What is the difference between solid and engineered hardwood floors?

Hardwood floors come in two types, solid and engineered. They look very similar in appearance, but their construction is different, leading to differences in performance in humid areas. Engineered flooring is making gains on solid flooring because customers want beauty and practicality. We are a hardwood flooring company that specializes in wood flooring.


Solid hardwood flooring is a floor where the plank is the same thickness throughout. However, engineered wood is a layered construction. At the top is a veneer of the species of wood that you want, be it cherry, maple, oak, or hickory. It still has gorgeous undertones and granularity, knots, swirls, and grain of any solid hardwood plank. Engineered planks are a little wider and shorter, but the manufacturer can offer various plank sizes.

Crosswise structure

Underneath the veneer, at least three or more layered pieces of wood are combined with resin and placed in a crosswise position. This gives the floor more stability and better able to handle water. It can be set in above-normal moisture areas where solid hardwood isn’t advisable. It doesn't need acclimation like solid hardwood because it won't shrink or contract to adjust to the weather. Like solid hardwood, engineered hardwood adds to the value of your property, and it can be refinished. Most often, engineered hardwood is finished off-site in the factory.


Solid hardwood has a tongue-in-groove installation system, while engineered wood flooring offers a different type of installation, a floating floor. This system has a locking system that is fast and uncomplicated. The engineered pieces click together and hover over the subfloor with no nails or glue.

James Flooring is here for you and your wood flooring needs. We will listen carefully to what you are looking for and help you find it in our wide selection of woods. We have two showrooms: one in Saint Augustine and one in Palm Coast/Bunnell, FL. We serve the areas of Jacksonville, Flagler Beach, Ponte Vedra Beach, and Ormond Beach. Visit our showrooms and we’ll be happy to help you.