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The Difference Between Solid and Hard Wood Flooring

When you move into a new property or decide to renovate the property that you are currently living in, you have a whole host of tough decisions to make. The process is by no means going to be short and sweet. Many of us make the mistake of thinking that we simply have to focus on aspects of interior design such as colour palettes, furnishings, and accessories to make our homes look exactly as we want them to.

We take the bare basics of our properties for granted. But at the end of the day, it tends to be the features that we take for granted and that we don’t think we pay all too much attention to that set the atmosphere, feel, and style of a living space. Let’s take flooring as an example. The flooring of a room tends to be something that we don’t think about all too much when first stepping into the space - that is, unless the homeowner or designer happens to have gone for a particularly bold or signature piece of carpeting with bold patterns and unexpected colours or textures. Instead, the floor will generally be conceived as something you simply step on.

People tend to focus on functionality rather than style - we have floors that can withstand spills and be cleaned easily in relatively wet areas like the bathroom or kitchen. But floors can be so much more than a necessary aspect of a space. They can be extremely attractive and desirable at the same time as being functional. Now, there are plenty of different types of flooring out there. But for now, let’s focus on solid wood and hardwood flooring. Yes - they are different things. Here are some similarities and differences between the two!

Similarities in Solid Wood and Hardwood Flooring

Let’s start by noting some similarities between solid wood and hardwood flooring. When it comes down to it, both of these types of flooring are made from hardwood. In fact, the majority of people wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between the two by sight alone once they have been installed. But, when it comes down to it, they are very different forms of flooring, so you do need to understand their differences before coming to a decision regarding which you should invest in.

Differences Between Solid Wood and Hardwood Flooring

People will often ask which is best - solid wood or hardwood. Realistically, there’s no straightforward answer to this question. The best flooring to suit your needs and preferences will be entirely independent on your individual needs and preferences! For some people, solid wood flooring will be the obvious option. For others, hardwood flooring is without a doubt the ideal option. So, to determine which is best without consulting a professional on a one-to-one basis, you’re going to have to start sifting through some of the differences between the two in order to make the most informed decision possible.


You may find yourself wondering what levels of engineering go into these two types of flooring. After all, any wood has to be crafted to some extent to make its way from tree to the floorboards in your

home. Solid wood flooring has relatively minimal work carried out on it. It is pure, solid, hardwood, crafted into boards. The material is homogenous through and through. Hardwood, on the other hand, is generally a layer of hardwood placed on top of high-quality plywood.


As you can imagine, hardwood itself is more expensive than plywood. So, it isn’t all too surprising that solid wood flooring tends to more expensive than hardwood flooring. After all, you’re getting more hardwood per board.


Again, now that you know the main difference between solid wood and hardwood, it shouldn’t come as all too much of a surprise to you that solid wood tends to be a little thicker than hardwood. Solid wood standard measurements come in at ¾ inch a plank. Hardwood, on the other hand, tends to range between ⅜ inch and ½ inch.


Floors tend to undergo a lot of wear and tear. At the end of the day, we quite literally walk all over them. Now, high quality hardwood flooring can last you for years, as long as it is maintained properly. Solid wood flooring, however, can last decades. Just make sure to avoid letting solid wood floors become moist. They can be salvaged if they are exposed to a lot of water, but their shape can become warped and this may never return to normal. Bearing this in mind, avoid using solid wood in bathrooms, kitchens, or basements where flooding or regular exposure to water could occur.

Resale Value

If you’re looking to make an investment that you can capitalise on in the future or capitalise on if you change your mind about the type of flooring you opt for, the resale value of both forms of wood flooring is pretty high. You just have to ensure that both are maintained to a good condition.


Seeing as we’re comparing solid hardwood and hardwood, we should probably compare them on terms of hardness at some point or another. When it comes down to it, you can’t really determine how hard your flooring is going to be solely based on whether it is solid wood or hardwood. Various different types of wood can be used for either of these types of flooring and their hardness will vary dramatically. Some hardwoods are relatively soft and relatively malleable. Others are extremely tough and durable. You will have to conduct further independent research to determine the best type to suit your needs.

Ease of Installation

Chances are that you’re not looking to install your flooring yourself. If you are, good luck! Either way, you’re probably going to want to take ease of installation into account. If you’re going DIY, you probably want something relatively simple. If you’re outsourcing to specialists, their price is going to reflect the difficult entailed in fitting the flooring. Solid wood flooring is generally nailed or stapled down. It will never be installed on a floating basis. Hardwood flooring, however, gives you more options. You can nail, staple, glue, or make use of fold and lock designs.


You’re likely to sand your flooring at some point or another. The regularity with which you have your floors sanded can largely determine which will prove best for you. Solid wood can be sanded time and time again. If you sand for years, the structural integrity of your solid wood flooring will be compromised, but this takes a lot of effort. As for hardwood - you can sand it, but generally only lightly and once or twice. Regular sanding will wear the top layer of solid wood down, so it will eventually wear away, leaving you with just plywood.

Underfloor Heating Options

Increasing numbers of us are considering installing underfloor heating. This provides our homes with an extra source of warmth and can prevent you from feeling a chill underfoot during the colder months of the year. If this is something that you are considering, you may want to opt for hardwood flooring, as underfloor heating systems don’t tend to be compatible with solid wood flooring. Sure, solid wood and hardwood may appear the same to the untrained eye. But there really are some major fundamental differences between the two!


Oak Robust Fumed Senior Laminate Wooden Flooring 


The Twelve V Premium collection not only satisfies your demand for unmatched quality and easy installation. Its V-grooves also create the cosy look of a genuine solid hardwood floor. The grooves give your floor a unique and charming solid plank appearance as well as creating a sense of space. So, if you’re looking to give your room a breath-taking new lease of life, you certainly won’t be disappointed. 


Chateaux Oak 8mm Laminate Wooden Flooring 


Get the paved look of wood or stone slabs without the painstaking labour and expense of installing ceramic tiles. Place in a grid or a staggered pattern to achieve your desired design effect and enhance any room – from the kitchen to the family room.   


Aspen Oak Laminate Wooden Flooring  


This flooring option perfectly replicates the look of real wood. It sports a light oak tone which is perfect for creating a fresh and charming look.  


Rich Walnut Laminate Wooden Flooring  


This rich walnut tone will help liven your bathroom up. There are so many design options you could run with this type of flooring. Contrast the warm of this wooden tone with neutral walls for a minimalistic look that doesn’t lack character.  


Acacia High Gloss Laminate Wooden Flooring 


This wooden laminate flooring showcases some exceptional detail, replicating the look of real wood. It has V grooves that add to the products authentic look. 


Make sure to familiarise yourself with your options before investing and laying your flooring!