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Solid Hardwood Versus Engineered In Florida


Over the years this question has undoubtedly been asked more than any other; what to hardwood floor to chose and why? For the most part, the consensus will say engineered because it is more stable than solid hardwood. Other factors that contribute to the popularity of engineered hardwood floors in Florida include:
Concrete subfloors
Minimal thickness on concrete
It's too humid for solid hardwood flooring
My realtor says hardwood...
Limited store selections

Florida. The Land Of Concrete Subfloors

The type of subfloor you have usually dictates what hardwood  can be used. In Southwest Florida most of our subfloors are concrete.

Engineered: Minimal Thickness

Considering much of our construction is done with concrete slabs, traditional 3/4" solid hardwood, commonplace up north, creates problems with vertical height differences. Solid hardwoods need a wood subfloor base to attach to. In doing so, the overall vertical height of the new floor can be as much as 1 1/2 inches. More on solid hardwood floors over concrete.

It's Too Humid For Hardwood Flooring

We hear it all the time: "It's too humid in Florida for hardwood floors." When you really think about it, how often is it humid inside your residence? 7-8 months out of the year we run the air conditioning non stop. Depending on what type of system you may have, central air conditioning keeps the humidly level consistent, or in the safe range for hardwood floors.

In the cooler winter months when air conditioning is not used as often,  Florida rarely sees humidity levels above 60% for any extended period of time.

My Realtor Says Hardwood Floors Are Bad.....for Florida

We've heard this many times over. However hardwood floors in Florida are extremely popular. What many don't understand is the same people that dislike hardwood in Florida for one reason or another, may have heard a few too many unpleasant stories. Most, if not all of them are associated with lack of installer knowledge and/or poor installation. Key factors causing hardwood floor problems:

Failure to install at the proper time
No acclimation
No moisture testing or moisture awareness
Failure to follow manufacturers recommendations
Poor installation workmanship

For more on the topics above check out "Are we ready for hardwood floors?"

Limited Store Selections

Florida retailers push engineered hardwoods for several reasons. Here's a recent email query from a customer in Orlando:

 "I wonder if many retailers are just trying to get me to purchase from their MUCH wider selections of engineered products.  Lots of them don't have much to choose from in solid wood"

Our Response:

"You are correct, many retailers only offer engineered products because they either feel more comfortable with it, or don't have the installers to handle other types of installations...."


Engineered hardwoods by far are more popular. Other advantages of engineered flooring include the wide array of selections available today. For example, if one desires a hand scraped look with a particular stain color we may have exactly  what you are looking for in our showroom. At last count over 300 samples were available.

Trying to duplicate or create a custom appearance can be costly and time consuming. Custom site finished floors, depending on the areas involved, can take one to four weeks to be installed and finished properly. For more desired results, the areas should be unoccupied without having any other tradesmen working.

Unfinished 3/4 Inch Engineered Floors

Unfinished Engineered Floors
Unfinished engineered White Oak Character
Unfinished engineered Character Hickory
Unfinished engineered Walnut

Unfinished engineered Red Oak



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