Solid vs Engineered Hardwood

What is the difference between solid and engineered hardwood?

What is Better Solid Wood or Engineered? 

At Rochester Flooring Kitchen & Bath, we want to make the floor buying process as easy for you as we possibly can. That is why we have asked our customers their most frequently asked questions, and gathered answers to deliver back to you. A common question we run into often is what’s the difference between engineered hardwood and solid hardwood? Continue reading below as we break down the differences and call out which type of hardwood would work best for you and your home.

Is Solid Hardwood Better?

Solid wood flooring is generally known as the original hardwood due to its simple composition. Each plank is made from a genuine piece of wood with nothing else except a top finish. Typically, solid hardwood planks come ¾” thick but there are thicker options available for high traffic areas.

Because solid wood is a thicker material, you have the option to refinish your floor multiple times. It is very important to refinish your hardwood floors because naturally over time the organic material loses its sheen. Refinishing is as simple as sanding down the floor, fixing any imperfections, and applying the resurfacing finish!

Solid hardwood is best suited for bedrooms and living rooms. It’s not a good option for areas with high moisture like kitchens and bathroom and is not the best option for below-grade areas.

Do Engineered Hardwood Floors Add Value?

Engineered hardwood has the same look of solid hardwood, but has added support and stability. Solid hardwood is constant, whereas engineered hardwood is composed of three to seven layers of real wood. Both look the same since the top layer of engineered flooring is a piece of premium finished wood.

Engineered hardwood is steadier than solid wood because the layers are laid cross-directionally and pressed together. This construction causes the wood grains to run in opposite directions and counterbalances woods natural tendency to expand or contract due to changes in moisture or weather. Engineered wood is good for above, below, and on ground areas and can handle changing seasons, but is still not suitable in areas with moisture.

Due to engineered wood’s multiple layers it cannot be refinished multiple times like solid wood and can only be done once or twice in its lifetime.

Engineered vs. Solid Hardwood


Now that we have gone over the basic differences of engineered and solid hardwood flooring, we encourage you to fill out a contact form below, or to visit our Rochester Flooring Kitchen & Bath showrooms, located in Victor and Rochester, NY, and speak with a professional and local flooring expert today!

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