Engineered Vs. Solid Hardwood Floors

engineered or solid hardwood floors

Which flooring option will you choose for your home: engineered or solid hardwood floors?

Once you have decided to install beautiful new hardwood flooring in your home, it’s time to decide whether you would like to have engineered wood planks or solid wood planks. While both are commonly used as hardwood flooring, they have many differences.

Engineered Wood

Engineered hardwood planks are formed from plywood or recycled wood fibers mixed with organic material. These form the layers within engineered wood. Planks usually have three to five layers that are pressed together using intense heat and pressure to make a single surface. Many planks have a top layer of hardwood and 3-4 layers of plywood below for the look of hardwood without the cost.


Humidity does not greatly affect engineered wood, as it is not made from natural wood. As a result, it works very well in areas with fluctuations in humidity like basements, areas of the house that are below grade, and bathrooms. They can be installed using a floating floor method that doesn’t use any nails or glue, thanks to recent tongue and groove design improvements.

Solid Hardwood

Solid hardwood planks are made from individual pieces of hardwood. To finish them, they are covered with a thin layer typically consisting of protective materials like aluminum oxide, ceramic, or acrylic substances. Solid hardwood planks are usually 3/4” thick so that they can be refinished as needed for years without thinning down the board too far.


Solid hardwood is, surprise, made of wood! As such, it will react to the humidity in your home by expanding or contracting throughout the seasons. Your boards may warp if your humidity goes too high or too low during the course of a year. Ideally, humidity should be between 45-65%. Again, as hardwood is made from natural wood, you have many different types of hardwood finishes to choose from—oak, maple, black walnut, pecan, mesquite, and more. Hardwood flooring made of solid wood should only be placed over plywood or OSB subfloors and installed in areas of the home that are above grade.

Whether You Choose Engineered or Solid Wood, Jim Boyd’s Flooring America is Ready to Install!

Engineered wood or solid hardwood? Whatever choice you make, we have the materials and know-how to help you get your dream floor! Jim Boyd’s Flooring America is happy to provide our customers with top-notch service to meet any and all of their flooring needs. We have the knowledge and experience to assess your needs and help you choose the right floors for your family’s home. Make an appointment today or give us a call at 410-667-0620 so we can keep your carpet looking great for years to come. To follow us online, don’t forget to check out our Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, Houzz, LinkedIn, Flickr, and Google+.