Solid wood flooring is made up one of one solid piece of wood, throughout the product. It is primarily made of a hardwood, such as oak, maple, or walnut, with the major advantage being the option to sand and refinish the product again and again throughout its lifespan.
On the surface, engineered wood flooring looks very similar. However, this is made from a fairly think layer of hardwood bonded onto a high-quality plywood. Because this is not solid throughout, engineered flooring is less expensive than solid, which has led to a huge rise in popularity in recent years.
Whilst there is no one definitive answer as to which is best, both offer a variety of benefits which we will discuss below.
Benefits of Engineered Wood Flooring
- This is usually far more cost effective than solid wood flooring
- Once installed it looks very similar to solid wood flooring
- It is more resilient to changes in temperature and humidity in comparison to solid wood flooring
- It is generally seen as a more stable product and can be installed in over an underlay
- It can be used in conjunction with underfloor heating
- If required, it can also be fixed to a subfloor
- If the specific product uses a click installation system, it’s very easy to install
- There is a huge variety of styles, colour, plank size and finishes available
- The product is easy to maintain
Benefits of Solid Wood Flooring
- Solid wood is a tradition and luxurious format of wood flooring
- The planks are manufactured from one solid piece of hardwood
- You’re able to sand and refinish the product a number of times, as and when required
- Solid wood flooring would normally have a longer life expectancy in comparison to engineered
- Available from a wide variety of natural colours, ranging from light to dark with different grains
- The tongue and groove fitting system is the more traditional and well established method of installation
- You have the choice of either unfinished or pre-finished planks of solid wood flooring.
Whereabouts are you installing the product?
Where you want the flooring to go may help you to decide whether to choose engineered or solid wood flooring. Solid wood is great for high traffic areas as it can be sanded down and re-finished multiple times. So if you are looking for flooring for an entrance hallway or living area then solid wood flooring could be a good option. If however, you want solid wood flooring for a room where temperature or humidity is continually fluctuating, for example conservatories or even a kitchen, we would recommend engineered wood.
Engineered hardwood flooring has been designed to withstand slight changes in its surroundings, so can cope with changing air temperature, or moisture in the air. This being said with recent summers being extremely hot, even engineered wood my struggle if the extremes become the normal. In this instance, we would recommend luxury vinyl tiling as an alternative to consider.
Can both be used with underfloor heating?
If you are thinking about using underfloor heating with your wooden flooring then you will need to choose engineered wood or consider luxury vinyl tiles. Engineered wood is the perfect match for underfloor heating, as it allows the heat to be transferred to the surface of you floor safely. Engineered wood can cope with the constant changes in temperature and will react accordingly. It will expand and contract and is dimensionally stable enough not to become damaged by the heat from underneath. We would not recommend using solid wood flooring with underfloor heating.
What is your budget?
If your budget is tight then engineered wood is usually more cost effective than solid wood. Solid hardwood is generally more costly because of the amount of solid wood that is used for each plank. Be careful not just to assume that engineered is better value than solid hardwood. Some types of engineered flooring can be quite costly, especially if you choose a rare species of wood, or opt for a very wide plank size.
If you’re still unsure which option is the best option for your requirement, contact us and we’d be happy to help recommend the most suitable option.