Should I Buy Solid or Engineered Hardwood?

Hardwood remains a popular flooring choice for homeowners. The two types of hardwood flooring are engineered hardwood and solid hardwood. Read on to learn more and figure out which type of hardwood flooring is best for your home!

Solid Hardwood

What is Solid Hardwood?

Solid hardwood is constructed from 100% solid wood all the way through each plank of flooring. You will commonly find solid hardwood made from oak, maple, and hickory. Solid hardwood is a timeless design choice and is the only flooring type that has been shown to directly raise a home’s value.

Mullican maple solid hardwood flooring in a kitchen dining room available at Johnson's Flooring in Clayton, Ohio and Springboro, Ohio
Mullican Solid Hardwood Flooring

Solid Hardwood Facts

  • Plank Thickness: Normally 3/4 inch
  • Plank Width: 5 inches or less
  • Installation Method: Nail down
  • Lifespan: Up to 100+ years
  • Rooms of House: All except bathroom, laundry room, and basement

Advantages of Solid Hardwood
The main advantage of solid hardwood is that it can be refinished several times over its life (check with the hardwood manufacturer  for recommended number of refinishes). Refinishing hardwood is the process of buffing and/or sanding down the finish and/or stain (removing scratches and other damage) on the top of the floor. New finish and/or stain is applied to give it a fresh look. With the right tools and knowledge, refinishing can be a DIY-friendly project but there are also many professional hardwood floor refinishing companies.

Refinishing hardwood allows solid hardwood to have a lifespan of several decades –  much longer than engineered hardwood.

Disadvantages of Solid Hardwood
Solid hardwood is more prone to warp and swell under humid conditions than engineered hardwood. Homeowners in very humid areas or areas that have swings in humidity may want to consider engineered hardwood as a more suitable option.

Although not unique to solid varieties, hardwood is more susceptible to topical moisture spills and scratching than other types of hard surface floors. This is something to keep in mind as you think about the type of floor you would like for your household.

Interested in Solid Hardwood? 
At Johnson’s Flooring, we have samples on display of the following solid hardwood flooring brands: Bruce, Mirage, and Mullican, with the ability to purchase several other solid hardwood brands not on display. Contact or visit us today – we are ready to help you find the perfect solid hardwood flooring for your home!  

Engineered Hardwood

What is Engineered Hardwood?
Engineered hardwood is a flooring type that has a thin veneer layer on top that is made of real hardwood, similar to solid hardwood. Unlike solid hardwood, the rest of the floor is made of a composite core consisting of layers of wood material such as high density fiberboard (HDF) or plywood.

Dog and boy running on Shaw engineered hardwood available at Johnson's Flooring Center in Clayton, Ohio and Johnson's Flooring Source in Springboro, Ohio
Shaw Engineered Hardwood Flooring

Engineered Hardwood Facts

  • Plank Thickness: Can range from 3/8 inch to 1/2 inch
  • Plank Width: Up to 7 inches
  • Installation Method: Nail down, glue down, floating (with pad)
  • Lifespan: Up to 40 years
  • Rooms of House: All except bathroom and laundry room

Advantages of Engineered Hardwood

As mentioned above, engineered hardwood is more suitable for high humidity areas. Additionally, engineered hardwood offers multiple installation options – nail down, glue down, or floating. This flooring type can also be installed in basements.

Engineered hardwood also offers more design options as it is available in wider planks.  We have seen that wider hardwood planks are in high demand lately and engineered can give you that option.  

Disadvantages of Engineered Hardwood
Engineered hardwood shares the disadvantages with solid hardwood of being prone to topical moisture damage and scratching. Due to the thin veneer of engineered hardwood, it cannot be refinished as many times as solid hardwood. We suggest checking with the manufacturer of your engineered hardwood to see if they recommend refinishing.  

Intersted in Engineered Hardwood?

At Johnson’s Flooring, we have samples on display of the following engineered hardwood flooring brands: Anderson Tuftex Hardwood, Armstrong, Bella Cera, Bruce, Hallmark, Mannington, Mirage, Mullican, and Shaw, with access to purchase other brands. Contact or visit us today – we are ready to help you find the perfect solid hardwood flooring for your home!  

Should I Buy Engineered or Solid Hardwood?

We hope this introduction to solid and engineered hardwood has made the buying decision a bit easier for you. Both solid and hardwood floors have many similar characteristics and either will be a suitable option for most homes. If you are in an area with high humidity or one more prone to swings in temperate/humidity, we would recommend an engineered hardwood. We do recommend that our customers here in Ohio consider engineered hardwood due to its ability to stand up to these environmental changes better than solid hardwood.

The Johnson’s Flooring Difference

Still not sure which hardwood is best for your home? We would be happy to help answer any questions you may have! We have two showrooms with hardwood on display and flooring consultants ready to help you in Clayton and Springboro, Ohio. We will guide you through the entire process of product selection, in-home measurement, professional installation, and care and maintenance. Our professional flooring installation is backed by a lifetime warranty.

or visit us today to get started!

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