020 88309782
Monday - Friday 07:30 - 17:30, Saturday 07:30 - 16:00

Flooring Services Guide

Resources on Floor Sanding & Fitting

Back to Wood Floor Fitting

Solid Wood vs. Engineered Wood Floors: Uncover the Perfect Flooring Fit

Fitting engineered wood planksChoosing the right type of wood flooring, whether it's solid or engineered, is a common question that many customers face. To help you make an informed decision, let's delve deeper into the pros, cons, and pricing of these options.

Solid wood floors, such as oak, cherry, or maple, offer an undeniable charm and enhanced resistance to physical damage. One of the major advantages of solid wood is its ability to be re-sanded multiple times, allowing you to restore its original beauty even after the protective sealant wears off. However, it's essential to consider the impact of humidity. Areas with damp subfloors, frequent flooding, or rapid humidity fluctuations pose a higher risk of shrinkage and deformation for solid wood planks.

For instance, a South-facing conservatory with its exposure to varying temperatures and humidity levels or a cellar with constant high humidity may not be ideal for solid wood flooring. In such scenarios, opting for an alternative becomes crucial. Engineered wood flooring proves to be an excellent choice in these cases. Engineered wood layers are specifically designed to be more resistant to higher temperatures and humidity, surpassing the challenges that could severely damage solid wood flooring. However, it's important to note that engineered floors have one significant disadvantage compared to solid wood— their shorter lifespan.

Engineered wood blocks typically come in thicknesses ranging from 18 to 20 mm, with a top layer of natural wood that's usually around 5 mm thin. While this thinner layer allows for refinishing and sanding once or twice, it also means that the lifespan of engineered wood flooring is typically shorter, lasting around 5 to 7 years.

When it comes to pricing, engineered floors exhibit significant variability. Starting from £30.00 per square meter (exclusive of VAT), the price can sometimes skyrocket and surpass what you would pay for solid wood flooring featuring the same surface finish. However, it's important to evaluate these price variations in the context of your specific installation conditions. In certain cases, the higher cost may be justified and well worth it, depending on the environmental factors of the area where the flooring will be installed.

To summarise:

Tongue and groove system used for hardwood flooring

Hardwood Floors: Timeless Elegance

  • Made out of a single piece of 100% natural wood
  • The most popular profile is tongue-and-groove
  • Less resistant to high humidity levels
  • It is harder to install
  • Unless you keep a consistent temperature during the different seasons expect minor gapping
  • Can be sanded multiple times and generally last longer
  • In most cases, it is more expensive than engineered flooring

Can be installed on or above grade with nails or staples

Sideview of a click system used for engineered wood

Engineered Floors: Versatility and Durability

  • Made out of multiple planks of different wood species
  • Can be tongue and groove or click-lock
  • More resistant to temperature changes
  • Incredibly easy to install
  • Minimal seasonal movement
  • Can be refinished only two or three types at most which usually means the shorter life span
  • Most of the time it is cheaper than hardwood
  • Can be installed above, on or below grade

By considering the unique characteristics and advantages of both solid and engineered wood flooring, you can select the option that best fits your needs, budget, and the specific conditions of your installation area. Ultimately, it's about finding the perfect blend of beauty, functionality, and longevity for your space.

FlooringFirst! Services
158 Coles Green Road
London, NW2 7HW
T: 020 88309782