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Engineered Wood vs Solid Wood

Investing in quality, durable and sustainable flooring is always the most crucial step, but which is better - engineered wood flooring, or solid wood flooring

There are benefits to both types of flooring, and with Atkinson & Kirby you can rely on all flooring products being made from real wood from sustainable sources and crafted according to our high standards. 

What is engineered wood flooring?

Engineered flooring is made from real wood, as opposed to laminate flooring which is generally made from high-density fibreboard with a printed wood texture. By contrast, true engineered flooring is made from layers of wood bonded together and finished with a solid top layer. 

Engineered wood flooring is a popular choice for modern applications because it's very durable - it can be used with underfloor heating, and is reliable in high-traffic areas like kitchens and hallways. It’s available in a variety of styles, such as parquet for a striking look, contemporary flooring for something on-trend, or a classic wood flooring pattern for something more simple and traditional.

What is solid wood flooring?

Solid wood flooring is basically exactly what it sounds like - a solid piece of hardwood. Depending on the style, the wood might be oak or another durable alternative such as walnut or hickory. 

To manufacture solid wood flooring, a piece of wood is cut and then sanded down into planks. Our solid flooring is available in a range of finishes and styles to match any aesthetic. 

Benefits of engineered wood flooring

Suitable for a range of uses

Engineered wood flooring is typically the more stable flooring option for areas that might see fluctuations in temperature or moisture levels - for example in kitchens, bathrooms or conservatories. This is because real wood expands and contracts in nature, and the engineered finish can help limit this. However, it is important to note that engineered wood flooring is not a completely waterproof solution.

Because engineered planks have a central core layer and the finishing layer too, it is typically the more stable option for a floor. This is because solid wood planks can range in length and are more susceptible to warping, expansion and contraction. 

Can be used with underfloor heating

If you're looking to install underfloor heating, engineered flooring should be your go-to. It's not recommended to use heating with solid wood because of its tendency to contract and expand, so an engineered floor offers more versatility for modern designs. 

Benefits of solid wood flooring

Easy maintenance

Solid floors made of high-quality real wood are easy to maintain, and require low maintenance. You can use vacuums, brushes and brooms to clean. Of course, wood has a high natural resistance to stains too, so you don't need to be as worried about the occasional spill as you would be with carpeting or another synthetic flooring type. 


Solid wood that has been properly cut and finished is extremely durable. Even scratches or fading can be easily fixed with light maintenance and refinishing, making this one of the longest-lasting options for many flooring applications. With the right maintenance and cleaning, a good quality hardwood floor can last a lifetime. 

Timeless style

You can't go wrong with a classic, well-maintained quality wooden floor. Wood can adapt to virtually any decor theme or aesthetic, and offers a timeless style that will look good no matter how many changes you make to the decorations or styles of a space. 

For example, opt for natural grade solid flooring for a classic look. Or, go for rustic or super rustic flooring for plenty of character and pattern variation. 

Of course, wooden flooring can also be refinished easily, so you can switch up its look if desired. 

With quality wood, both solid flooring and engineered flooring can enhance any space and add a sense of style and reliability. Browse our collections and download a brochure to find the perfect fit for your project. 

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