What’s the difference between solid and engineered hardwood flooring?

What’s the difference between solid and engineered hardwood flooring?

There are two versions of hardwood flooring: solid and engineered. They look very similar in appearance, but their construction is different, causing them to perform differently in humid areas. Engineered wood is starting to take the lion's share of the market because it appeals to those who want simplicity and practicality. So let's break down their similarities and differences.


Solid is a single plank with the same width throughout, whereas engineered planks are layered. On the top is the veneer layer with your species of choice: cherry, walnut, oak, or maple. It still has the same undertones that make it beautiful, along with the unique grains. The planks are wider and shorter, but the manufacturers can create various lengths and widths to suit.

Underneath this veneer are three, sometimes more, pieces of plywood attached with resin and placed in a crosshatch position. This increases the floor's stability and ability to handle water. It can be set in a higher-than-normal moisture area, where solid would warp and ripple. Engineered needs no acclimation since the floor won’t shrink or adjust to the weather. Like solid, it adds to the property value. It can even be refinished. Usually, these floors are finished in-factory.


When it comes to installation, solid hardwood usually is always tongue and groove. Engineered, however, offers a different choice: A floating floor. This technique is generally fast and less expensive than solid, as it has a locking mechanism. The pieces click and lock into place, mat, and then hover over the subfloor with no nails or glue needed. First, you need to make sure you have a clean subfloor that is dry, level, and smooth.

At Monk’s Flooring and Construction, we are passionate about wood flooring. We are a hardwood flooring company that wants to be your wood flooring store. So come by our showroom in Cullman, AL, and talk to our staff about your desires. Do you want solid hardwood flooring or an engineered hardwood flooring? We serve Hanceville, Hartselle, Decatur, Birmingham, and Huntsville. We want to help you, so give us a call.