Hardwood Flooring in Mid-Missouri

Engineered Hardwood vs. Solid Hardwood: Understanding the Differences

When it comes to choosing hardwood flooring, the decision often boils down to engineered hardwood vs. solid hardwood. Both options offer unique benefits and characteristics, but understanding the differences between them is crucial in making an informed decision for your home. 

The basics: what is engineered hardwood and solid hardwood?

Engineered hardwood

Engineered hardwood is crafted from multiple layers of wood veneers pressed together in a cross-grain construction. The top layer, also known as the wear layer, is made of real hardwood, while the underlying layers are composed of high-quality plywood or fiberboard. This construction method enhances stability and resistance to moisture, making engineered hardwood suitable for areas where solid hardwood might not be ideal, such as basements or bathrooms.

Solid hardwood

On the other hand, solid hardwood is precisely what its name suggests: solid wood planks milled from a single piece of timber. Solid hardwood offers timeless beauty and durability, as it can be sanded and refinished multiple times throughout its lifespan. However, it is more susceptible to moisture and temperature fluctuations compared to engineered hardwood.

Key differences between engineered and solid hardwood


The most significant difference between engineered and solid hardwood lies in their construction. Engineered hardwood features a layered structure, which provides enhanced stability and resistance to moisture. Conversely, solid hardwood is a single piece of wood, making it more susceptible to expansion and contraction due to changes in humidity levels.


Installation methods vary between engineered and solid hardwood flooring. Engineered hardwood offers more flexibility and can be installed using various techniques, including floating, glue-down, or staple-down methods. Solid hardwood, on the other hand, is typically nailed or stapled down during installation, requiring a stable subfloor to prevent warping or buckling.

Durability and maintenance

While both engineered and solid hardwood floors are durable, solid hardwood holds the edge in terms of longevity and the ability to be refinished multiple times. However, engineered hardwood's top layer can also be sanded and refinished, albeit fewer times than solid hardwood. When it comes to maintenance, both types of hardwood flooring require regular cleaning and maintenance to preserve their beauty and longevity.

Factors to consider when choosing between engineered and solid hardwood


Engineered hardwood tends to be more budget-friendly than solid hardwood, making it an attractive option for homeowners looking to achieve the look of hardwood flooring without breaking the bank. However, it's essential to consider long-term costs, as solid hardwood can be refinished multiple times, extending its lifespan and potentially offsetting the initial investment.

Location and environment

The location and environment of the installation area play a crucial role in determining whether engineered or solid hardwood is the right choice. Engineered hardwood's superior resistance to moisture makes it suitable for below-grade installations or areas with fluctuating humidity levels, such as basements or kitchens. Solid hardwood, on the other hand, is best suited for above-grade installations in dry environments.

Aesthetic preferences

Both engineered and solid hardwood flooring offer a wide range of species, colors, and finishes to suit various aesthetic preferences and interior design styles. Whether you prefer the timeless elegance of oak or the warm tones of maple, there's a hardwood flooring option to complement any decor scheme.

Visit Dugan's for expert guidance and quality flooring solutions

The choice between engineered hardwood and solid hardwood ultimately depends on your specific needs, preferences, and budget. Engineered hardwood offers enhanced stability and moisture resistance, making it suitable for a wide range of applications, while solid hardwood provides timeless beauty and the ability to be refinished multiple times. By understanding the differences between these two options and considering factors such as location, budget, and aesthetic preferences, you can make an informed decision that enhances the beauty and value of your home for years to come.

Ready to explore your options and find the perfect hardwood flooring for your home? Visit Dugan's today! With showrooms in Sedalia, Laurie, Osage Beach, and Bolivar, MO, we proudly serve the areas of Mid-Missouri, including Osage Beach, Laurie, Sedalia, Bolivar, and Springfield. Our team of flooring experts is dedicated to helping you find the perfect flooring solution that meets your needs, style, and budget. Contact us or visit our showrooms to get started on your flooring project today!