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Engineered Hardwood vs Solid Hardwood: How are They Different?


Although they offer the same timeless look and sense of warmth, engineered hardwood and solid hardwood have their differences; these differences include materials, structural composition and resistance. Check out the below information to learn the particular characteristics of these wood flooring types:


  • Engineered hardwood is manufactured from three or more layers of high-density fiberboard (HDF) or medium-density fibreboard (MDF), and a real hardwood veneer top layer bonded together under heat and pressure.
  • Solid hardwood is milled from a real hardwood species, making it the sole material used in the making of this type of flooring.


  • Engineered hardwood is more suitable in high-moisture areas or in areas with frequent temperature changes than solid hardwood due to its “multiple-ply plank” construction.
  • Solid hardwood is noted for adding overall structural strength to the building in which it is installed. The degree to which this is true depends upon the species.


  • Engineered hardwood is designed for optimal uniformity.
  • Solid hardwood’s uniformity varies depending on grade. Some grades allow for multiple knots, for example.

Dimensional stability

  • Engineered hardwood is constructed to be more dimensionally stable through multi-ply design. This allows greater resistance to temperature changes.
  • Solid hardwood is prone to expansion, warping, and cupping to a significant degree if exposed to temperature changes.

Resistance to moisture and heat

  • Engineered hardwood is surely a suitable choice when solid wood is not applicable due to increased moisture or heat. It is more resistant to both compared to solid wood.
  • Solid hardwood is unsuitable for applications at any location with increased moisture or high temperatures. These could be areas which are not environmentally controlled, damp areas such as below-grade installations, and over radiant heating systems.

Resistance to climatic changes

  • Engineered hardwood does not warp or cup during climatic changes. It is more resistant to higher moisture levels than solid flooring. It is a better choice for installation over radiant heat sources, damp basements, and locations in rainy climates.
  • Solid hardwood generally expands and contracts a lot more than engineered wood during climatic changes, especially during extremes in heat, cold, and precipitation.

When deciding on a new wood floor, it’s a good idea to consider the conditions this floor will encounter. This will help inform you on the best type of floor for your space. With both solid and engineered hardwood, you will get a beautiful floor that will add value to your space.

What would be better for your space, engineered or solid hardwood?

Click here to take a look at our vast selection of premium quality wood floors. Discover the right floor for your installation!

(3) Comments

  1. Pingback: The Differences Between Solid and Engineered Hardwoods | After Five Floors Blog

    • BuildDirect Product Expert Team
      BuildDirect Product Expert Team - Reply

      Thanks Jen, and thanks for sharing! Happy to hear you found the article helpful.

      Feel free to share our Learning Center articles in your RSS Feed.


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