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What is the Difference Between Solid Wood Floors and Engineered Flooring?


In truth, most people won’t be able to recognise the difference between solid wood floors and a high quality engineered floor at first glance. However, despite first impressions both options perform very differently and it is important to pick the right flooring for your needs. In this post we will explain exactly how they differ so you can make the right decision.

How Solid Wood Flooring is Made and how it affects the final product

Solid wood is cut from one piece of timber. This makes them easy, quick and simple to construct. Because of the simple construction, they are also easier to maintain. They can be sanded down and treated again and again which means they can potentially last a lifetime (or at least a lot longer than engineered floors).


It is important to remember though that as a floor, solid wood behaves just like you would expect wood to behave. It is affected by moisture and can dry out in the heat, this leads to shrinking. Alternatively, the boards absorb moisture which leads to the wood itself expanding and can reduce the overall temperature of a room. As the floor changes shape and size according to moisture and heat, the door frames fixtures and furniture can be affected too, for example doors can stick and become hard to open and close.  It takes extreme changes in moisture for this to happen.


How Engineered Flooring is Made and how it affects the final product

To manufacture engineered floors layers of wood are pressed together.  The layers all have their own essential functions, each is laid to run in a different direction to stabilize the floors and give them resistance to moisture changes. Obviously this also means the process of manufacturing is more complicated (especially in comparison with solid wood).


Engineered floors have a top layer of solid wood, which is why they look so alike. Just like the solid wood flooring, this layer will be cut from a single piece of timber. The second layer is called the core, which is made of a softer wood such as plywood or a HDF.


Just like solid wood, you can sand it down and refinish an engineered floor but as there is only one layer of wood you can’t do this repeatedly like you can with solid wood. This is why engineered floors don’t tend to last quite as long.


Which flooring is right for you?

So to summarize, solid wood can last a lifetime if looked after but engineered flooring is more resilient. Often the decision is made based on where you want new floors. Solid wood’s sensitivity to moisture and temperature make it inappropriate for conservatories, bathrooms and basements or in rooms with under floor heating. If you are laying floors in these rooms then engineered floors are the better choice.


Floor Fitter Wales can help you with both

We have a wide range of solid wood floors all of which are 18mm thick and only use selected/ graded timbers. We have random length boards to fit every room with a contemporary, stylish and quality finish. All our wood floors come with a 20 year structural warranty as standard.


Our real wood engineered flooring have a brush matt lacquered finish and are made from solid oak. They are 12.5mm thick and 2.2mm of this is the real wood top layer. They have a HDF moisture resistant core and a superior Uniclic locking system for ease of installation.


For free advice and a no obligation quote contact us today.  

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