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Solid or Engineered Hardwood Flooring?

Solid or engineered hardwood flooring look the same once they are installed, but they have some very significant differences. The main difference is the way in which they have been made.  This then affects how and where they can be used. 

What is engineered hardwood flooring?

Engineered wood flooring has a top layer of real wood, and multiple base layers underneath to give it additional strength and stability.  The only part that you will see once it is installed, is the top layer of real wood.  The base layers are usually made from plywood or Eucalyptus.  Planks of engineered flooring can either have a tongue and groove fitting system or a click fitting system.

Engineered planks of flooring are much more versatile than solid wood.

The benefits of engineered hardwood:

  • Can be found cheaper that solid wood
  • You can use it with underfloor heating
  • Has a real solid layer of hardwood on the surface
  • You can float it over an underlay
  • Alternatively, you can fix it directly to the subfloor
  • You will find a wide choice of wood species, plank sizes, colours, styles and finishes
Oak flooring with loose planks laid on top Engineered Oak Flooring


What is solid hardwood flooring?

Solid wood flooring is made from one solid piece of wood.  The plank is cut straight from the trunk of the tree, then machined into flooring.  Solid hardwood is still very popular.  It is widely desired as it is thought of as the most luxurious flooring for any home. It must be fixed into position during installation, as it is not stable enough to be floated.

The benefits of solid hardwood:

  • Your floor is made wholly from solid wood
  • You can sand and re-finish your floor if needed
  • It can be fixed directly to the subfloor using glue or nails
  • The planks are usually found in random lengths for an authentic appearance
  • You will find a wide choice of wood species, plank sizes, colours, styles and finishes
Oak flooring with 2 planks laid on top Solid Oak Flooring

Solid or engineered hardwood?

  • Both can last a lifetime if looked after properly
  • You can secure both directly to the subfloor
  • Only engineered hardwood can be floated
  • Both will withstand a high footfall
  • You will find both easy to clean and maintain
  • Both look the same once installed
  • Engineered can be used with underfloor heating or in conservatories
  • You will find both in plank or parquet block
  • Both have a wide range of styles, finishes and plank sizes to choose from


Finally, for more information about solid and engineered flooring, have a look at our article: Should I choose solid or engineered hardwood flooring?

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