Solid Flooring or Engineered Flooring, Which should I install?

Solid Timber Flooring:

A solid traditional timber floor is still sought after by many. It generally offers more flexibility when installing (as the installer can machine timber profiles for joints, makeup stair treads, profiles and skirting to match), and the choice of sealant can be decided after the installation. It is also arguably easier to repair a solid timber floor and, as there is generally more timber above the tongue, should last longer.

With solid timber floors, a much stronger adhesive and a very good moisture barrier is required, to hold the floor in place and to prevent excessive movement. It is not recommended to install solid timber above under-floor heating, and even then gaps of up to 2-3mm can be deemed as normal in a solid timber floor with or without underfloor heating.

This type of flooring is more durable however requires more skilled installers which is why we ALWAYS recommend installers who we have personally trained.

Engineered Hardwood Floors:

Engineered hardwood flooring is typically a product made up of a core of hardwood, plywood or HDF and a top layer of hardwood veneer that is glued on the top surface of the core and is available in almost any hardwood species. The product thus has the natural characteristics of the selected wood species as opposed to a photographic layer on plastic (laminate flooring).

Generally, the engineered floorboard will have either a three-ply base (made of poplar and pine) or a multiply base which is typically made of birch. The latter product is probably more stable, however, a good quality three-ply floor installed correctly is every bit as a good as a multilayer floor.

Engineered flooring (when glued down) can also be installed over underfloor heating that has been cut into the screed, or the water pipe version. Certainly in any situation where moisture is an issue such as a bathroom or kitchen, the multilayer floor would be the first preference. Also, since the hardwood layer is only a few millimetres in thickness, a lot of hardwood is saved by going for this option.

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