What to choose, when choosing a wooden floor – engineered wood or solid wood? We understand why this topic is always so controversial and always so interesting to both flooring specialists and average people. In fact, it is hard to tell that one of these both is better than everything else offered on the market and also a better choice than the other one. Neither solid wood nor engineered wood can be called the flawless flooring choice since the appearance, durability and long-lasting power of these flooring options (considering the fact that these are the most important features for a floor) is all based on a number of factors.
Once all these factors are taken into account and the flooring types is chosen properly, depending on the individual specifics of the project, the place, where installation is planned as well as the individual lifestyle, requirements and needs of the owner, only then we can tell that this is the perfect choice and decision made. But to make things even more complicated – solid wood and engineered wood both will work, or won’t work at all in certain situations. Let’s try and have a deeper look at the topic! What is the main difference between solid wood and engineered wood? As you may already know, solid wood boards are made out of an entire piece of wood, when a wide and vast variety of wood species can be used for the manufacturing. This is why solid wood floors are called the “natural” ones and as everything completely natural, solid wood boards are a very healthy, eco-friendly, hygienic and beautiful option.
This does not mean, however, that engineered wood planks are not natural. Unlike the popular misunderstanding, engineered wood is not laminate. Engineered wood planks are made out of a variety of wood and lumber materials, including hardwood, softwood, plywood. Unlike solid wood, engineered wood planks won’t come as a whole piece of wood, because they are designed in layers that are pressed and glued together crisscrossed, then topped with a hardwood lamella (top layer), so when installed, you can hardly ever tell any difference between solid wood and engineered wood (believe us, it is hard to even for the experienced and knowledgeable professionals).
The main benefits of solid wood floors include their durability, hard-wearing power and, of course, the unbeatable beauty. Let’s not go into details, but from prime to rustic and everything in between, all grades, shades, colours and wood species types used for solid wood boards are extra beautiful and appealing. Solid wood floors are a classic, elegant and very stylish choice. However, as a natural product, wood still won’t change its nature and character, even in the form of floorboards and will react to some changes in the environment. The changes include high levels of humidity, indoor moisture and regular temperature changes and the reaction to these is a certain “movement”, or shrinking and expanding that are definitely not going to benefit for a sturdy, solid and long-lasting floor. Because of that, you have to choose solid wood only for spots and rooms of your property, where humidity and temperature changes won’t be an issue, like bedrooms, lounge areas, living rooms, etc.
On another hand, thanks to the innovational and unique design of engineered wood, these floors are highly resistant to the above-mentioned issues. The crisscrossed, layering design benefits for a floor that is less prone to humidity, moisture and high temperatures and definitely a better choice for areas like bathrooms, kitchens and basements. Engineered wood is also your best choice when the concrete subfloor cannot be completely dry and levelled (it happens often) because the planks can be installed floating, or even for over all kinds of underlayment and underfloor heating.