Wood continues to be one of the most common and a preferred choice when choosing a floor covering as it brings elegance and warmth into the room. When it comes to real wood flooring, there are two main options, solid hardwood floors and engineered floors. If we break down the differences between the two floors they fall under a range of categories of durability, price, installation, stability.
When it comes to durability and lifespan of these floors both solid and engineered floors offer great durability and a generous lifespan. With surface wear it depends on the type of flooring finish chosen and how well is holds against dents and nicks, which will help determine choosing how firm a floor is needed you suit your needs.
The vast difference in this area is solid hardwood flooring responds to air humidity variations. During extended hot and humid summers it’s not unusual for the floor wood to shrink and opposite effect in cold winters where the wood can expand. Because of the way engineered floors are constructed it’s far more resistant to these effects. Therefore if living in an area of area of dry, cold or humid weather you would be advised to consider engineered flooring first as the effects are minimal compared to solid hardwood floors.
Solid hardwood – If purchasing and installing unfinished solid hardwood it takes time mostly due to the sanding and application on finish layers where mistakes could be frustrating and expensive if installing your-self. Also completed on or above grade, with a nail down or staple down installation method.
Engineered – DIY friendly and relatively easy to install, with a wide range of size options compared to solid hardwood. Engineered floors can be installed on, below and above grade with install methods of glue down, nail down, or floating methods.
Plank size, cost of lumber as well as cost of glues or installation methods are often the determining factor in the costing for the flooring, but misconceptions usually appear in this area that engineered floors are naturally cheaper than hardwood. Yes, if choosing the same wood with one being engineered and one solid hardwood but typically if you compare a cheaper option like red oak solid floor with an exotic tigerwood engineered floor then engineered will cost more.
Your best option is to set a budget that suits your needs and research what is available in both types of flooring and choose an option that best suits your needs, wants and style of home.
Overall both engineered and solid hardwood flooring are great options with very similar features unless your home suffers in extreme heat or cold leaving you with the movement of the wood. If a long term prospect is in mind solid hardwood flooring would be the choice as longevity will benefit, whereas people who want more practical flooring with extra range of option sizes, should look towards engineered flooring as you would be able to install it in additional rooms than solid hardwood flooring.