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What’s the difference between solid and engineered hardwood?

Blog > What’s the difference between solid and engineered hardwood? Isn’t all wood flooring the same?

What’s the difference between solid and engineered hardwood? Isn’t all wood flooring the same?

This is a great question, but we can only partially answer it here. To get a better sense of what different hardwoods are available, you have to come to our showroom in Elkton, MD. At Elkton Carpet & Tile, our staff would instead show you the difference than tell you the difference. In short, when you are talking about different kinds of hardwood, we can put them into three categories: material, construction, and size.


The list is endless when it comes to materials from which hardwood flooring is constructed. Oak is a common material, and maple is classic. In addition, you may want to choose from a species of hickory, birch, or walnut. If you want an exotic, then you can get Acacia wood as well. Each of these woods has a specific grain pattern and a base color that is unique to them.


There are two ways that wood flooring is constructed. The solid hardwood flooring is where the boards are planed down, then fit tongue and grooves in the boards together to allow them to fasten tightly. The other format is engineered. Layers of hardwood are attached to a plywood backing that is fastened crosswise. This plywood backing allows for more stability when it comes to areas that are affected by moisture. Usually, it is the "go-to" for concrete slabs in the lower levels of homes. Solid hardwood flooring tends to warp with moisture present, whereas engineered flooring does not.


Hardwood boards have different sizes to them to create different looks. Some are cut with a two-and-a-quarter inch in thickness, and some are as wide as eight inches. Some floors are designed with a mix and match appearance, which can be very appealing to look at. While we are talking about size, there is also the thickness of the board to consider. The general rule is that the thicker the board, the more you can sand and refinish it.

If you are interested in wood flooring for your home, Elkton Carpet & Tile is a hardwood flooring company that can serve you. We serve the following areas: North East, Chesapeake City, Rising Sun, Newark, Middletown, Bear, New Castle, Wilmington, and White Hall. Let us help you with your hardwood flooring project. Call us today!