The Ultimate Showdown: Solid Wood vs Engineered Wood

You’ve heard them all – laminate, SPC, vinyl, solid wood flooring. The number of flooring options that have been cropping up in recent years has increased multifold – at least in the sense of variety and extensiveness when browsing the catalogue. Of these, there are a few made of a specific material that still continues to wow everyone. Probably one of the first raw materials used by man to make contemporary furniture, wood remains high up in the scale since it made its debut in the interior design world years ago. Dating as far back as the 1600s, solid wood flooring has been used by thousands of homeowners to build their homes. To this day, it is one of the most versatile flooring choices, complementing any style, colour palette, and finish to a T.

What You Need to Know

As much as wood is a natural material, there are two categories of wooden flooring: natural timber flooring and man-made engineered wood flooring. That is not to say that solid wood flooring does not go through any distressing processes or is not sealed off with protective finishes. Both non-toxic flooring requires some processing to get the final product, with several key differences distinguishing the two. One of them is that the planks of solid wood flooring are made entirely out of real timber such as oak, maple, and walnut, with the same thickness throughout. Due to its thickness, this type of timber flooring can be sanded and refinished several times so that it looks brand new again. On the other hand, engineered timber flooring is a combination of solid timber and other wood composites. As such, its surface hardwood layer is relatively thin and cannot be refinished as frequently as its hardwood counterpart.

Similarities between Solid Wood & Engineered Timber Flooring

Since both these floor types are made with the same material, there are bound to be similarities between the two. The obvious is the fact that both are made of natural wood. Therefore, in terms of stability, both options are extremely durable and tough, making them ideal for installation in areas of your home that have lots of foot traffic.

With authentic timber showcased on the surface of each plank, the unique graining and grooves that wooden fixtures are famed for will be on full display. But if you are concerned about keeping things spotless and cleaning between the grooves, fret not. Both these floors are easy to care for. However, one aspect you should be wary of is their porosity. Since they are prone to absorbing moisture, be mindful of the amount of water or steam they are exposed to so that they do not buckle and swell.

Differences: Engineered vs Solid Wood Flooring

Unsure of which wood flooring to opt for? Similarities aside, there are a few differences worth considering to help your decision-making process. Based on certain parameters, installing one or the other could make or break the structural integrity of your home floors, budget, and even home value. Here are a few to take note of:

1. Construction

Before we dig deep, it is pivotal to understand the core difference in terms of composition. Solid wood planks are about 12-18mm thick. And as mentioned, they are made of solid wood throughout their thickness. Engineered hardwood planks are just as thick as solid wood planks but with only about 2-4mm of hardwood, with the rest being composed of high-quality plywood.

2. Installation

Solid hardwood typically has to be nailed to the subfloor, while the innovative engineered wood floors tend to have a click and lock system integrated. So, if you are rushing to get your renovations done, note that engineered wood flooring is easier to install.

3. Moisture & heat resistance

Both types of wood flooring have good resistance to heat. However, when it comes to water-resistance, they vary drastically. Although hardwood flooring is a product of nature, it is more susceptible to moisture – it can warp in humid and damp conditions. Engineered wood flooring has good resistance to warping due to its multiple layered structures of plywood. But that does not mean you can leave pools of liquid for long periods at a time.

4. Resale value

Looking to up the value of your home from the get-go? Although both types of wood flooring are premium choices in the world of interior design, solid timber flooring is the best material when it comes to adding good real estate value to your home.

5. Longevity

Nobody likes the idea of having new floors installed, only to have them look old and worn out after a few years. Solid wood floors can last up to 100 years, while the lifespan of engineered timber flooring can last for about 40 years. If you plan on staying in your home forever, then solid wood should be your go-to.

6. Cost

This depends on the flooring company you go to for your HDB flooring and the wood species, its length, and thickness. That is to say that the price of American white oak engineered flooring will differ from American walnut wood flooring. In general, the cost can vary from S$12 to S$29 per square foot for solid wood flooring, and engineered alternatives will be approximately S$1 to S$10 cheaper.

Which Do You Choose?

When it comes to the debate of solid wood vs engineered, there is no clear winner. It ultimately boils down to personal preferences and lifestyle needs. Since both are aesthetically appealing and durable, it is hard to state which one is better than the other.

