Differences between solid, engineered and composite wood flooring?

There are three main categories of wood flooring available to the consumer

Solid Wood or Hard Wood

Solid wood flooring is a solid piece of wood from top to bottom.

Engineered Wood

Engineered wood flooring is real wood from top to bottom. It normally is made using multiple veneers of wood or wood slats glued together at opposing directions.

Composite Engineered Wood

Engineered composite wood flooring contains real wood on the wearable surface only. The backing and core material may be made up of any type of composite material.

What is the difference between Solid Wood or Hard Wood and Engineered Wood?

Solid wood is a solid piece of wood cut from tree, whereas engineered wood is comprised of multiple layers of wood adhered together at opposing directions to counter-act the effects of contraction and expansion. This is why engineered wood floors are able to boast longer and wider widths compared to solid, which is limited to smaller formats to remain dimensionally stable, and why engineered wood is best suited for the majority of end users in the U.S.


When choosing your wood floor, there are five considerations that will best help you narrow your hardwood flooring choice:


The lower gloss, the less prone the floor will be to show everyday wear and tear. Having a nice, waxy oil-look floor is great visually, but will show scratches and scuffs more easily.


A grainier species like an oak or hickory is less likely to show markings than a smooth exotic or domestic maple.


Have the consumer think of ways to break up the surface of the floor. Hand scraping and other slight distressing techniques can help mask imperfections.


Lighter to mid-tone will show scratches less than a really dark or rich tone.


Comparing hardness can be difficult and is influenced by the type of wood. Measured according to janka scale.