Solid and Engineered Wood are both great options for your floor to have that classic, rustic yet elegant look. However, each flooring solution is best for certain scenarios. Choosing right can mean a lot for your budget and durability.
Solid Wood has Better Surface Durability and Flexibility in Looks
Solid Wood is usually made out of one solid, thick piece of wood, typically about ¾ of an inch thick. Because of its thickness, it can be sanded multiple times.
A wear layer is a clear coating that manufacturers apply to the surface of the wood for protection. Having a lot of material for a wear layer means that the surface of Solid Woods will be tougher to scratch and be easier for maintenance.
Also, because of that thickness, you can do many things on a Solid Wood’s surface. You can sand and refinish the floor multiple times which also allows you to change its color, restain it, or just to clean out some surface scratches if it gets damaged.
Usually, Engineered wood has a thin top layer that makes it prone to damage and more difficult when it comes to refinishing.
However, we have products here such as Mirage, from Canada, that has a thick enough wear-layer that you can also sand and refinish your Engineered Wood floors!
But generally speaking, Solid Wood has a thicker wear-layer which you could sand and refinish multiple times more than Engineered Wood.
Solid Wood’s kryptonite is water and humidity. That is where Engineered Wood shines.
Engineered Wood is Better for Wetter Areas
Engineered Wood is made from multiple plies of wood. These plies typically run perpendicular to the other plies and stack on top of each other. This creates more dimensional stability when adapting to wetter or more humid environments.
Wood is an organic material and it moves ever so slightly depending on the humidity and temperature. It expands and contracts if it is wet and dry, respectively.
Engineered Wood, having been made out of ply’s opposite and perpendicular to each other, fight the natural adaptation of wood to the climate.
If you live in a hot, humid and moist place like here in South Florida or need a flooring solution for areas that might get wet such as kitchens, living rooms, bathrooms, basements, Engineered Wood is the best solution for all of these conditions.
Both are Just Okay for Pets
If you have pets, both solutions are okay but we would rather recommend non-wood flooring products that are more durable against scratches and wetness such as vinyl or tile.
Solid Wood has a thicker layer so if you have scratches, you can sand it down to restore its smooth finish. However, Engineered Wood is more durable when it comes to wetness and humidity so, it’s a tie for us.
Engineered Wood has more Options for Installation. It’s also Cheaper and Easier to Install.
Engineered Wood is easier to cut and shape. That means that you can install Engineered Wood yourself to save on installation costs.
And if you’re going to install it yourself, Engineered Wood doesn’t require many specialty tools. You won’t have to buy or rent tools you’re just going to use once. Aside from being hard to find or rent, these tools can be very expensive.
Engineered wood can be installed in 4 methods, nail, staple, glue or floating method. This means that you can have the flexibility and the options to install Engineered Wood however you want. If you’re going to do it yourself, we highly recommend the floating method since it’s the easiest.
Here are tutorials that you can use for each installation method.
Nail Down Method:
Glue Down Method:
Engineered Wood also has flexibility when it comes to subfloors. You can apply Engineered Wood over wooden or concrete subfloors on or above ground level.
Solid Wood not only costs more but also needs special care and technique for its installation. It can only be applied over wooden subfloors so if you don’t have that, it will definitely add to the installation cost.
We also highly recommend you hire a professional hardwood installer for Solid Wood Installation, like our team! We also do installation work. If you need help, just contact us for any flooring problems and questions.
Which is More Valuable?
It also depends on what you value more. If you’re looking for the best bang for your buck, then Engineered Wood is the best option for you.
It can be installed on multiple areas of your property and the top layer is pre-finished. It’s also cheaper and easier to install. For places like here in the Southeast, Engineered is the best option for the hot and humid climate. This is why 98% of our recommendations are Engineered Wood.
If you’re looking for better quality, longevity and resale value, then Solid Wood is the best option for you. You can be flexible with how it looks because it can be sanded down and refinished multiple times, it will last for years and it can bump your resale value up to 2.5%.
If you are still undecided, we are here to help. Contact us if you have more flooring questions.