Engineered Vs. Hardwood Flooring: Which Is Better?

wood floor in open living room with beams and large couch

Many homeowners struggle with the choice between engineered and hardwood flooring. The type that is best for you will depend on what your needs are. Here are a few points to consider when making a choice.


Engineered flooring is generally much easier and less expensive to install. With a hardwood floor you may have to hire a professional. The planks need to be cut with exact measurements and the actual act of placing and setting the hardwood can be complicated. Engineered flooring is always simpler to install. It’s generally a do-it-yourself job and can be completed in just a day or two, depending on the size of the room and how much time you spend on it.


Engineered flooring is always finished for you when you purchase it. With solid hardwood, you need to sand and finish it to the desired look yourself. If you purchase hardwood planks that are pre-finished for you, you will spend a substantial amount more on this. Engineered wood will also not need to be sanded and refinished down the road. If you have solid hardwood in heavy traffic area, you may need to sand and refinish more often.


If you choose to lay a solid hardwood floor, you need to make sure that moisture won’t become an issue. Hardwood flooring isn’t good to use in bathrooms, garage workshops, or basements because the moisture levels tend to be higher. An engineered floor on the other hand can withstand a small amount of moisture, and is more suitable for these areas.


Engineered flooring is real wood. The belief that it's not is a common misconception. The reason engineered flooring is different is because it’s not solid hardwood. Engineered wood is made of several layers of wood that have been glued together. The top layer is then veneered and finished to look like its solid hardwood. The main difference is in the cost and maintenance. Most people won’t even know it’s engineered after it has been installed.

Resale Value

Many people say that hardwood flooring will help the resale value of your home. If you plan on moving with in ten years, then installing hardwood floors may be a better option of you are looking at resale value. Although many people will tell you that engineered wood flooring doesn’t decrease the resale value, it may not be appealing to a potential buyer.

Environmental Concerns

Solid hardwood flooring is actually more environmentally friendly than engineered flooring. Engineered flooring has to go through more processing, and usually more wood, to create a single plank of flooring. If you’re looking to go green, consider either solid hardwood from a sustainable wood, or a composite material that is made with reclaimed wood and recycled plastics.