After you have decided that you want to use a robust and unique wood floor design in your valued home, there are two main options that you can choose from solid wood and engineered wood.
These types of flooring are excellent choices because of a variety of reasons. They are both made from real 100% wood, but each piece of wood has its unique design.
Difference Between Solid Wood & Engineered Wood Flooring
But what is the distinguishing characteristic between these two types of wood flooring? Timber wood flooring, usually consisting of hardwood species like maple, walnut, and oak, can be refinished multiple times throughout its life.
This wood is a consistent, classic option that has always been associated with strength, quality, and natural touch.
Solid hardwood usually gets delivered in more extended planks, and it gets milled with grooves and tongues on opposite sides for proper interlocking. When it comes to installation, it always gets nailed to a subfloor, which takes much more care and skill.
Engineered wood, on the other hand, is a more modern option. It contains a much thinner layer of hardwood attached over a sheet of plywood of high quality.
Although composite wood flooring is usually less costly, most variations can only be refinished and sanded over once throughout its lifetime, because of the thinness. Engineered hardwood is much simpler and more straightforward to install as well.
Looks and Appearance
Appearance of Solid Wood
Solid hardwood tends to have a much more natural look to it. There is no pair of timber wood pieces that are exactly alike, which makes it a blend of rawness and beauty.
This kind of hardwood contains tighter seams, and you can find more variety of colors and species than manufactured wood. The floorboards also tend to run a little more narrow than manufactured wood.
Builders have utilized this type of wood flooring for centuries, and they are derived from long cuts of wood. If someone is looking for the classic choice, they turn to this kind for durability and quality.
There is flexibility in the type of wood you can get, including softer pine and harder mahogany. You can also start with this wood in both its unfinished and prefinished form.
Appearance of Engineered Wood
Engineered flooring is a much more novel option, and it tends to run wider than wood flooring.
These floorboards contain a thin, decorative slice of wood on its surface, usually about 1/12- to 1/6-inch thickness. You will find that engineered wood usually has a wide plank by design.
These engineered floorboards are designed with beveled edges, which produces grooves between the boards. Much of the composite wood you will buy at the store will be sold prefinished, and you will not enjoy as many colors as you would with the solid hardwood.
Best for Looks and Appearance: Solid Wood
When comparing timber wood ans composite wood flooring for appearances, you need to hand the advantage to lumber wood. Not only is it much more natural for an authentic home, but there is much more flexibility in the colors and wood styles.
Strength and Durability
Strength and Durability of Solid Wood
The durability of solid hardwood usually depends on its wood type, width, thickness, and finish. Softer woods like pine will not be as durable, especially in high-traffic areas.
But if you choose wood floors that are made of tougher wood options, like mahogany or oak, you have a much more durable finish.
Solid hardwood is a little sturdier than manufactured wood, mainly because it can be refinished and sanded down several instances.
But when you are shopping for different types of solid hardwood, do your research and make sure you match the strength of the wood to how much traffic it will receive.
Strength and Durability of Engineered Wood
Engineered wood will not usually be as durable because it can only get refinished once or twice before it experiences permanent wear and tear.
But if you perform proper research, you can find a manufacturer who will default to a much thicker wood for the veneer. Make sure that you pay closer attention to the thickness of the wood you buy and the final treatment on the board.
Best for Strength and Durability: Solid Wood
Timber wood is the obvious choice here because of its long-term strength and resistance to wear and tear.
Although manufactured wood has a more durable base, it can only be refinished once because of its skinny top veneer. Solid takes less hassle because you can refinish it multiple times before doing the hard work to replace it.
Lifespan of Solid Wood
Solid hardwood flooring usually lasts about 25-30 years. But it typically lasts as much as up to 100 years because it can be sanded and refinished multiple times over.
You need to pay close attention to the year warranty that the manufacturer guarantees. A guaranteed product for 25 years will most likely last longer than a product guaranteed for 5 years.
Lifespan of Engineered Wood
Depending on the thickness of the plank, composite wood flooring could last anywhere between 20-80 years. The thinner kinds will last between 20 and 30 years, while the thicker alternatives could have a lifespan between 40 and 80 years.
You need to look at the quality of the flooring that will live up to these ranges. You should check both the price points and the number of layers.
Best for Lifespan: Solid Hardwood
Because of its layered construction, the solid hardwood option wins this category because it can be refinished many times. You will be able to preserve the life of it by sanding and refinishing rather than replacing the floor.
Before we get into the cost considerations, it is essential to note that the costs of both solid hardwood and engineered hardwood contain a wide range of options.
It depends on the manufacturer, the processing, and the overall quality of the finish. As you shop around for various hardwood floor types, you should know the thickness, width, wood variety, and finish will all have an impact on the price.
Cost of Solid Wood
When it comes to solid hardwood, you anticipate paying anywhere between $7-$23 per square foot, including installation costs and material.
Higher-grade woods like ash and walnut will run higher, while lower-grade woods like bamboo, pine, and maple will run on the lower side. A quick breakdown of lumber wood prices includes:
- Low-grade: $7-$13 per square foot
- Medium-grade: $10-$17 per square foot
- High-grade: $15-$23 per square foot
Cost of Engineered Wood
If you choose to install engineered hardwood flooring, it will usually cost you somewhere between $8-$25 per square foot to complete. There are different types of composite wood options like maple and oak, but you can see below the overall price breakdown:
- Low-grade: $8-$15 per square foot
- Medium-grade: $10-$20 per square foot
- High-grade: $12-$25 per square foot
Best for Cost: Tie
Because these two options are apples-to-apples on average across the board, we must split this decision. Depending on the type of wood, thickness, and finish, you will usually be paying around the same average.
Installation Method of Solid Wood
When installing solid wood floors, it is a much more involved process for someone with more experience in construction. You need to be much more mindful about subfloor prep and selection, board spacing, and moisture monitoring.
Solid hardwood flooring utilizes a tongue-and-groove system, where boards are nailed blindly to the subfloor via tongues at each of the edges.
Installation Method of Engineered Wood
If you enjoy building things by yourself or are looking to minimize costs on the installation, you will enjoy the benefits of engineered hardwood. Engineered hardwood is a lot more flexible in design than solid hardwood.
You can begin by stapling, nailing, or gluing it to the floor. There are also some other types of wood that contain edges that are “click-lock” and can be set up as a “floating floor.”
Best for Installation Method: Engineered Wood
People who enjoy the DIY aspect of flooring will appreciate manufactured wood much more.
The glue-down or click-lock system will be much easier to utilize when putting the floor down. Homeowners will also enjoy the flexibility and variety of options for laying down manufactured wood.
As you can see, there are different limitations and advantages to each of the options. But what is the verdict in this lumber wood and engineered wood flooring comparison?
If you are looking to minimize costs and put down the flooring yourself in a variety of different rooms, engineered hardwood is the way to go. manufactured wood has also improved in quality over the years to find an effective alternative with in-depth research.
But if you are looking for a much more sustainable, long-lasting wood floors is the right choice. You can repeatedly finish it, and it can remain healthy throughout multiple generations.
The natural look is also a gorgeous touch to an authentic home so that we will lean toward solid hardwood as our tried and true option.