The broad appeal of hardwood flooring has made it a popular choice among homeowners. It has a classic aesthetic that matches a variety of styles, whether you’re working with a traditional interior or something more modern.

However, as you evaluate the many flooring options, you may see the appeal of engineered hardwood. While it’s a composite material, also called manufactured or man-made wood, it’s just as beautiful as solid hardwood with several advantages.

What are the pros and cons of each type of flooring? We’ll walk you through everything you need to know, looking at the cost, environmental factors and maintenance concerns of solid and engineered hardwood.

Variations in Cost

You may not find a consistent cost difference between solid and engineered hardwood. Each’s cost depends on a few factors, and you’ll have a better idea of the price you’ll pay when you compare quotes for products like Anderson Tuftex Flooring based on the wood variety, dimensions and finish.

If you want to install the flooring yourself, however, you’ll benefit from engineered hardwood.

You can purchase it prefinished, and its floating, lock-into-place construction makes it attractive for do-it-yourselfers.

So, if you’re hoping to save on labor costs, the advantage of this type of flooring is clear.

Read our article on the cost of engineered hardwood for a closer look at pricing variables.

Further Reading:

How Difficult Is Wood Floor Installation

How to Install Engineered Hardwood Flooring

Environmental Factors

Your regional climate should also influence your decision. Engineered hardwood is preferable in more humid areas of the country, as it can withstand more humidity without warping.

In the engineered hardwood vs. solid hardwood debate, this is another point in engineered hardwood’s favor.

At the same time, “off-gassing” is a potential issue if you’re worried about toxins in the home.

It occurs when newly manufactured items release volatile organic compounds, or VOCs, that affect human health.

Though the reality of this concern is arguable, prefinished solid hardwood flooring has lower formaldehyde emissions.

Care and Maintenance

Your approach to care and maintenance will change if you decide on solid hardwood over engineered hardwood.

With solid hardwood, you’ll need to show greater caution when dealing with water, as it’s very susceptible to water damage.

That said, you can sand and refinish your wood floor to retain its appearance throughout its lifespan.

You can refinish your engineered flooring as well, but too much sanding can lead to issues. Engineered flooring can only withstand the refinishing process a couple of times. Then again, it has moisture-resistant properties that improve its durability, increasing the longevity of your boards. Read our article to see the price of refinishing hardwood floors.

When deciding on solid or engineered hardwood flooring, there is no “right” answer. You can only look at your unique set of circumstances and determine the best answer for you based on the criteria above.

Whatever you choose, you can feel confident you’re making an educated decision.

Holly Welles is a home improvement writer and blogger. More of her work can be found on her own blog, The Estate Update, where she shares tips for novice homeowners.

Editorial Contributors
avatar for Danny Lipford

Danny Lipford


Danny Lipford is a home improvement expert and television personality who started his remodeling business, Lipford Construction, at the age of 21 in Mobile, Alabama. He gained national recognition as the host of the nationally syndicated television show, Today's Homeowner with Danny Lipford, which started as a small cable show in Mobile. Danny's expertise in home improvement has also led him to be a contributor to popular magazines and websites and the go-to source for advice on everything related to the home. He has made over 200 national television appearances and served as the home improvement expert for CBS's The Early Show and The Weather Channel for over a decade. Danny is also the founder of 3 Echoes Content Studio,, and Checking In With Chelsea, a décor and lifestyle blog.

Learn More