Solid Wood Planks or Engineered Floorboards – Differences and Advantages

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When choosing between solid plank floors and engineered floorboards, there are usually some questions that arise. Both options have their advantages and characteristics that need to be considered.

Structure and Use of Solid Floorboards

Solid wood flooring, as the name suggests, is made from a single piece of wood. It's a solid piece of wood and a unique piece of nature. They are known for their durability and authentic look. They are often preferred when the customer values a particularly natural and traditional character in the design. Especially in old building renovations or restorations, they can emphasize the original character of the property. Solid wood floorboards requires a certain thickness to be stable in shape. The thickness increases with the width of the plank, as does the upper wear layer. Relief joints on the back provide additional stability.

Solid plank floor in an old building

Three-Layer Construction as an Alternative

Engineered floorboards, or multi-layered boards, offer an alternative construction that also brings some advantages. These floorboards consist of three layers: a top layer/wear layer, a middle layer, and a counterbalance layer. The top layer is a solid wood layer and is in no way inferior to solid floorboards in its natural appearance and feel. The middle layer and counterbalance layer in Hiram three-layered boards are made of high-quality rift softwood. This construction makes the three-layered boards more stable in shape than solid planks.

Can Both Variants Be Sanded?

Both variants can be sanded after several years of use to give them a brand-new look. The upper wear layer is thicker in wider solid wood planks than in engineered floorboards. Solid wood planks have a wear layer of 5 to 10 mm, while three-layered boards have a top layer of max. 5.5 mm. At least 2 mm is removed per sanding pass. Accordingly, a wide solid wood plank can be sanded somewhat more frequently.


Both variants can be installed on screed, OSB, existing wooden floors, or other smooth surfaces. However, the total floor construction height should be considered, especially with solid wood flooring. Due to the thickness of the plank, it may not be suitable for all projects, and the thinner engineered floorboard may be the more suitable choice.

What Should Be Considered Regarding Moisture?

For rooms with higher humidity, such as bathrooms, we recommend using engineered floorboards, as it exhibits higher dimensional stability even with fluctuations in humidity. In the kitchen and the rest of the living area, you can easily install both types of boards.

What Are the Differences with Underfloor Heating?

Both variants can be installed on underfloor heating. The difference is that solid wood flooring conducts heat somewhat slower. The engineered floorboard is somewhat more stable in shape and tends to have less gapping during the heating season than solid wood flooring.

How Should I Decide?

In addition to the characteristics of the two construction types, their advantages, and differences, budget naturally also plays a role. Solid wood flooring is slightly cheaper, while the engineered board, due to its more elaborate construction with several steps, is somewhat more expensive. In terms of feel and appearance, the two variants do not differ. Both have a very natural surface feel and give your rooms a healthy and unique atmosphere.

The decision is yours. We are more than happy to provide personal and individual advice for your project.


Credits: Karl-Friedrich Gründer