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

A question that we’re commonly asked is ‘What’s the difference between solid timber flooring and engineered hardwood?’ We’re here to give you a few differentiations between the two products. Although solid and engineered flooring are both made out of hard timber, the composition and installation process of the board types is where the subtle differences appear.

Appearance

While solid hardwood planks are made out of a single solid piece of timber, engineered floors are constructed from thin layers of hardwood bonded over a premium-quality plywood layer that gives the flooring very good stability. 

Engineered hardwood is available in a wide variety of colours and boards vary in size to suit your individual requirements. Solid timber retains its character with it’s unique tones and grains.

A recent project installing Havwoods engineered hardwood at a home in Mosman, Sydney.

Installation

Solid timber flooring is installed with a tongue-and-groove system, in which each board is top-nailed to the subfloor on battens or plywood. While engineered hardwood is directly glued to the subfloor and can even be glued to concrete subfloors providing it has been levelled using a levelling compound.

Wear

As solid timber flooring is made up of solid pieces of timber, it means that it can be resanded and repolished several times to breathe a new life into them. You can alter the appearance of solid timber flooring by lightening or darkening the colour with stains and hardwax oils.

Engineered flooring does not warp and flex upon contact with moisture like solid timber flooring does, however, it cannot usually be refinished as many times as solid hardwood due to its thin layer of actual hardwood over plywood. Therefore, after a few times of refinishing, it must be replaced.

Cost

Solid timber flooring costs more to purchase than engineered flooring. The cost of engineered flooring depends on the plank thickness and quality of the flooring brand and range.

Solid blackbutt flooring was installed throughout this home and finished with a water-based finish.


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