Solid and engineered hardwood

Solid Hardwood Flooring
Solid Hardwood Flooring Diagram
Shaw Solid Hardwood Flooring Diagram – Engineered vs Solid Hardwood PageSolid wood is milled from a single 3/4″ thick piece of hardwood. Solid wood flooring expands and contracts with changes in your home’s relative humidity. Normally, installers compensate for this movement by leaving an expansion gap between the floor and the wall. Base molding or quarter round is traditionally used to hide the extra space.
Shaw's Epic Engineered Hardwood Flooring Diagram
Shaw Epic Engineered Hardwood Flooring – Engineered vs Solid Hardwood Page
Shaw’s Epic Engineered with EnviroCore – EnviroCore is Shaw’s environmentally-friendly core made of recycled wood fiber, meaning fewer trees are used with less waste.Epic engineered hardwood’s EnviroCore is harder, denser, and greener than the plywood core used in traditional engineered hardwoods.Because of Epic’s dense core it is more dimensionally stable and doesn’t expand or contract as much as other wood flooring due to seasonal and temperature changes.Engineered Hardwood Flooring Diagram
Shaw’s Engineered hardwood core is made up of multiple layers of wood stacked in a cross-grain configuration which minimizes expanding and shrinking.

Like Epic Engineered hardwood, Shaw Engineered can be installed above, on, or below grade.

Engineered hardwood provides an advantage over solid hardwood because of the ability to install in multiple areas of the home.


Before deciding on Solid or Engineered hardwood flooring, consider these factors

Location, Location, Location

The location of your hardwood flooring basically falls into three categories:

  • On Grade – at ground level
  • Above Grade – any second level or higher
  • Below Grade – any floor below ground level, including basements or sunkenliving rooms.

Traditional solid hardwood flooring is not well suited for below-grade installations, because of the possibility of moisture issues. The construction of an engineered hardwood gives it enhanced structural stability that allows it to be installed at any grade level when a moisture barrier such as Selitac Thermally Insulating Underlayment or Silent Step Ultra 3 in 1 is used during installation.

What type of subfloor do you have?

If you plan to install over concrete, you must use an engineered product to ensure structural integrity. Solid wood flooring or Engineered flooring may be used over plywood, existing wood floors, or OSB subfloors. Be sure to refer to Shaw’s installation guidelines for specifics on subfloor requirements.

Will there be moisture in the room?

If you are considering flooring for a bathroom where continuous moisture is expected, you will want to select a product other than hardwood. While the moisture resistance of an engineered hardwood makes it suitable for rooms below grade or ground level when installed with a moisture barrier, it is not advisable to install any hardwood flooring in a bathroom.