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Engineered Oak Timber Vs Hardwood Solid Timber Flooring: Pros And Cons

5 min read
Glenn Thompson February 14th, 2019

There’s a lot to be considered when it comes to choosing the right timber flooring for your next renovation or build. Timber flooring has increased in popularity over the years, and why wouldn’t it? Timber is long-lasting, hardwearing and brings more natural textures into your home.

Both solid timber flooring and engineered timber flooring utilise the natural warmth and earthy feel of real timber and explore a diverse range of colours and finishes. But they both have their benefits and their drawbacks which is what we’re going to discuss with you below.

In this article
What’s The Difference Between Solid Timber Flooring and Engineered Timber Flooring?
What is Engineered Timber Flooring?
How Long Does Engineered Timber Flooring Last?
What Are The Advantages Of Engineered Timber Flooring?
What Are The Disadvantages Of Engineered Timber Flooring
What is Solid Timber Flooring?
How Long Does Solid Timber Flooring Last?
What Are The Advantages Of Solid Timber Flooring?
What Are The Disadvantages of Solid Timber Flooring?

What’s The Difference Between Solid Timber Flooring and Engineered Timber Flooring?

The biggest difference between engineered timber flooring and solid timber flooring is that engineered timber flooring is covered by a warranty and is pre-finished, meaning now acclimatisation, sanding or staining on site.

What is Engineered Timber Flooring?

Engineered timber flooring is a multi-layered floor composed of timber veneer surface layer sitting atop multi ply substrate.

The top layer of the wood approx 3-4mm making it easier to age and condition the wood, reducing the expansion and contraction of the wood, but can still be sanded back and repaired like solid timber flooring. This allows a manufacturer to create a pre-finished floorboard that doesn’t require additional sanding or polishing after installation – this also allows the wood to be delivered, laid and be ready to go all in one day.

How Long Does Engineered Timber Flooring Last?

On average, engineered flooring can expect to last around 20 to 30 years when cared for properly.

When well looked after, timber flooring can expect to last around 10-12 years before it needs to be re-sanded.

What Are The Advantages Of Engineered Timber Flooring?

Oak Engineered Timber Flooring is a fantastic alternative to solid hardwood flooring as it’s less costly than solid hardwood, easier to install but more importantly, comes in a range of 100s of contemporary colours and finishes to freshen any home. Also, it’s very difficult to distinguish from its solid timber flooring once installed.

A few other benefits to Engineered timber flooring are as follows:

  • (As mentioned) it’s less costly than solid hardwood flooring
  • Difficult to tell apart from solid flooring once installed
  • Better resistance to fluctuations in temperature and humidity than solid wood flooring
  • Significantly more stable
  • Pre-finished timber flooring
  • Matt finish coating
  • Can be installed overheat sun floor
  • Available in a wide range of wood species, styles, colours, and finishes
  • The top layer can be sanded and refinished if necessary
  • Quicker installation
  • Environment friendly

The oak engineered floorboards at Smarter Timber Flooring are constructed out of a multilayer ply base. This enhances the stability of the floorboards and significantly reduces the chances of the wood cupping or shrinking over time, which is common in solid timber flooring.

Our Engineered floorboards are coated in the factory under a controlled environment, with a selective colour matching process. This gives customers the confidence they need when ordering their oak timber floorboards.
Our matt finish coating significantly reduces the amount of dust seen on your floorboards and allows homeowners to do spot repairs on their floorboards rather than waiting to fully re-sand and recoat their floorboards as is the only way solid timber floorboards can be repaired.

What Are The Disadvantages Of Engineered Timber Flooring

No flooring is without its drawbacks, and even though we’re strong advocates for engineered timber flooring there are disadvantages to the timber that needs to be considered.

  • Susceptible to fading if in full sun, although this is greatly reduced with oak flooring
  • Slightly less water resistance

What is Solid Timber Flooring?

Solid timber flooring is a traditional style hardwood floor which is a solid piece of wood all the way through. Solid timber flooring is often installed in its raw form which means the timber will need to be sanded down and polished once installed.

Solid timber flooring doesn’t come with any warranty and has to be acclimatised in homes for weeks before installation. The had to be sanded and coated on site which adds more weeks before the flooring can be walked on.

How Long Does Solid Timber Flooring Last?

The lifespan of solid timber flooring is largely dependent on how well your timber floorboards are cared for. When done right, your floorboards can last for more than 40 years.

What Are The Advantages Of Solid Timber Flooring?

As mentioned previously, one of the biggest benefits of solid timber flooring is the ability to be able to sand the floorboards 3-4 times.

A few other benefits to solid timber flooring are as follows:

  • Can be used as your subfloor when being installed over bearers and joints
  • Sanded and coated after all trades are done

What Are The Disadvantages of Solid Timber Flooring?

As we said, no flooring is without its drawbacks, not even solid timber flooring which we’ve detailed for you below:

  • High Gloss that can show dirt and dust and require extra cleaning
  • High gloss floors can require more maintenance and are a lot more difficult to repair than engineered floorboards
  • Less stable than engineered timber flooring
  • Thinner board sizes can add to clutter in homes
  • Installation time can be between 4-6 weeks
  • Longer wait time – Solid floorboards have to be acclimatised in the home for approx 6 weeks, then installed, coated and allowed to fully cure before homeowners can move in
  • Limited choice of colours available
  • More expensive option

Choosing timber flooring that’s right for you ultimately comes down to personal preference and functionality. With over 40 years of experience in the flooring industry, our team of experts are here to assist you in choosing a timber flooring that suits your needs.

There are a lot more hours on site required when installing solid timber floorboards. Once installed sanding of the solid timber floorboards is required and also then 2-3 coats on the floorboards on site.

Glenn Thompson

Senior Sales Advisor
Glenn has 10+ years of being a chippy and is quite literally part of the family. Being a builder Glenn knows how important it is to have quality finishes and craftsmanship.
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