Berkeley White Oak engineered wood flooring by Woodpecker is stocked by Hyperion Tiles

Engineered wood flooring vs solid wood

Wood remains a perennially popular choice for a new floor, for many different reasons. It is renowned both for its warmth, and for its timeless aesthetic appeal. But not all of this flooring type is the same – even if it looks it! There are many key differences between engineered wood flooring and solid wood flooring options. Both have different benefits, despite their similar appearances.


What is the solid variety?

Solid wood flooring is sometimes referred to as hardwood flooring. As the name suggests, it’s usually made from a hardwood species. Popular options include cherry, oak, walnut and maple. For this type of flooring, the wood is cut from the tree, and then shaped or sanded into planks or parquet blocks.

Distinctive wood grains feature in this flooring made with solid wood called York White Washed Oak by Woodpecker from Hyperion Tiles

This floor is solid oak and features sandy tones and striking knots for a light aesthetic. Our Woodpecker York White Washed Oak is sold in packs - 1.98 sq m per pack

The benefits

There’s no denying that real wood floors look amazing. They add instant luxury and sophistication to any room. If they are looked after properly, these floors are a great investment, as they have a long life-span that can span many decades.


Is this flooring sustainable?

If sustainability is a priority, it’s worth knowing that solid wood floors can be crafted from reclaimed pieces. This gives the timber in question a new lease of life. It also prevents the need for more trees to be felled, which makes this type a more eco-friendly flooring option.

This floor, York Tawny Oak by Woodpecker, is solid wood and available from Hyperion Tiles

This beautiful Woodpecker York Tawny Oak flooring is an elegant solid oak floor which is sold per pack - 1.98 sq m 

The versatility of this flooring

It's also very versatile. Aesthetically, this type is available in a wide range of colours and finishes. And the different shades and grains deliver a beautiful natural look and variety to any scheme.

Timeless styles

Real wood flooring works equally well in classic and contemporary settings. So you won’t need to change it every time you redecorate.

York Antique Oak is not engineered oak and is instead a solid floor by Woodpecker and available from Hyperion Tiles

Our York Antique Oak Woodpecker flooring is filled with character with bevelled edges which help to add an antique finish. Sold per pack - 1.98 sq m

How to care for solid floors

This flooring is available in both pre-finished and unfinished boards. These can be sanded, stained and refinished many times during the course of their lifespan. This process helps to address any scratches and dents that build up over the years. So while many people are put off installing wood flooring in high-traffic areas, with proper TLC it is a great option.


Easy maintenance

Another benefit of this flooring is that it’s easy to maintain. Unlike carpets or rugs, it tends not to attract a lot of dirt and debris. This means it’s a great choice for asthma and allergy sufferers.

Simply vacuum or sweep your floor as necessary, and occasionally clean with a damp mop or cloth. And do make sure you deal promptly with any spillages.


Other wood flooring need-to-knows

Never let your hardwood floors get sopping wet. Excess water will damage the boards and sealant, causing them to buckle and warp. This means that this flooring type is not suitable for high-moisture areas such as bathrooms and shower rooms. It also isn’t compatible with underfloor heating systems, as the planks can be damaged by the different changes in temperature.


Is this flooring noisy?

Lastly, solid wood can be louder than certain other flooring materials, as it doesn’t absorb sound  – and general wear and tear can lead to creaks and squeaks. Conversely, these floors can give great acoustics, so they are the perfect choice for a music room.


What is engineered wood flooring?

Engineered wood flooring is an increasingly popular alternative to the solid variety. But what exactly is it?

Kitchen which features engineered flooring in wood called Berkeley White Oak by Woodpecker and available from Hyperion Tiles

Our Woodpecker Berkeley White Oak flooring features an oiled finish and is filled with character. Sold in packs at 2.11 sq m per pack

Engineered oak & other layer types

In simple terms, engineered wood flooring features different layers of material that are fitted (engineered) together. The top layer is made of real wood. This is known as the veneer. Engineered wood flooring is a hybrid type of flooring that features different materials, of different thicknesses, in its core layers. The top layer of real wood is usually natural oak, walnut, beech, or maple.


Is engineered wood sustainable?

As only the top layer of engineered wood flooring is made from real hardwood, this is generally considered to be a very sustainable option. After all, just one tree can supply multiple planks, as the majority of the material – the core – can be made from scraps, offcuts and sawdust. Engineered wood flooring can also be manufactured using reclaimed wood.

The engineered wood planks in this kitchen are Chepstow Distressed Charcoal Oak by Woodpecker and available from Hyperion Tiles

Our Woodpecker Chepstow Distressed Charcoal Oak flooring features an antique look with a distressed finish and a combination of sultry stains and augmenting waxes. Sol per pack - 2.11 sq m

The benefits of engineered wood flooring

Like its counterpart, engineered wood flooring looks impressive. In fact, it’s usually very difficult to differentiate the two types just by looking!

Engineered wood floors look just as amazing as the solid variety, but they are a lot more cost-effective. They are also available in a huge variety of shades, stains, grains and plank widths.

Importantly, in addition to beauty, engineered floors offer all the warmth and cosiness of natural wood – a key consideration as the weather gets colder and seasonal utility bills rise.

Engineered wooden: This flooring type is Clarence Aged Design Panels by Woodpecker and it's available from Hyperion Tiles

Our Woodpecker Clarence Aged Oak comes with a 100-year guarantee with a striking pattern and a hard-wax oiled surface. Sold per pack - 0.56 sq m

Are engineered wood floors long-lasting?

Engineered flooring will last for years, if properly looked after. It can’t be repeatedly refinished in the way that the solid variety can, but proper maintenance will still boost its longevity. Rest assured this is a floor type that’s built to last.


The solid type of this flooring is naturally dense, but even that wears out over time. The added density of engineered wood flooring means it maintains its stability under heavy weights and footfall. The multiple layers also make engineered flooring more resistant to dents and scratches. This is definitely something to consider if your household includes pets and/or young children.


Engineered wood flooring and water

A key benefit of engineered wood flooring is its resistance to moisture, humidity and temperature changes. This means it’s suitable for hallways, where dripping umbrellas and wet wellies often feature. Engineered wood floors also work well with underfloor heating, as they can cope well with regular changes from hot to cold. Gradually increase the temperature after the initial installation, though, to help your engineered wood floor adjust to its new environment.


Is engineered wood flooring suitable for basements?

Did you know that engineered wood flooring is also an excellent hard wearing option for basements? Most people opt for concrete in this room, because of its lack of sunlight and moisture-rich tendencies. But the structure of engineered wood floors means it’s difficult for water to penetrate, so it works well in basements (and conservatories too). It isn’t recommended for bathrooms or wet rooms, however, as it’s water-resistant – not waterproof.

Engineered flooring can be used in basements such as Harlech Rustic by Woodpecker and available from Hyperion Tiles

Our Woodpecker Harlech Rustic Oak features a 4mm solid wood layer for additional durability with precision engineered tongue and groove joints. Soled by the pack - 1.71 sq m

Care and maintenance of engineered wood floors

Like its counterpart, engineered flooring adds character but it's also easy to maintain, although the type of finish you choose will dictate the level of TLC required.

A lacquered finish is generally more resistant to dirt and damage than an oiled finish. Whichever your choose, sweep or vacuum your floor regularly, and damp-mop from time to time using an appropriate cleaning product.

 Making the right choice

In summary, both solid wood flooring and engineered wood flooring are excellent choices for almost every room in your home. Each type has its relative merits. Prioritise location, desired durability, budget and personal preferences before making your final decision. – Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)