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In the flooring world, and in particular the hardwood world, one of the biggest questions asked is what is better, solid or engineered wood? Sorry to disappoint from the offset, but there is no real winner! Both have their benefits, and both have their disadvantages, but ultimately it comes down to personal choice. In this blog we’re going to break down the differences, but first and foremost we’re going to tell you what exactly they are.
Solid wood is as the name suggests, a solid plank of pure wood. It is an incredibly strong and durable material, this being one of its strongest factors. Depending on which finish you choose (lacquered or brushed & oiled being the most popular) it can be refinished and re-sanded if needed. It can pretty much be re-sanded as much as you like, until of course the wood becomes too thin!
Solid wood comes in a wide range of species, from oak and walnut, to bamboo. There are a number of different installment methods, with the most popular being a glued method, a fairly straight forward method that is generally best done by a fitter.
Engineered wood has a slightly more complicated makeup, constructed of core boards and a number of layers of ply held together. The boards are then topped with a layer of solid wood, giving off the impression of a solid plank of wood.
Engineered often comes pre finished, with the most popular installment method similarly being glued. Due to the fact it does have a thin surface layer it can chip and scratch slightly easier, so it’s not quite as durable. Engineered is however more beneficial in areas of high moisture providing there is some protection underneath from an underlay. You can also have underfloor heating fitted underneath which you can’t with solid.
Both solid and engineered have a lot of benefits, they are arguably incredibly similar products with only a few subtle differences. Due to the nature of its build, solid is arguably the stronger of the two and the most durable. Engineered main advantage is its excellent water resistance, and also the fact it is suitable for underfloor heating.
It mostly comes down to personal choice, if hardwood isn’t for you there are a number of excellent alternatives such as vinyl tiles and laminate. We hope our guide has helped you to make your decision!