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If you're searching for a new floor and you've got your heart set on genuine wooden boards, you may well be wondering whether to purchase an engineered wood floor or a solid wood floor. Though these two flooring materials look near enough identical once installed, they do behave differently in certain environments.

Since solid wood flooring is the more 'natural' product, you may be led to believe that solid wood automatically wins this debate. You may have also heard that engineered flooring is just a lower-quality alternative to hardwood; in both scenarios, you would be misinformed. But don't worry - we're here to help you with all this today, so sit back, and we'll provide you with the pros and cons of these two popular wood flooring options.

Solid Wood Flooring - Pros and Cons

Solid wood floors

Solid wood (or hardwood) flooring has been a popular choice ever since the concept of interior design was born. The Royals were some of the first to enjoy the beauty and warmth of this flooring, and during the 17th and 18th centuries it became widely popular in most homes. It's hard to dispute the stunning nature of solid wood flooring, especially as it is available in a variety of tones, ranging from strikingly dark to dazzlingly bright.

Pros:

  • Solid wood flooring is cut from single pieces of timber, making it simple in terms of construction.

  • Solid wood is good at coping with heavy footfall. If your solid wood flooring becomes damaged, it can be sanded down and refinished multiple times during its lifespan, meaning it can stay with you for a lifetime.

  • Hardwood floorboards are easy to clean and are typically more hygienic than other flooring products (e.g. carpeting).

  • You can install underfloor heating underneath solid wood flooring.

  • Modern production methods have reduced solid wood manufacturing costs, meaning that this luxurious flooring option is now available for all budgets.

Cons:

  • Solid wood floorboards can be damaged by moisture. A room that is too warm can make the wood dry out and shrink, while a cold room can cause the planks to absorb moisture and expand.

  • Solid wood is unsuitable for bathrooms due to the high humidity and excess moisture.

Engineered Flooring - Pros and Cons

Engineered flooring

Highly sought after, engineered flooring is a very popular alternative to solid wood nowadays. Engineered flooring is constructed using multiple layers of timber, which are then finished with a layer of hardwood timber. This means that it looks near enough identical to a solid wood floor, but with more practicality. You can achieve a wood finish with engineered flooring in a range of colours and styles, too. 

Pros:

  • It looks almost identical to solid wood flooring. 

  • It is very easy to install. The majority of the engineered flooring products we sell here at Floormaker do not even require any adhesive.

  • It doesn't expand or contract as much as solid wood, making it better-suited to humid areas like the kitchen or - as long as the right underlay is used - the bathroom.

  • It is extremely durable. 

  • It can be restored by sanding in the unlikely event of damage.

Cons: 

  • Although it can cope with heavy footfall, engineered flooring cannot withstand quite as many years' use as a solid wood floor. 

  • It cannot be restored as many times as solid wood flooring, due to the top layer of hardwood being much thinner.

We hope this comparison has helped you to make your mind up - please feel free to browse our Solid Wood Flooring and Engineered Flooring departments for as long as you like before making your final decision. Don't forget that you can order up to 3 FREE flooring samples before you make a purchase!

If you have any more questions about the solid wood flooring vs engineered flooring debate, please don't hesitate to get in touch!
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