Solid or Engineered Hardwood Flooring?

It is obvious what hardwood flooring is, but engineered hardwood flooring isn’t as well known, and some flooring stores have been talking people into buying engineered hardwood for the wrong reasons. Being educated about what engineered hardwood flooring is, how it differs from hardwood flooring, and its pros and cons is essential to making an educated decision about the right flooring for your project.

What Is Engineered Hardwood Flooring?

Engineered hardwood flooring is made up of hardwood, plywood, or HDF (high density fiberboard) core with a top layer of hardwood veneer glued on. As mentioned some flooring stores push engineered hardwood flooring as your only option for any number of reasons relating to moisture, such as living near the water or installation at a cottage. Their concerns may appear to make sense to someone with little knowledge about flooring but realistically engineered hardwood flooring is still made of wood and reacts in similar ways to moisture as solid hardwood flooring does. The difference between the two is that solid hardwood flooring is the same wood throughout each entire piece, while engineered hardwood flooring can be made up of different woods.

When Is Engineered Hardwood Flooring Ideal?

Engineered hardwood flooring is ideal in a few different instances such as:


     If you are gluing flooring directly onto concrete.

     If you are installing flooring below grade, like in a basement or crawlspace.

     If you are installing flooring over a radiant heating source. It’s important to note that not all engineered hardwood is appropriate for installation over radiant heating. Ask a hardwood flooring expert at Global Alliance Home Improvement Products for appropriate recommendations.


Engineered hardwood can work in any situation, but it’s important to know that solid hardwood is also a good solution for many situations where moisture can be an issue.

Hardwood Flooring: Dry Environments

If your area of the country tends to be very dry for most of the year, then solid hardwood flooring is the best solution for you. When it comes to dry environments, solid hardwood flooring outperforms engineered hardwood flooring. The difference is that in very dry environments solid hardwood flooring will simply shrink in size, but once the humidity level evens out again, it will expand back to its normal size. Engineered hardwood flooring will dry out when exposed to dry environments which can lead to cupping and surface checks in the boards. This occurs because the surface layer of the engineered hardwood is the only part that’s actually shrinking. The core layers, made of plywood or HDF, don’t shrink causing the wood to check where it’s weakest, and curl at the edges.

Hardwood Flooring: Durability

Some people think that engineered hardwood flooring is more durable than solid hardwood flooring and vice versa. This is simply not true. As previously mentioned, engineered hardwood flooring is made up of a layer of hardwood on the surface, which means that it has the same durability as any other hardwood flooring product made of that same type of wood. Essentially, it’s the same hardwood surface, so the durability is the same.

Global Alliance Home Improvement Products: Hardwood Flooring

Whether you’re in the market for engineered hardwood flooring, traditional solid hardwood flooring, or you’re unsure which product is right for your project, talk to a hardwood flooring expert at Global Alliance Home Improvement Products.


Our hardwood flooring professionals can help you evaluate your engineered hardwood or solid hardwood flooring options and help you make the right decision. We also carry the majority of our products in stock so you’ll be able to walk out of our store with your new hardwood flooring in hand. Contact us today for more information: 705-466-9997.


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