26 Jun 2024
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The answer to a timeless space often lies right beneath your feet. Timber flooring is famously known for its durability, natural elegance, and ability to add warmth and character to any interior. Among the many types of timber flooring available, the most common options are solid timber and engineered timber.

While both offer the good looks and strength of natural wood, the composition and installation process are where the differences appear. Choosing the right one depends on your priorities, preferences, and the specifications of the space. 

We previously explored the numerous benefits of wood flooring for modern homes. Now, let’s take a closer look at the key differences between solid and engineered timber flooring

A stylish, open-space kitchen area adorned with oak timber flooring.

What is the difference between solid and engineered wood?

Solid timber flooring, as the name suggests, is made from solid planks of hardwood. Whether you choose sustainably sourced Red Ironbark or premium Merbau, a solid timber floor is a remarkable asset to any home or commercial property. 

Engineered timber, on the other hand, features a top layer of real wood bonded to a core made of plywood or other stable materials. This, and other differences in their construction, lead to various pros and cons.

Below, you’ll find a rundown of how solid timber and engineered timber flooring compare: 

 

A table comparing different factors between engineered timber and solid timber flooring

 

So, is solid wood better than engineered wood?

There’s no clear winner or loser when it comes to engineered flooring vs solid timber. It all boils down to the design and functionality you desire for your space. Here are a few quick examples to help you decide: 

 A modern, open-space dining area with natural light and featuring oak timber flooring.
Classic solid timber

 

Solid timber stands tall if your top priority is longevity and a classic aesthetic. Made entirely from planks of solid hardwood, it offers: 

Unmatched resilience: Solid timber is built to last. With proper care and refinishing every few decades (depending on wear and tear), it can grace your floors for generations. Think of historic buildings with their original hardwood floors and how they age like a fine wine.

Timeless beauty: Solid timber showcases the natural variations in wood grain and colour, offering a truly unique look with the added edge of prestige. Imagine the rich warmth of Jarrah or the elegant honey tones of Spotted Gum – solid timber brings the beauty of nature right into your interior.

 

However, keep in mind:

Budget considerations: Solid timber tends to be more expensive due to the material and installation process.

Environmental needs: Solid timber thrives in stable environments with consistent temperature and humidity. Basements, bathrooms, or areas with higher humidity might cause warping or cupping over time.

A chic dining area with a cosy ambiance, featuring engineered European oak timber.
Modern engineered timber

 

Engineered timber emerges as a strong contender for its adaptability and design flexibility. The construction of real wood bonded to a stable core offers several advantages:

Stability: Engineered timber excels in adapting to fluctuating temperatures and humidity. This makes it perfect for sunrooms or open-plan living areas where temperature and humidity might vary.

Affordability: Engineered timber offers a more budget-friendly option compared to solid timber in terms of the material and installation costs, making it a great choice for those looking for the beauty of real wood without breaking the bank.

Design versatility: Engineered timber comes in a wider range of styles and finishes. You can achieve anything from a sleek, modern look, as seen with the Percara colour profile, to a more traditional aesthetic like the soft-toned Blackbutt.

 

However, it’s important to take into account: 

Refinishing limitations: Due to the thinner top layer compared to solid timber, engineered flooring can’t be sanded or refinished more than twice.

Shorter lifespan: It’s true that engineered timber will last longer than other flooring options like laminate or tile, etc, but with the proper care and maintenance, solid wood will always come out on top.

 

To make your final decision with confidence, call or stop by our showroom. Explore our timber solutions in person, chat with our flooring experts, and get a feel for what speaks to your space and lifestyle.

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