The Ultimate Guide to Solid Timber Flooring and Engineered Timber Flooring

If you’ve taken the plunge and decided to either build, renovate or restore, one of the most difficult decisions to make is choosing the right flooring for your home. From timber floorboards to carpet and vinyl, there are endless choices when it comes to selecting the flooring to go under your feet. Timber is one of the most popular types of flooring for homeowners and builders alike, as it’s durable and easy to maintain. It’s also a low-allergenic flooring solution, which is good news for allergy suffers and asthmatics.

At Back to Timber, we love both engineered timber and solid timber flooring, two solutions which are not only practical but deliver a flawless finish. So, what’s the difference? Let’s find out.

What is engineered timber flooring?

Engineered timber comprises multiple layers of timber veneer in a specific type of wood. The top layer is usually between 1-6mm and sits on additional layers which are constructed from ply, pine or rubber wood. Depending on the desired thickness (and the budget) of the finished product, there can be anywhere between 3-12 layers beneath the top layer. Scroll down to see our diagram of engineered timber flooring layers. Thanks largely to the development of technology, tools and materials, engineered timber can look and feel like solid timber. This makes it a good solution for homeowners or builders searching for cost-effective flooring, as it’s cheaper than solid timber. It’s particularly popular with ‘DIYers’ for this reason. While engineered timber is very different to solid timber, its qualities when it comes to the end product and overall value for money are difficult to resist.

Check out our extensive range of engineered timber flooring options here.

Engineered wood floor

Readyflor XL Blackbutt Engineered wood floor


What are the benefits of engineered timber floors?

There are many benefits of using engineered timber when building, renovating or restoring a home or building. There is little expanding and contracting that takes place in this type of flooring which can be attributed to the thinness of the top veneer layer. This fineness means there are less issues with humidity which eliminates the need for sanding or polishing post-installation. Perhaps one of the most attractive things about not needing these finishes is the fact the wood can quite literally be delivered and laid on the same day. Engineered timber can be walked on as soon as it has been placed.

The practical and cost advantages of engineered timber are significant. It’s a perfect choice of flooring for people who are want the look and feel of solid timber without the price tag or the hassle. In addition to these benefits come several notable design benefits. With this type of flooring, much wider planks can be laid because of its averseness to the humidity. Not only do these wider planks expose more natural textures within the chosen wood, it can change the way a room looks entirely. For those looking for a way to open up a room or emphasise open plan living, wide plank engineered timber can assist with making it look that little bit more spacious. The great news is that the extensive range of wood veneers available at Back to Timber offers a compatible solution for every home interior.

Solid timber flooring vs Engineered timber flooring

What is solid timber flooring?

Solid timber flooring, on the other hand, is vastly different to engineered timber. Though offering an appearance akin to engineered timber, it is instead a solid piece of wood and a style of flooring more commonly found in older houses around Australia. This, however, is not a reason to opt out of choosing this style of wooden flooring. Solid timber can be laid in new houses to give an air of timeless sophistication. This type of flooring is known for its solid sound and even its natural odour. If laid correctly, solid timber can be the difference between a good room and a great one.

Unlike engineered flooring, solid timber usually comes as a raw product. This means sanding and polishing are required once the installation takes place. While this maintenance might be off-putting to some people, it means the flooring can be re-sanded, polished and totally renewed down the track. It’s important to note that unlike the engineered type, solid timber flooring is more susceptible to the humidity which can cause the planks to expand and contract. For this reason, it’s recommended to leave the wood in the area where they will be laid for at least two weeks for acclimatisation. It’s also not recommended to use this style of flooring in places where moisture is prevalent such as bathrooms. Our Boral Solid Strip flooring is made with high quality Australian wood that will be enjoyed for generations to come.

If all that hard work is putting you off solid timber, we have the answer! Our pre-finished solid timber flooring range will save you the mess, time and odours associated with finishing timber floors in your home.

Check out all of our solid timber flooring options here.

Solid wood floor

Boral solid wood floor


What are the benefits of solid timber floors?

When delving further into the design benefits of solid timber flooring, it’s difficult to know where to begin. Solid timber may be more expensive than engineered timber flooring, but it’s guaranteed to be a great long-term investment for the home as it is incredibly durable and ages very well. It can effortlessly add luxury, warmth and cosiness to any room. The wide range of different grades and species means there is a solid timber flooring that will look great in a variety of different homes. And, a timber sub-floor gives easy access to the underfloor for plumbing or ducted heating, or to repair wiring.

Engineered timber flooring vs solid timber flooring

When choosing between engineered timber and solid timber flooring, the best way is to understand your budget, timeline for laying the planks and requirements for the area being floored. For a quick, cost-effective option, engineered timber is the perfect choice. For an elegant, long-term, durable solution, solid timber is a great option. Both timber flooring styles will guarantee a premium look and feel to any home or building.

If you are having trouble deciding what flooring option is best suited to your needs, don’t hesitate to contact our friendly team for help and advice.