Solid Or Engineered Oak Flooring?

16th Jan 2014 @ 17:53

Whether its best to opt for solid or engineered oak flooring is a question we are asked a lot here at Peak Oak. Choosing the wrong option can prove to be costly. To understand which to go for, its firstly important to know the differences.

Solid oak flooring is essentially what it says on the tin. It is a full floor board of solid oak. Our boards are tongue and grooved and have a grooved underside, which is designed to provide stability. Solid oak flooring is available in a number of different grades; ranging from the “cleanness” of the Prime grade, to the “roughness” of the Barn grade.

Engineered oak flooring on the other hand, is made up of a combination of solid oak and a ply-board base. Our own engineered boards consist of 6mm of solid oak, which is bonded to 14mm of Siberian birch ply. Equally engineered oak is available in the same range of grades as solid oak flooring, and is indistinguishable from solid oak flooring once laid.

Engineered oak flooring, due to its structure, is much less susceptible to movement caused by changes in humidity. This means engineered oak flooring is generally used in situations where a solid oak flooring would not be suitable.

So with the key differences established, what factors can influence whether to opt for solid or engineered oak flooring?


The sub-floor is one of the factors that can influence whether you need solid or engineered oak flooring. If you are laying onto timber joists or a wooden subfloor, normally the choice would be to go for a solid oak floor.

When laying directly over concrete or an underfloor heating system, generally a safer option would be an engineered oak floor.


The environment is another factor which influences whether its best to choose a solid or engineered oak floor.

Solid oak flooring is more suited to rooms such as the living room, dining room, and bedrooms. For areas which are likely to have changes in humidity; such as kitchens, bathrooms and conservatories, engineered oak flooring is more suited.

Method Of Fitting

Last but not least is the chosen fitting method which can also affect your choice.

If you intend to nail or screw down your oak flooring, solid or engineered oak boards are both fit for purpose.

Oak flooring can also be glued to the sub-floor. For this method, we do not recommend glueing a solid oak board which is wider than 120mm. If you would like to glue down boards wider than 120mm, we always recommend a engineered oak floor.

A further method of fitting flooring that has become more common place nowadays is the floating floor method. This involves the flooring having no direct fixing to the subfloor. Instead, the tongue and groove of each board is glued together. This method can be used for engineered oak flooring. However we do not recommend ever floating a solid oak floor.

If you would like to learn more regarding solid or engineered oak flooring, and which is best for your project, please give us a call on 01538 304584.

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