Should You Choose Engineered Wood or Solid Wood?

an image of a wooden floor with two, yellow chairs and a site table in front of a window

Engineered wood wasn’t initially popular, but it has become a much more viable and accepted alternative to solid wood in more recent years. This, however, presents a new dilemma for property owners – engineered wood or solid wood? Many people hold them to the same regard, with engineered wood simply being more practical and solid wood being longer-lasting.

There’s more to it than that, though, which is why Floor Factory helps you choose between the two in our latest blog post below.


In short, engineered wood is comprised of a sliver of hardwood atop a base of high-quality plywood, whereas solid wood (as the name suggests) is just solid, hardwood. Solid wood presents many more options in terms of species and grade, although engineered wood generally sticks to the harder of the hardwood species.

In terms of thickness, engineered wood is often thinner than solid wood with ½ inch being the maximum, whereas the thickness of solid wood is around ¾ of an inch. The width of engineered wood starts at around 5 inches, with solid wood being between 5 and 11 inches wide.


When it comes to installation, engineered wood is far more flexible because it can be stapled, nailed, glued, or installed using a fold/lock system. On the other hand, solid wood floors can only be nailed or stapled. This makes engineered wood generally easier to install and more appropriate for a variety of applications.

Before installation, though, you’ll need to decide whether you want a pre-finished or unfinished example. Generally, engineered wood is pre-finished. Solid wood is also more commonly pre-finished but can more viably be unfinished. By opting for unfinished solid wood, you can use a site finish to help seal the top layer and improve water resistance.


Both engineered wood and solid wood can be practical and durable, however, generally, solid wood is hardier because engineered wood only has a thin layer of actual wood on the surface.

For both options, you can choose the hardness of your wood to help improve durability, although engineered wood usually used harder woods such from South America, Indonesia, or birch, maple, walnut, etc. Solid wood has a wide range and can include softwoods like Douglas fir and hardwoods like Brazilian walnut, the choice is more yours.

Finally, for practicality, engineered wood is more moisture-resistant and less-susceptible to flexing due to its plywood base, which is more stable than solid wood. Solid wood is, therefore, not recommended for bathrooms or basements (although a site finish might help this by providing a better seal). Engineered wood is also not the recommended flooring for rooms with a lot of moisture, although they are more applicable.


Finally, an essential aspect of whether to choose engineered wood or solid wood is what value they can bring for you. The value in terms of kerb appeal is actually very similar between the two because engineered wood is, technically, wood and can be advertised as such.

This means that either option is valuable and will increase the kerb appeal of your home. Engineered wood is, generally, cheaper than solid wood. However, solid wood is more likely to last longer, so the decision is very even.

Which One?

Solid wood and engineered wood are both excellent options, so there is not a right or wrong choice. The main deciding factors are whether you can get your flooring in the wood species you desire and which area of the house you are using it in.

You might also think about ease of installation, with engineered wood being far more convenient, or how many times it can be sanded and retreated with solid wood being more capable with this thanks to being wood all the way through.

Floor Factory

If you are looking into getting new flooring, look no further than Floor Factory. We provide a range of flooring options – including both engineered wood and solid wood – and we can also use our vast experience to help you decide what is best for you and your property.

To get in touch, you can call us on 01332 986261 or fill out our simple contact form.

an image of a solid wood floor in front of a brick wall
Solid Wood
an image of an engineered wood floor
Engineered Wood