without adding the finishing touches. Although solid wood tends to lose its luster with excessive use, it’s a better option for space that experiences high traffic. The thickness of it lets you rectify damages without ruining the wood.

It’s not a good idea to place these planks in areas that experience a vast range of temperature changes as they tend to expand and contract in reaction to the climate change. This can cause it to warp or develop depressions known as cupping (illustrated below) and therefore they are not recommended for below-grade or basement application.

Solidwood Flooring Cupping

Engineered Wood Flooring

The density of engineered wood flooring makes them highly stable and less likely to react to climatic changes. Thanks to this, you won’t see this type of flooring split, warp, or shrink.

This composite flooring material can also tackle a lot more factors that solid wood can’t tolerate. For example, solid wood can’t be placed directly over a concrete subfloor while engineered wood can due its conformation. Its tolerance to various conditions tends to make this type of flooring the most popular choice as it can be used for below-grade or basement application.

Their Application & Properties

Solid Hardwood

You’ll probably spend a lot more on pre-finished solid hardwood flooring but you can save on the cost of sanding and polishing that accompanies unfinished planks. Once you’ve glued, nailed, or stapled the floorboards to a wooden subfloor, you will need to nail up the baseboard trim. Your floor will then be ready to be filled with furniture. Pre-finished flooring also comes in thinner planks, making it easy to move around the house during installation. It is also important to ensure the relative humidity of your home is kept between 45% to 55% throughout the year to avoid any deformation or cracks formation.

Engineered Hardwood

Installing this material can prove to be a lot less expensive when compared to solid wood. They are ideal flooring choice for a DIY project as they can be glued or nailed down to a base floor surface. You can also install them as floating floors, where the boards simply attach to each other without any permanent fix, and ‘float’ above a subfloor. It is important to maintain the relative humidity where these floors are installed between 40% to 60% without any change to avoid damages.

So, before putting money into your floors, assess your requirements. While engineered hardwood flooring can be applied on any floor of a building, it’s best to avoid putting solid hardwood flooring in basements and lower levels where moisture tends to accumulate.

If you wish to find Regular Solid Hardwood Flooring, Wood Flooring and also Engineered Hardwood Flooring then check out these marvelous collections of flooring all at one location.