Building Tips

4 Reasons to Choose Engineered Hardwood Over Solid

We are always getting asked about our floors. It’s probably the most asked question on our Instagram posts. Our floors are engineered hardwood, and we absolutely love them. But many of the people that ask about them don’t have much experience with engineered.  So I thought I would write an article about why we like engineered so much and why we actually prefer it over solid. 

What is engineered hardwood?

Engineered hard wood is made of a high-quality plywood for the base, and on top is a thin layer of actual hardwood, which is the part that you see. This is why it isn’t correct when people say it isn’t even real hardwood. The top layer can be different species of wood, but in the case of our floors, it is white oak.

Here are five reasons we prefer it over solid hardwood:

1. Wide Range of Choices

When choosing an engineered hardwood, you have a wide variety of widths, colors, and styles. It almost seems unlimited. This allows you to choose an exact flooring that fits the look and feel of your home. I feel that solid hardwood is somewhat limited with color choices and grain variation.

It’s also more difficult to create a specific color by mixing stains for solid flooring, or find a finisher that is willing to do non-traditional colors. Although this can be challenging, we actually ended up going with solid stair treads and matched the color of our engineered flooring to where it was very close.  

2. More Affordable

Engineered hardwood is typically more affordable. It ranges anywhere from $3 to $14 dollars a square foot while solid ranges between $5-$16. This being said, professional installation is also much cheaper on engineered. If you like hands-on projects like us, it can definitely even be a DIY. With a combination of price per plank and installation, this could be a savings of several thousand dollars!

3. Easy Installation

We have had the pleasure of putting down both engineered and solid hardwood. Engineered hardwood was much easier and faster for us to install. It also gives you flexibility in installation methods.  For example, you can staple or nail, float, or glue it. We chose to use a nailer and it was a very simple process.

Since engineered hardwood is more affordable, this will also allow you to purchase a wider plank. We chose a 7 1/2 inch plank which made for a much quicker installation. I couldn’t imagine anyone not wanting a project to go smoother or faster.

And probably my favorite part, once you nail in that last peace, that is it. It’s done! Since it is pre-finished, you don’t have to deal with the stink of polyurethane.

4. Great Durability

So, if I haven’t completely sold you yet, I have yet another great point. Engineered hardwood is very durable. We know this because we have tested and we definitely approve! It’s actually kind of funny, but in one of our houses we had a flood. Apparently, our three year old son at the time, thought it was great idea to flush toys down his toilet upstairs. This resulted in an inch of water standing on the hardwood for several hours.

I am happy to report, the floor withstood the water and was not damaged at all! Because engineered hardwood is bonded together by intense heat and pressure, it is more likely to not shrink and expand. It is considered strong and very resistant to warping. We were completely sold after this!

We also have been very impressed with the amount of scratches or lack thereof on the engineered versus solid wood which we have had in the past. On our current floor, I think there are only two that we know of.

Although both solid and engineered hardwood add natural beauty and warmth to any home, I feel that engineered hardwood has much more to offer. With it being more reasonably priced, easier to install, more durable, and offering a great overall look, it’s an easy choice for us.

Previous Post Next Post

You may also like


  • Reply Heidi

    Your floors look great! Thank you for the source information. I was wondering if you would mind sharing the source of your gorgeous windows – exactly the look I’m going for in an apartment renovation I am currently undertaking in Rockport, Maine. Would love your information!!!! I’ve enjoyed your tutorials on your stove hood, floating shelves and sliding barn doors – all elements we are incorporating in the apartments. Would love to see some photos of your bathrooms!!!

    January 24, 2019 at 10:20 pm
    • Reply Brooke

      Thanks! Glad you are enjoying our blog and tutorials. Our windows are Plygem aluminum clad double hung. There’s a few pics of our bathrooms on our instagram page. Good luck with your renovation!

      January 25, 2019 at 4:26 am
  • Reply kelly

    I love the floors in the pictures. CAn you share what type of engineered floor they are?
    Thank you!

    January 25, 2019 at 3:27 am
    • Reply Brooke

      Thanks Kelly! They are called Padua from ADM flooring.

      January 25, 2019 at 4:26 am
  • Reply Lisa

    I think you may have sold me!

    January 25, 2019 at 4:47 am
    • Reply Brooke

      That’s great Lisa. I think you’ll really like engineered hardwood.

      January 27, 2019 at 2:16 am
  • Reply Christen

    Talk to me about cleaning engineered floors? Are you able to use water and mop them, rather that just dust mopping them? I have a friend who said her engineered floors started to peel after wet mopping.

    February 6, 2019 at 2:42 pm
    • Reply Henry

      Hi Christen. I don’t think it is recommended to use water to clean any type of hardwood floors. We use a floor cleaner paired with a microfiber mop.

      February 12, 2019 at 3:00 pm
  • Reply Mia

    Love the floors!

    Are they a light brown with no pink or red undertones correct? Any idea on the veneer thickness?


    November 22, 2019 at 2:42 pm
    • Reply Henry

      Hello Mia! You are correct, no pink or red. The thickness is 3 millimeter for the top layer.

      December 3, 2019 at 5:52 pm
  • Reply Luke

    Hi Henry and Brooke! We are considering pulling the trigger on this Padua. We have 3 kids and will be getting a great dane. Are we crazy? We are deciding between the ADM Padua and a high quality laminate like Pergo. I read above that the floors held up well to water. Have you had dogs on them? Cheers and thanks!

    November 27, 2019 at 6:58 pm
    • Reply Henry

      Hey Luke! You are not crazy at all! We have a son who is 13 and rides scooters and skateboard in our home. We also have a small dog. Not sure about huge dogs though. We love them and think you will also!

      December 3, 2019 at 5:54 pm
  • Reply Dianna

    Love your floors! We are in process of deciding on floor choice in new home. We have two golden retrievers and worry about scratches. Do you think engineered floors are more durable then regular hardwood?

    January 14, 2020 at 2:19 am
  • Reply cindy chenault

    did you put this your new house?

    April 15, 2020 at 8:40 pm
  • Reply Jessica

    Hi! I literally chose my floors for our new house based off of your blog. They are gorgeous! We are going with ADM Flooring’s – Padua. Our stairs are open on one side and ADM doesn’t make stair treads with open stair tread returns. I see you have open stairs. What did you do to solve this?

    January 29, 2021 at 3:02 am
  • Reply US Vintage Wood

    Engineered hardwood is best for the industry. Thanks for giving more pieces of information.

    June 6, 2022 at 10:55 am
  • Leave a Reply