A Hardwood Flooring Primer

Dec 14, 2022 | Flooring | 0 comments

When considering wood flooring for your West Michigan home, you have basically two options:


  • Solid Wood Flooring
  • Engineered Wood Flooring. 


While both are made from 100% wood and will look identical when they’re installed, they are very different in their construction and will react differently to different environments. Which choice is the best for your home depends on where you live and what elements your flooring will be exposed to.


Solid Hardwood Flooring

As you might expect from the name, a solid hardwood floor is made from a single piece of wood milled from about 1” thick down to ¾” in thickness. During the milling process, kerf grooves are cut into the bottom of the board to prevent cupping and crowning, and to provide stress relief, while all four sides of the boards milled with a tongue and groove configuration central to the installation.


Engineered Wood Flooring

A hardwood floor that is engineered consists of two pieces of wood glued together. The top layer, called the lamella, is about 5mm or 7mm thick, and is glued to a precut plywood base. When the glue sets, a tongue and groove is added, and the boards are sanded. When complete, they’re ready for finishing.



Because wood is a natural material, it’s affected by environmental elements. Moisture can have a significant effect on wood floors. Solid wood floors are easily affected by moisture in the atmosphere. They absorb the moisture, swell and expand. This creates pressure between the boards and can cause warping, cupping, or cracking. On the other hand, high-quality, engineered hardwood floors are thinner and their plywood base renders them less reactive to moisture. 


Which Hardwood Flooring is Best For Your Home?

When going through the design process for kitchen, bath, family room, or any other space you’re remodeling in your West Michigan home, our experienced designers will help you understand the features of both solid wood and engineered wood flooring and determine which is best for you.