The Difference Between Engineered and Solid Hardwood

Wood flooring options

When searching for new wood floors for your home, you may be faced with the question of engineered or solid hardwood flooring. Engineered hardwood flooring is designed to be a reasonable substitute for solid hardwood, but which type should you use in your home? Below are some comparisons between the two to help you make a decision.

What It Is

Solid Hardwood: Solid hardwood flooring is 100% wood

Engineered Hardwood: Engineered flooring is made from a thin slice of hardwood on top of a high-quality plywood base.

Thickness and Width

Solid Hardwood: This type of flooring is usually ¾ inches thick and 3.25 inches in width.

Engineered Hardwood: Engineered hardwood is 3/8 to ½ inch thick and 3.25 inches wide.

Wood Species

Solid Hardwood: There are many choices of wood species for natural hardwood, such as red oak, white oak, maple, hickory, and pine.

Engineered Hardwood: There are fewer choices of wood species for engineered hardwood, but red oak, hickory, and Brazilian cherry are all usable.


Solid Hardwood: Solid hardwood is nailed or stapled to the floor and never installed on a floating base.

Engineered Hardwood: This type of flooring is easier to install, as it can be glued, stapled, nailed, or clicked into place.


Solid Hardwood: Solid hardwood has excellent durability and can last for decades if properly maintained.

Engineered Hardwood: Though this flooring is not quite as long-lasting as solid hardwood, it will still hold up for many years.

Learn more about your flooring options by contacting Herndon Service today. Our flooring contractors in Fairfax County, VA, will help you choose the perfect option for your tastes and needs.