One of the most common flooring choices is solid hardwood flooring. It is often made of hardwoods such as maple, oak, or walnut. It also has a substantially longer lifespan, allowing for repeated sanding and refinishing.

Engineered wood flooring resembles hardwood on the surface, but instead of a single wood plank, it is built of a high-quality plywood core with a thin layer of hardwood flooring on top. Engineered wood flooring is less costly, but it cannot be refinished to extend its life. Both surfaces can be utilized throughout the home and offer nearly comparable advantages, making the decision rather personal.


Hardwood flooring has a far longer lifespan than most other forms of flooring. With appropriate upkeep and care, hardwood flooring may endure anywhere from 30 to 100 years. This is why some homes from the 1850s still have hardwood flooring today.

Although engineered hardwood flooring cannot be refinished as frequently as solid hardwood, with careful care, it may last up to 30 years or more. While the entire floor cannot be sanded and refinished, one of the advantages of engineered wood flooring is its ease of replacement, especially when installed using the click-and-lock method.


The vast majority of solid hardwood floors are nailed to the subfloor. Another common installation method is to link the planks together with tongue-and-groove planks in which each board is blind-nailed. Hardwood flooring must be secured to a subfloor, which is often plywood. The boards are then attached to the subfloor through the tongue, so the nails are hidden when the floor is finished.

Some engineered wood flooring is fastened to the subfloor, in most situations, the click-and-lock mechanism is used for this material. In this installation procedure, tongue-and-groove boards that lock together are used to establish a tight seam. The system floats above the subfloor, which is often composed of foam or cork.

Between the two materials, engineered hardwood is easier to work with than solid hardwood that requires nail down methods. Engineered hardwood is a popular option for DIYers for its ease of use during installation.

Durability and Stability

Both solid hardwood and engineered hardwood offer durability and toughness. However, since solid hardwood is permanently nailed or glued to your subfloor it can be sturdier when compared to engineered hardwood. In contrast, when engineered hardwood is exposed to extreme temperatures it poses greater structural stability because of its resistance to buckling. Overall engineered hardwood does not outperform solid hardwood in durability because the surfaces on engineered hardwood can be thin resulting in being prone to chipping over time.

Water and heat resistance

Both types of hardwood have good resistance to heat. However, both materials are not recommended for homes that are located in wet areas. When assessing solid hardwood, it should not be installed against concrete slabs because of the humidity that goes through this surface. Solid hardwood can warp and swell when exposed to a substantial amount of humidity.

Looking at engineered hardwood it marginally performs better in humid locations since its plywood construction makes it more stable and less prone to warping. In cases where hardwood flooring is required on a concrete subfloor, engineered hardwood would be the flooring to choose.

Environmental considerations

Some consumers prefer to support products that are environmentally friendly. In most circumstances, engineered hardwood floors are more environmentally friendly than solid wood floors. The engineered wood production method is less wasteful and consumes less energy than other flooring options. This is not to argue that choosing solid hardwood is not a sustainable alternative. You may still get environmentally friendly solid wood if you buy it from a reputable provider and it is appropriately certified.

Both solid hardwood and engineered hardwood are great choices for almost any home. Depending on your preference solid hardwood may be a better choice because of its long lifespan, durability, and stability. However engineered hardwood is easier to install making it ideal for DIYers, it has greater resistance to humidity, and engineered hardwood can be more environmentally friendly when compared to other materials. When comparing these materials there are some considerations to be made to assess if one material will suit your needs over the other.