Engineered Wood vs. Hardwood Flooring: Which One Should You Choose?

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At Bigelow Flooring, we’re the flooring experts! Whatever your lifestyle or budget needs, we’re always happy to work with you to find a flooring solution that is perfect for you, your family and your home.

When it comes to popular flooring options that last, hardwood still reigns supreme. But if you want the hardwood look with a bit more durability, engineered hardwood is a great option. If you’re not sure which is right for you, read our tips below!

Hardwood Flooring

What is it?

Hardwood is a solid wood floor. Each plank is made up of one single layer of wood from top to bottom and from one side to the other.

Wood species

Hardwood flooring comes in a wide range of wood species, including red and white oak, maple, hickory and pine. There are more species to choose from than engineered wood.


If you stick to a proper maintenance routine, hardwood floors can last a lifetime. The main thing you have to worry about is moisture, as this can cause solid wood to buckle and deform. Because of its inability to stand up to moisture, we don’t recommend hardwood floors for bathrooms, basements or other high-moisture areas. Hardwood can resist small amounts of moisture, and some pre-finished wood floors have a sealed top layer to resist small amounts of moisture.


So where can you put hardwood floor? The short answer: almost anywhere the moisture levels are low. Living areas, bedrooms, hallways and dining rooms are excellent spaces for hardwood floors, and you can even install hardwood in the kitchen if you’re careful and use waterproof mats near the kitchen.

Engineered Wood Flooring

What is it?

Engineered wood floor planks are layered, with a thin slice of hardwood as the top layer. The rest of the layers are essentially high-quality plywood.

Wood species

The choices for engineered wood species are fewer, but the popular choices are still available: red oak, hickory and cherry are the most common.


Engineered wood flooring is actually not as durable when it comes to chipping as hardwood floors are. The thin surface layer makes it more vulnerable to damage, but it’s much more durable when it comes to high levels of moisture. The layers of wood help it stand up to warping that occurs with moisture, and it’s generally more stable.


Engineered wood can be installed anywhere hardwood flooring can be used – and elsewhere. Try it in a powder room, and use it in the kitchen with waterproof mats. If your basement doesn’t tend to be that damp, you can even install engineered wood there! Avoid anywhere with lots of moisture, like hardwood, but you don’t have to be quite as careful.

Browse our selection of hardwood, engineered wood, handscraped and wire brushed flooring from Bigelow Flooring in Guelph!

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