Engineered timber flooring might look like solid timber flooring, however, there are key differences to consider when choosing one over the other. Learn about engineered timber flooring, its pros and cons, and how it compares to solid timber flooring here.
What Is Engineered Timber Flooring?
Solid timber flooring is made of a single, solid piece of wood while engineered timber flooring consists of multiple layers. It’s made of a thin top layer of hardwood glued onto less expensive layers of plywood, pinewood, or rubberwood.
Engineered timber flooring looks and feels similar to solid wood flooring and is a more affordable alternative. Most of them come prefinished, meaning they don’t need to be sanded or polished after installation, and they come with protective coatings.
Pros and Cons of Engineered Timber Flooring
Engineered and solid timber flooring are aesthetically similar and both quite pleasing to the eye. Once installed, it’s difficult to tell them apart as the visible top layer is the same. However, engineered timber floorboards can be wider due to their increased stability.
Engineered timber flooring is much more affordable. This is because they use less hardwood, which is what makes solid timber flooring more expensive.
Exact prices vary between different kinds of timber. Raw solid timber flooring will range from between $60 – $120 per square metre. Prefinished, from $65 – $120 per square metre. Meanwhile, engineered timber flooring will range from $65 – $110 per square metre.
The difference might not seem large, but each square metre of flooring you need adds up. Keep in mind as well that engineered timber flooring comes prefinished.
Because they come prefinished, engineered timber flooring is easier to install. Raw solid timber flooring must be sanded and polished after installation.
You can also get prefinished solid timber flooring but getting them raw, allows installers to seal the borders of the floor as well as the gaps between the floorboards. This results in a more beautiful and more stable floor.
Both engineered and solid timber flooring are glued or nailed onto a subfloor. However, engineered timber flooring can also be installed as a floating floor. A floating floor is when a floor is installed over your existing floor without gluing or nailing the floorboards. This makes them suitable for installation in apartments.
If you choose to install a floating floor, be aware that when gaps appear between floorboards, they can create noise when they collide with each other. It can also sound hollower than when it’s not glued down properly. It’s recommended that you install an acoustic underlayment as a remedy for this.
Resistance to Scratches and Impacts
Engineered timber flooring has the advantage of being slightly more resistant to scratches and impacts than solid timber flooring due to its protective coatings. This lessens the need for maintenance. Should your floor need it, engineered timber, depending on the thickness of the top layer can be re-sanded.
However, solid timber flooring has the advantage of allowing you to re-sand and re-polish it more times than with engineered timber flooring. This is because engineered timber flooring only uses a thin layer of hardwood.
Resistance to Moisture
Engineered timber flooring can be more resistant to moisture, making them more stable under humid conditions. Moisture can cause solid timber flooring to expand and become up to 8% thicker.
Engineered timber flooring will last decades, but a well-maintained solid timber flooring will last a lifetime.
Which Should I Pick?
Overall, both are great choices. Homeowners that plan to stay in their current homes for the rest of their lives are likely to get more value in solid timber flooring.
For those with a more constrained budget, engineered timber flooring is a more viable option. It’s also more suitable for temporary renovations and renters as they can have a floating floor installed.
Find Quality Timber Flooring at Competitive Prices at Tile Importer
Tile Importer provides builders, architects, renovators, and home DIYers with affordable, high-quality timber flooring. We offer a wide range including hardwood, softwood, engineered flooring, laminated boards, and more.
Call us at (03) 9562 7181 or email us at [email protected] for samples of our timber flooring.