Flooring Faceoff: Engineered vs. Solid Hardwood Floors

by Scout & Nimble | September 25, 2015September 26, 2015

Whether you’re building a brand-new house or renovating an older one, wood flooring is a great way to add warmth and class to any room. The fact of the matter is, it’s a big investment, and you want to be able to make the choice that’s right for your home, but what are the differences between engineered vs. solid hardwood floors? Traditional hardwood is as beautiful as it is finicky. It requires more maintenance, but a solid hardwood floor will be with your house until the end. Engineered wood is normally more durable and less expensive, but comes in fewer color options and can lack character and charm. To try and help you sort this out, we’ve compiled a handy list of things to consider when choosing your next wood floor.


1. Location

If your space is prone to moisture and humidity, engineered wood is the way to go as moisture an cause traditional hardwood to warp or buckle. Additionally, traditional hardwood cannot be installed below ground due to moisture concerns, so opt for engineered wood if you’re finishing a basement or sunken living room. If you are needing flooring to cover a one level home or a concrete slab, then once again, engineered wood flooring is the obvious choice.


2. Your Household

Solid hardwood floors are beautiful but are more easily scratched or dented than engineered wood. Homes with large pets or young children (both prone to spills and messes) may want to look into the more durable engineered wood.


3. Longevity

Because solid hardwood floors are well… solid, they are able to withstand more refinishing. The average solid hardwood floor can be refinished upwards of 5 times, lasting longer than many people plan to own a home. Engineered wood  floors are constructed from multiple layers of compressed, cross layered high density plywood with a solid wood veneer top layer so they can only be refinished 1-2 times, depending on the product.


The first thing to remember about home decorating is that you live there! Consider what your home is like (and who lives in it) so that you can make the best choice for your life.


What’s hardest on your floors? Dogs? Kids? A clumsy significant other? Let us know in the comments.