The Difference Between Engineered Hardwood & Solid Hardwood

Engineered hardwood is different from solid hardwood in many respects, including materials, structural composition and resistance. Below is a detailed analysis of some selected differences.

Engineered Hardwood

Engineered hardwood is actually 
produced with three or more
layers of HDF, MDF, with a real 
hardwood vaneer bonded together 
under heat and pressure.

More suitable in high-moisture 
areas or in areas of frequent 
temperature changes than solid 
hardwood due to its “multiple-ply 
plank’ manufacturing.

Engineered hardwood is 
designed for optimal uniformity.

Dimensional Stability:
Constructed to be more 
dimensionally stable through 
multi-ply design. This allows 
greater resistance to temperature 

Resistance to moisture and heat:
Engineered hardwood is surely a 
suitable choice when solid wood is 
not applicable due to increased 
moisture or heat. It is more 
resistant to both if compared 
to solid wood.

Resistance to climatic changes:
Engineered hardwood does not 
warp or cup during climatic 
changes. It is more resistant to 
higher moisture levels than solid 
flooring. It is a better choice for 
installation over radiant heat 
sources, damp basements, and at 
locations in rainy climates.

Solid Hardwood

Solid wood is milled from 
a real hardwood species, making it the 
sole material used in the making 
of the flooring.

Noted for adding overall 
structural strength to the building 
in which it is installed. The 
degree to which this is true 
depends upon the species.

Uniformity varies depending on 
grade. Some grades allow for 
multiple knots, for example.

Dimensional Stability:
Prone to expansion, warping, 
cupping, to a significant degree 
when exposed to temperature 

Resistance to moisture and heat:
Solid wood is unsuitable for 
applications at any location with 
increased moisture or high 
temperatures. These could be 
areas which are not 
environmentally controlled, damp 
areas such as below-grade 
installations and over radiant 

Resistance to climatic changes:
Solid wood generally expands 
and contracts a lot more than 
engineered wood during climatic 
changes, especially extremes in 
heat and cold and rainy season.