The Difference Between Solid and Engineered Hardwood Flooring in Santa Cruz, CA

October 26, 2018 10:38 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Whether you’re choosing wood flooring for a new home or to replace an old floor, you should research your options. Flooring contractors may suggest installing either solid hardwood floor or engineered hardwood planks. You want wood floors, so you’re good with either option. Most of us hear “hardwood floors” and assume that term indicates real wood. Although they seem similar, there is actually a big difference between solid and engineered hardwood.

While both options are considered “real” hardwood flooring, they are surprisingly different from each other. Without further ado, let’s review the differences between solid flooring and engineered hardwood flooring in Santa Cruz, CA.


Solid hardwood planks are milled from a single piece of natural wood and coated in a thin, clear protective layer that’s typically ceramic, aluminum oxide or an acrylic substance. Engineered wood flooring planks, meanwhile, are constructed from multiple sheets of thin hardwood that are layered over one another. It’s typical for three to five layers to be bonded together under extreme heat and pressure.


The great thing about solid and engineered wood planks is that both can be sanded down and refinished to remove imperfections in the surface, like scratches and dents. But they do differ in one key way. Made of one piece of solid wood, you can refinish hardwood flooring to increase its lifespan. On the other hand, because engineered wood does not have a protective top veneer layer, this type of flooring can only withstand one or two resurfacing treatments.

Seasonal expansion and contraction

As you may know, wood expands when temperatures are warm, and it shrinks in colder temperatures. For this reason, any feature made of solid wood, like fences and flooring, must have its boards carefully spaced out to prevent gap formation between planks during changes in temperature. Engineered hardwood flooring is meant to be installed quickly and easily, so it doesn’t expand and contract as much as solid hardwood.

The best option for you

It’s a good idea to speak with a flooring specialist before settling on a flooring option. Here are some things to keep in mind when deciding. Your wood plank decision is determined by where you want to install it and what your goals are in terms of design and aesthetics. It’s better to install engineered hardwood flooring on a lower level or in an area with moisture or high or low humidity. Installing a new floor on an above-grade level and still want to use hardwood? Solid hardwood will work well.


When engineered hardwood is topped with a veneer of actual wood, it can look just like solid hardwood flooring. Engineered hardwood floors are often more durable, easier to install and require little maintenance, but well maintained solid wood floors, though the more expensive option, can last for decades, much longer than the lifespan of engineered wood.

For more information about solid hardwood and engineered hardwood flooring in Santa Cruz, CA, don’t hesitate to contact the team at The Wholesale House. We’re happy to show you samples and answer your questions!

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