The Difference Between Traditional Hardwood Flooring and Engineered Wood Flooring

Traditional Hardwood Flooring and Engineered Wood Flooring

Decided that your floors are going to be adored and praised for a long time as you have chosen to install Hardwood Flooring. Congrats! You have passed the first step. Maybe you have also made the decision two- select the wood species, oak, maple, hickory, or something else you like.

But, do you have an answer when your hardwood flooring contractor asks, “Which one- traditional hardwood flooring or engineered hardwood flooring?” Now, you have to face another decision: Traditional Hardwood flooring vs. Engineered Hardwood Flooring. With all these long decision-making processes, you must tired enough to get your head hurt.

Relax! Let’s clear this third one for you and brief you with the details so you can make the right decision. Scroll Down and Read Towards the End!



Traditional Hardwood Flooring

Crafted from solid wood planks sourced from hardwood trees like oak, maple, or cherry, traditional hardwood flooring is known for its natural variations in color, grain patterns, and knots. These planks are milled to precise dimensions and can vary in thickness, adding a unique charm to each floor.

Engineered Hardwood Flooring

Engineered wood flooring is a modern alternative designed for enhanced stability and versatility. It consists of multiple layers bonded together, with the top layer being a hardwood veneer that provides the genuine look and feel of solid hardwood. Beneath the veneer, there are layers of plywood or high-density fiberboard (HDF) that give the flooring its stability and strength. This construction allows engineered wood flooring to be more resistant to moisture and temperature changes, making it suitable for areas where traditional hardwood may not be ideal.



Traditional Hardwood Flooring

Installation of traditional hardwood flooring often involves nailing or stapling the planks directly onto a wooden subfloor. This method requires skill and precision to ensure a secure fit and a smooth finish or the touch of an experienced hardwood contractor is always better. Because it is solid wood, it can easily be refinished and sanded several times over its lifespan to maintain its appearance.

Engineered Hardwood Flooring

Engineered wood flooring offers more installation options. It can be glued down, nailed, or even floated over an existing floor. Floating installation, where the planks are clicked together and not attached to the subfloor, is particularly popular for DIY projects and areas where nailing or gluing is not feasible. This versatility makes engineered wood flooring a practical choice for various installation scenarios.

Appearance and Style


Traditional Hardwood Flooring

Solid hardwood gives a classic and genuine look, available in many types of wood like oak, maple, and cherry. Each type has its own patterns and colors. You can choose from different finishes, like shiny or matte, to match your home’s style. Hardwood flooring comes in planks that can be 8 to 12 inches wide. Once it’s installed, the boards fit closely together, creating a smooth surface.

Engineered Hardwood Flooring

Engineered wood flooring looks very similar to hardwood but offers more width options. It’s made of layers, with a real wood layer on top that looks just like solid hardwood once it’s installed. Engineered wood is usually sold already finished, and while there are fewer choices in colors and styles compared to hardwood, it still provides a beautiful look for your home.

Tip: Choose the type of hardwood floor wisely that suits your needs and home’s style. Each type of hardwood has its features that can reflect time and seasons. Take suggestions or help from a hardwood flooring company to get the best result.

Maintenance and Care


Traditional Hardwood Flooring

It is relatively easy to clean and maintain traditional hardwood flooring. Most floors only need vacuuming and sweeping, with occasional mopping using an approved wood cleaner to treat stains. Avoid using steam or water to clean wood floors. It can also be refinished and sanded down several times throughout its life to maintain its appearance from wear and tear.

Engineered Hardwood Flooring

Just like traditional hardwood flooring, engineered hardwood flooring also needs sweeping and vacuuming to stay clean. Occasional mopping with wood cleaner can revitalize the top layer. Due to its thin layer, it cannot be refinished or sanded several times as traditional hardwood flooring. After two or three refinishes, the layer of hardwood exhausts and needed to repair the planks.



Traditional Hardwood Flooring

Solid hardwood flooring lasts a really long time compared to other types of flooring. With the right care, it can stay in good shape for 30 to 100 years. Some houses still have hardwood floors that were installed 80 years ago, showing just how durable they are.

Engineered Hardwood Flooring

Engineered wood flooring doesn’t last quite as long as solid hardwood, but it can still stay in good condition for up to 30 years or more if you take care of it. While you can’t refinish the entire floor as often as solid hardwood, one advantage of engineered wood is that you can easily replace individual planks, especially those that are installed with the click-and-lock method.

Water, Heat, and Environment


Traditional Hardwood Flooring

Hardwood floors can be damaged by water and heat. Too much water can make the wood bend or swell, while extreme heat can make it dry and crack. It’s important to keep your home’s temperature and humidity levels stable to protect your hardwood floors.

Engineered Hardwood Flooring

Engineered wood flooring is better at handling water and temperature changes than solid hardwood. Its layered construction helps it resist bending and swelling, making it a good choice for areas with changing humidity. Still, it’s important to clean up spills quickly and keep your home’s environment stable to keep your engineered wood floors looking great.

What to Choose?


When choosing between traditional hardwood flooring and engineered wood flooring, it’s important to think about what you like, how much you can spend, and how you live. Traditional hardwood gives a classic, real wood look and can last a really long time if you take care of it. But it needs more care because it can get damaged by water and changes in temperature.

Engineered wood flooring looks a lot like hardwood but is more durable and can handle moisture better. It might not last as long as hardwood, but it’s easier on the budget and can be installed in more ways. So, when you’re deciding, think about what’s most important to you.

Final Thoughts


Traditional hardwood and Engineered hardwood flooring both have their own good points. Hardwood is timeless and can make a room look really special. Engineered wood is tough and can work in more places. Whichever you choose, you’ll have a floor that adds value and charm to your home.

When you make the decision, let us know. We at Big Bro Hardwood will transform your floorings into timeless beauty and elegance. If you are hardwood floors are already adoring hardwood floors and need refinishing in Naperville, contact us.