The pros and cons of engineered and solid wood floors

Posted: April 3, 2023

When it comes to hardwood flooring, there are two primary options available: engineered hardwood vs. solid wood flooring. While both have their advantages and disadvantages, it’s important to weigh them against your specific needs and preferences before making a final decision. Next, we’ll compare the pros and cons of both engineered hardwood vs. solid wood flooring.


Engineered hardwood, like our engineered white oak flooring, is made up of multiple layers of wood, with the top layer being a real hardwood of choice. This type of flooring is constructed to resist moisture, making it ideal for areas such as the basement, bathrooms, or kitchens. Here are some pros and cons of engineered hardwood flooring.


  1. Durability: Engineered hardwood flooring is known for its durability, stability, and resistance to scratches and dents. The multiple layers of wood give it added strength and superior stability against shrinking and swelling.
  2. Cost-effective: Engineered hardwood is often less expensive than solid hardwood flooring. This makes it an attractive option for those who want the look of hardwood without an expensive price tag.
  3. Environmentally friendly: Engineered hardwood flooring is often made from sustainably sourced and certified wood, which makes it an environmentally-friendly option.


  1. Limited refinishing: Unlike solid hardwood flooring, engineered can only be refinished a few times before it needs to be replaced. However, this is contingent on the thickness of the sold wear layer. Many cheap engineered floors only have a 1-3 mm wear layer.
  2. Appearance: While Engineered hardwood is made with a real wood veneer, it may not look as authentic as a solid hardwood floor Especially when viewed from the end with a very thin veneer.
  3. Quality: The quality of engineered hardwood can vary depending on the manufacturer. It’s important to do your own research before purchasing to ensure you’re getting a high-quality product.


Solid hardwood flooring, like that from our Douglas Fir wood floors, is made from a single piece of hardwood giving it a traditional and authentic look. Here are some of the pros and cons of solid hardwood flooring.


  1. Appearance: Solid hardwood flooring is often considered the gold standard of flooring. Its authentic look and feel can add significant value to your home.
  2. Refinishing options: Unlike engineered hardwood, solid hardwood can be sanded and refinished many times, allowing you to change its appearance, refresh, or change stain color multiple times throughout its lifespan. If taken care of properly, a solid hardwood floor will outlast the lifespan of the home.
  3. Durability: Solid hardwood flooring is well known for its durability and resistance to wear and tear because it can be refinished multiple times. If properly maintained, it can last decades and even centuries.


  1. Cost: Solid hardwood flooring is often more expensive than engineered hardwood. This can make it difficult for those on a budget to afford.
  2. Susceptibility to moisture: Solid hardwood flooring is susceptible to fluctuations in moisture which can result in shrinking, swelling, and buckling if exposed to excess water. This makes it less ideal for areas such as bathrooms, laundry rooms, and basements.
  3. Installation: installing a solid hardwood floor can be a complicated and time-consuming process. It’s best to hire a professional to ensure it’s done correctly and avoid expensive mistakes.


When it comes to weighing the pros and cons of engineered hardwood vs. solid wood flooring it’s important to consider your budget, design preferences, performance, longevity, and aesthetics. If you’re on a budget and need moisture-resistant flooring, engineered hardwood may be the best option for you. If you’re looking for a traditional, timeless, and authentic look, solid hardwood may be the way to go. Ultimately, the decision comes down to your specific needs and preferences.

Our knowledgeable and educated staff is here to answer any additional questions you may have. Please call us today for a free quote: Ph# 406.642.7120 or click here to submit an inquiry online. We look forward to working with you on your next project!