Bob Vila Radio: Solid vs. Engineered Wood Flooring: What’s the Difference?

Before you can even think about the grain, color, and finish of your floors you have to determine if you're going to install solid hardwood or engineered-wood flooring. Like any decision, there are several important factors that you must consider.

When it comes to choosing wood flooring, you’ve got loads of options. One of the decisions you’ll be making is whether to go with traditional solid wood flooring or engineered flooring. Here are some points to consider.

Solid VS Engineered Wood Flooring




Solid wood flooring is milled from single planks of wood and nailed to the subfloor. While engineered flooring is composed of a laminated base topped with real wood; the planks snap together and, once assembled, remain unattached to the subfloor—hence the term “floating floor.”

Solid flooring may be refinished numerous times, so it can last for decades. However, it tends to be affected by moisture, so it will likely expand and warp if installed in damp environments, such as basements. On the other hand, if it’s installed in exceptionally dry environments, it may shrink, creating gaps.

In contrast, engineered flooring tends to be less susceptible to moisture. It’s usually installed with a bit of space around the perimeter to allow for expansion.

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