wooden floorIn a previous blog post, the advantages of wooden flooring were discussed, but some of you may still be wondering whether solid wood or engineered wood flooring is best. With the help of Luxury Flooring & Furnishings, we have analysed the advantages and disadvantages of each to suit the needs of every home.

The Basics

So what’s the difference between these two kinds of flooring? Solid wood is exactly what it says on the tin – planks of solid timber, commonly oak, walnut or bamboo, cut into a certain length and thickness. Engineered flooring is a bit more complicated. Although it uses solid wood on the top layer and therefore looks identical, it has many plywood layers beneath this for support and greater practicality in certain types of home.

Which Do I Choose?

Each type of wood floor has different benefits. For example, solid wood cannot handle fluctuations in temperature, high humidity, or moisture, and shrinks and warps under such conditions. Engineered wood can handle this due to its construction however, making it more suitable to areas with underfloor heating, spillages, or lots of natural light.

On the other hand, solid wood has much greater prestige associated with it, putting up the value of your home, and can last longer. This is partly due to its ability to be sanded down and refinished more often, which should take place every 10-15 years when the floors starts to look worn. This means with solid wood, your floor can look just like new for longer, which is vital in homes with children, pets or high footfall. Engineered flooring can handle 1 sanding per mm of wear layer (e.g. 3mm wear layer means 3 sandings), whereas a solid floor can handle around 8 in its lifetime – if you plan on long term improvements, this is the best choice.

What Else Should I Consider?

Of course practicality isn’t the only thing to consider. Solid wood will set you back cost wise by quite a bit more, but considering they both look the same and install the same way – and install easily for any DIY fan – there isn’t that much of a difference in your decision. In homes with high footfall, children or pets, we recommend solid wood for more restoration opportunities, whereas in kitchens where spillages occur, it is engineered that will go the distance.

So, which would go best in your home?