When it comes to hard surface flooring, there are many options to choose from, and when there are a lot of options to choose from, the questions begin. It can be difficult to make an informed decision on which flooring will suit your lifestyle best. You may ask questions such as; ‘what’s the difference when it comes to solid hardwood vs. engineered hardwood?’ ‘Which one would be better for my home?’ ‘What are the advantages and disadvantages of both options?’

One of the main differences between both solid and engineered hardwood is that solid hardwood boards tend to be narrower than engineered hardwood flooring. The maximum width of a solid hardwood plank is 5 ¼” (inches) above grade (ground level). Engineered hardwood is constructed with multiple layers of wood in which each layer is positioned in different directions. Alternatively, solid hardwood is constructed of an unaltered plank of harvested wood. Engineered construction prevents the hardwood flooring from warping and bowing the way a solid hardwood floor might in undesirable conditions. Solid hardwood generally has very tight seams between boards. There is a greater range of colours and species than is found with solid hardwood flooring. It is also available in both pre-finished and unfinished boards. Whereas, engineered hardwood can be manufactured in larger and wider planks, with many patterns and styles but variety may be limited.

What about Engineered Hardwood Flooring?

Although variety may be limited in engineered hardwood, there are many advantages in terms of product longevity and durability. The planks tend to be larger and wider with engineered hardwood flooring and can be found in different styles. Its advantage over solid hardwood is that the construction allows for installation in most grade levels of the home, including below ground with a protective moisture barrier installed. It would be a perfect and more cost effective solution for basements and home renovations! However, unlike solid hardwood flooring that can be refinished on multiple occasions while preserving the grain of the wood, engineered hardwood can only be refinished one time. Engineered hardwood flooring is almost always sold pre-finished, and there is a narrower range of available colours and species in comparison to solid hardwood. Majority of the easily accessible colours and species include lighter colour options with less red tones.