If you’re considering a home renovation this year, you may be looking at potential new flooring and although it isn’t the most interesting topic, it is one of the most important aspects of your home. However, with so many materials and different choices available, it can all become a little confusing. This is why we’ve put this post together, to address one of the most common questions when it comes to flooring; what is the difference between solid and engineered wood floors?
The untrained eye may be fooled into thinking that these two materials are the same thing, but despite their similar appearance there are some significant differences. So just what are these? Allow us to elaborate..
Lets start with the basics; the composition of the wood. Engineered flooring is made up of layers of ‘man-made’ materials, which is then topped with a layer of real wood to finish. Solid wood, as the name suggests, is made from a solid hard wood. This is milled from a particular species of tree, for example; walnut, oak etc. One more thing; engineered wood is not the same as laminate, this is a common misconception!
Another difference between the two, and probably the most significant is their ability to deal with high moisture and temperature fluctuations. Engineered wood is much more suited to rooms with higher levels of moisture and differing temperature levels, for example kitchens and bathrooms. Whereas solid wood does not react well at all under the above conditions, in fact, it can cause the boards to warp and contract. This is why it’s much safer to install solid wood flooring in rooms like the lounge, dining room or hallway. The same theory applies with underfloor heating, it is perfectly compatible with engineered wood but is an absolute no-go for solid wood floors.
These two also differ when it comes to refinishing, once installed, solid wood can be sanded and refinished numerous times. This means that should any damage or scratches occur, there’s no need to worry, simply sand the affected area and finish it again to get it looking as good as new! Unfortunately, it’s a little more complicated when it comes to engineered floors. The floor can be sanded, but for every 1mm of top layer thickness you sand there has to be 1mm left, see? It’s a bit confusing!
One of the biggest factors in choosing a floor is often your budget, which is another difference between solid and engineered wood. As solid wood is made using natural materials it does tend to be more expensive than its engineered counterpart, however the difference is minimal. It all depends on the species and grade of wood that you are after, as with most things, there are some that are more pricey than others.
So there you have it, just a few of the differences between solid and engineered wood floors to help you determine which one is best for your home. While we can’t make the choice for you, we certainly hope that this guide can be of some assistance.