Engineered vs Solid Timber

A lot of Kiwis grew up in bungalows and villas in NZ built from our native forests - and sadly mismanaged.


Beautiful thin solid boards which have been uncovered, sanded and coated with polyurethane or some type of plastic coating.


This resource is no longer readily available and there has been a trend toward wide planks which when used in our modern homes…insulated and heated…tend to move, expand and contract. 

Wood is not a good conductor of heat so if your preference was for a solid board then we would encourage you to have discussions with your mechanical engineer about heating and cooling in your environment.

Solid wood wants to move and live in a well-balanced humidity. All wood absorbs and releases moisture. If the house is being maintained at a comfortable temperature and humidity then the EMC (equilibrium moisture content) should not go above 13% or below 10%.


Engineered wood flooring these days is considered structurally more stable. Solid wood is the material that could more easily deform and experience issues – movement or splitting. Engineered is said to be more suitable owing to the moisture controlling process. Solid wood on the other hand has variations in moisture contents because of the variations in its natural density and grain directions. 


B& O Casa planks - the 6mm French Oak top layer and the 15mm bottom layer are dried together in the balancing room to ensure an even process in the making. The multi-layer ply has been glued with alternating and opposing grains - tries to correct this.  Both our top layer and our unseen engineering layer are dried together under strict controls within our balancing room at manufacture.


In sunny areas extra heat will warm your flooring surface more, be it Engineered or Solid. 


These days there may be underfloor heating and air conditioning drawing moisture from the home or commercial environment, therefore you will want your flooring to be structurally ‘better’ in terms of managing all sources of heat. Engineered flooring is considered ‘better’ than Solid in this regard. We engineer with a top layer of oak of 6mm in our premium brands which means you will get the same no of sands as a solid board. 


Having an oil finish negates the sanding aspect as the timber only needs to be cleaned and a maintenance oil applied to bring it up to new condition. (Refer to our Rubio Monocoat Maintenance instructions)


From an ecological perspective – Engineered timber is undoubtedly a better use of resource.  French Oak forestry has some of the best and most sound ecological harvesting and replanting philosophies and management in the world. These days once laid there will be no indication whether the plank you have used is solid or engineered.


Our glues we use in the engineering process are all E1 and Carb2 compliant for export which basically means no nasty chemicals or formaldehydes are used thus there will be no unseen chemical leaching into your home when laid.  Our finishing oil Rubio Monocoat is also the only oil which is certified as VOC free.


Our oak and ply are all FSC approved.

There are many different sources on the Web that will provide information on this. These days we sell very little solid product.

Our bias remains to supplying the engineered product through reasons of sound ecology as well as look and strength. We achieve a classic look that everyone desires thanks to the use of quality material that has been technologically enhanced.