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Solid Hardwood vs. Engineered Hardwood Flooring

Posted by Gavi Halpern on Monday, April 2, 2018 3:39 PM


Hardwood flooring is timeless. It has been a thing since dirt floors, and it will be a thing until we decide we are too futuristic of a society deal with the aesthetic of hardwood flooring. But, we doubt that will happen in our lifetime. So in the meantime, we have evolved to construct an engineered hardwood flooring to be more durable in conditions and spaces that solid hardwood might not be the best option. Which is the best option though? What type of wood flooring would look best in my home? When will this futuristic society happen that will plunge the world as we know it into a dystopian Mad Max style era? (I don’t know the last one, sorry.)


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Solid Hardwood

As stated in the first part of this post, hardwood flooring is timeless. Some older houses still have original hardwood as their primary sub-floor! There are pros and cons to different species of woods in their appearance, hardness, finish, and durability.

Most species of wood can be identified through the wood grain and color. Woods like maple, for example, have a much softer grain than the common oak wood flooring. Many exotic woods have very intense wood grains and colors that are easily identifiable and naturally characteristic to the wood species.  




When considering solid hardwood, pay attention to the hardness rating. There is a hardness scale for wood called the Janka Wood Hardness Chart.

This chart is especially helpful for the functionality of wood flooring. If you have large dogs, young children, or tend to wear high heeled shoes more often than not, a harder species of wood would prevent the wear and tear on your brand new wood floors.




Engineered Hardwood

The main difference (important!) between engineered hardwood and solid hardwood is that engineered hardwood only has a real wood veneer. This veneer is a thin layer at the top of the flooring, above the plywood sandwiched underneath.





There are several benefits in favor of engineered hardwood due to a few facts; engineered        hardwood can be installed on a concrete slab, it is also more structurally sound than traditional hardwood, as well as it is not as easily impacted by humid environments with a much less likelihood of warpage.





Engineered hardwood can come in as many finishes and wood species and solid hardwood, so the options are just as endless as solid hardwood for your space.





We typically recommend between the two based on the environment of your home. Live near the water? Engineered flooring is probably your best bet due to its durability in a humid environment.  Looking to change your flooring color in the next few years after install? We would recommend solid hardwood, as you can sand down and refinish solid hardwood many more times than you can with engineered wood flooring.

But, your best bet in general is to simply ask! Because of hardwood flooring’s lifelong popularity, most flooring professionals are very well versed from the get-go in your options based on what you are specifically looking for.


If you live in Southern Maryland and liked this article or would like professional advice on your flooring or any other remodeling project, please contact Southern Maryland Kitchen, Bath, Floors and Design at 301-866-0337. You can also schedule a FREE consultation, measurement, and estimate with one of our experienced design consultants online at Feel free to visit our showroom in the Wildewood Shopping Center in California at any time, and see what we can do for YOU! We have experienced designers that will listen and experienced installers on staff to handle every step of the process.

If you're curious about remodeling your kitchen, be sure to check out our previous blog post, CPR For The Heart of Your Home: Kitchen Remodeling Advice


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Topics: remodeling advice, hardwood flooring, engineered hardwood, solid hardwood

Written by Gavi Halpern