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The Great Hardwood Debate: Solid vs. Engineered

The Great Hardwood Debate: Solid vs. Engineered

American MadeHardwood flooring brings a wonderful element of style and warmth to any room. However, if you’re interested in installing hardwood flooring in your home, there are a few factors you need to know—like the difference between solid and engineered hardwood. While both options are made of real wood, there are a few significant differences between the two worth noting.

Solid Wood

  • Constructed from a single piece of lumber, solid hardwood allows for a uniformed color and grain throughout the entire floor. However, due to its higher quality, solid wood is likely to be slightly more expensive than engineered wood
  • Solid wood varies in depth, but typically ranges between 3/4” and 7/16” in thickness
  • Due to its tendency to expand and contract with moisture and temperature change, solid wood should never be installed in the basement of a home. This flooring should also always be installed by a professional
  • Solid wood flooring can be refinished as many as 10 times throughout its lifetime

Engineered Wood

  • Engineered wood is constructed using numerous pieces of lumber and is layered with a solid wood top
  • Engineered wood also varies in thickness, but most engineered flooring is 3/4” thick
  • Less likely to buckle, gap and react to humidity and temperature fluctuations, engineered hardwood can be installed on any level of your home. This flooring is also much easier to install than solid wood and can sometimes be installed without the help of a professional
  • Engineered wood flooring can be refinished only once or twice over its lifetime


When it comes to deciding between solid or engineered flooring, here are a few additional factors to consider:

  1. The location of your floor: You can classify the location of your hardwood flooring into three basic categories; on grade (ground level), above grade (second level or higher) and below grade (below the ground floor). As mentioned above, solid hardwood is not an ideal flooring solution for below grade level, or basements. Basements have a tendency to trap moisture, which can ruin your hardwood. When it comes to basements, engineered hardwood is almost always the safer option
  2. Your subfloor: Your subfloor is the flooring you will be installing your new flooring on top of. If you are installing new flooring over concrete, engineered hardwood is the best option. If you are installing new flooring over plywood or existing wood floors, solid or engineered hardwood are both valid options
  3. Moisture: In rooms where moisture is an obvious issue, such as the bathroom, neither solid nor engineered hardwood is a good choice. Moisture-filled rooms—like your bathroom—should be floored with either tile or stone—not wood!


Looking to install beautiful new hardwood flooring in your home? Carpetland USA has a wonderful variety of hardwood flooring options to choose from, for any level of your home. Stop by your local Carpetland USA location to talk with one of our sales representatives about the hardwood flooring options we have today!

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4 thoughts on “The Great Hardwood Debate: Solid vs. Engineered”

  • My wife and I are trying to figure out what kind of floor we want for our home. We both have had homes with carpet, so we are thinking about getting hardwood floors installed. We This article has some good points on this wood and I think that we are going to go ahead and go with solid wood.

    • Jason,
      Glad to hear our article could be of help! Carpetland USA offers a wide variety of hardwood flooring, and would love to help you find the perfect flooring for your home.

  • I kind of thought that all wood floors were considered engineered wood. I can see how having a wood floor in a bathroom isn’t a good idea. Now that I think about it, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a wood floored bathroom.

  • Very great post. I simply stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I have really enjoyed browsing your blog post. The great hardwood debate, It’s really a nice and helpful piece of information. Thanks for sharing this information with us.

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