Engineered vs. Solid Hardwood Flooring

Pros and Cons of Engineered vs. Solid Hardwood Flooring in Alpharetta

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When it comes to installing new floors in your Alpharetta home, two popular options are engineered flooring and solid hardwood. While both can provide a beautiful wood look, there are some key differences between engineered flooring and solid hardwood that impact durability, cost, installation, and maintenance. Read on for an overview of the pros and cons of engineered flooring Alpharetta homeowners should consider when choosing new materials


Solid hardwood is milled from a single piece of timber, making it very durable and able to withstand dents and scratches. Engineered flooring Alpharetta uses has a thin veneer of real hardwood adhered to plywood or fiberboard layers underneath. This multi-layer construction makes engineers slightly more prone to dents and scratches over time. However, modern engineered floors are still very durable for residential use.


Engineered floors are easier for do-it-yourself installation as they can be floated over plywood or concrete subfloors. Solid hardwood requires nailing or gluing directly to a plywood or OSB wood subfloor which most DIYers don’t have the tools for. Professional installation is usually recommended for solid hardwood, while engineered can be tackled as a DIY project if desired.

Moisture Resistance

Engineered flooring’s plywood base makes it far more resistant to moisture than solid wood. The layers create a stable product that prevents warping or cupping when humidity changes. Solid wood expands and contracts more with moisture level fluctuations, making it a poor choice for basements or bathrooms. Engineered performs better in moist areas.


Because it uses less high-cost hardwood, engineered flooring Alpharetta costs 25-50% less on average than solid hardwood. The manufacturing process for engineering is also less labor intensive. Prefinished engineered provides a ready-to-install floor, while solid hardwood requires sanding and staining on site. Overall, engineered delivers beautiful hardwood looks at a more budget-friendly price point for Alpharetta homeowners.


Solid hardwood can potentially be refinished and last over 100 years. Engineered flooring has a thinner wood veneer topping meaning it can only be refinished once or twice before needing replacement. However, modern engineering will still last 30-50 years with proper care – long enough to satisfy most homeowners. Just don’t expect engineered to become a family heirloom like solid wood might.

Indoor Air Quality

Engineered flooring Alpharetta uses is less likely to cause indoor air quality issues like off-gassing thanks to advanced adhesives and pressed manufacturing techniques. Solid hardwood can potentially emit VOCs into the home after installation for months as finishes fully cure. Those sensitive to air quality issues may prefer engineered floorboards for cleaner indoor air.

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Solid wood comes in set widths like 2 1⁄4”, 3”, or 5” that can’t be altered. Engineered flooring can be customized to any width allowing for unique looks. Various colors, textures, gloss levels, and grain patterns are available engineered – even options mimicking exotics like Brazilian cherry at a fraction of the price. Engineered offers wider design flexibility.

Resale Value

Solid hardwood floors will always add value for resale over carpeting or laminate. However, modern engineered floors can also boost resale. Stylish engineered that appears like real hardwood won’t deter buyers. Just avoid dated engineered flooring in your Alpharetta home as trends change over decades. Newer engineered designs can closely mimic solid wood at a better price.

When chosen well and installed properly, both solid and engineered floors can enhance your Alpharetta home with beautiful, durable wood looks for years to come. Consider factors like your budget, DIY vs professional installation, flooring area, and interior design goals when deciding between solid hardwood and quality engineered flooring Alpharetta companies offer. Consult a flooring professional to determine the ideal materials for your unique needs and spaces.

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