Choosing the Right Flooring for Your Home

You’ve worked hard, saved money religiously, searched high and low for an ideal home, and finally, after a long and arduous journey, found a place you’d love to call home. But if you thought choosing the right home would put an end to all the challenges, you might want to consider one more thing – renovations. Though presenting homeowners with the opportunity to let their creativity run wild, renovations can get a tad bit tiresome when you have to debate between aesthetics and functionality. This is especially so for permanent installations that you’ll have to live with for the long run – we’re talking about your choice of floors. With a wide array of HDB flooring to choose from, how do you decide which one is the best fit? Find the best floor for your home with our detailed flooring guide, so you’ll never find yourself second-guessing your decision.

General Considerations

Some of the common HDB flooring include HDB vinyl flooring, solid wood flooring, engineered wood flooring, and HDB SPC flooring. Possessing different qualities and properties, one type can work better over the other. When attempting to narrow down on these choices, homeowners typically have to consider the following:

1. Budget

It is a given that renovations can cost a ton. As such, factoring in the price of the flooring is a necessity. From the cost of the floor material to the delivery and installation costs, there are several monetary aspects that you’ll have to take note of when getting new floors. If you plan on hacking old flooring and installing brand new ones, ensure that your budget can accommodate it.

2. Style

As with all other design aspects of home interior decoration, homeowners often contemplate if the flooring they have in mind will fit their interior scheme. Whether you are going for the classic Scandinavian look or ones that follow recent sustainable interior design trends, your floor choice should complement it seamlessly.

3. Lifestyle

This might be a surprise, but your lifestyle needs somehow correlate to the longevity of the flooring. The flooring you go for must adapt to and withstand the consequences of all activities you tend to partake in daily. So, how do you go about choosing flooring that suits your lifestyle? We’ve got you covered!

Types of Homeowners 

To better determine the best floor for your home, you’ll first want to understand the problems you may face when selecting your floor type. We cover five common hurdles that act as roadblocks that cause most homeowners to reconsider their flooring choices. But fret not. We’ve got the solutions for you.

1. I’m on a tight budget

If you thought budget constraints would put a damper on your renovation projects, think again. Although wood flooring is the standard go-to when opulence is at the forefront of your design play, there are other alternatives to consider.

Laminate and HDB vinyl flooring are engineered to look like luxurious floor types and are extremely affordable. Engineered wood flooring is also said to fall into the “sweet spot” with a price tag that is neither too hefty nor too cheap to the point where you’d doubt its quality. 

2. I’ve got furry friends running around

HDB vinyl flooring is designed with a wear layer which makes it highly durable. SPC flooring is also water-resistant and will not buckle or lose its integrity should there be a pool of liquid collecting in a corner. Some flooring companies in Singapore like Floorrich even distribute non-toxic vinyl and SPC flooring, making them great options if you’ve got kids too!

3. I’m not a fan of cleaning 

Wish you never had to clean your home? Any resilient vinyl flooring is the best option since it requires little to no maintenance. Simply taking a damp cloth to it, or sweeping the floor once a while will suffice.

4. I’d like to increase my home’s value 

Solid Wood Flooring | Floorrich

If you’re a homeowner who is always planning ahead, increasing the resale value of your property might be important to you. Instead of choosing carpets that will not increase the value of your property, opt for solid wood flooring or other hard surfaces. Besides the classic and timeless wooden flooring that stands the test of time, engineered wood flooring comes in at a close second with its renowned durability.

5. I’d simply like floors that last 

The age-old question “does it last long” is one to cloud every homeowners’ mind. Unlike furniture pieces that are susceptible to rapid deterioration, flooring made of solid wood is revered for its longevity. With the advancement in technology, new flooring types such as engineered wood, LVT, or SPC, can also last for years if well taken care of.

Now that you are well-informed of the floor type that will effortlessly address any specific concerns, choosing the best one shouldn’t be an issue. It is also worthy of mentioning that the floors throughout your home do not have to match. Coordination will be more than enough. This way, you can install durable options in places with high foot traffic and choose floors of different textures and designs for other spaces – this is probably the best way to cater to different needs. Have queries on choosing the right flooring for your home? Reach out to our experts for some advice.

Sustainable Interior Design Trends

Earth Day, Earth Hour, World Environment Day, and more – the list of movements aimed at protecting nature is endless. Be it due to climate change or living a life that stands true to one’s ethical values, there is no denying that people all around the world are becoming more aware of environmental responsibility. From the no-straw campaign to the push for the use of reusable grocery bags, several government initiatives encourage the going-green lifestyle too! Seamlessly finding its way into parts of our daily lives, it comes as no surprise that sustainable and green living has had some influence over the world of interior design. 

Green Living vs Sustainability 

If you’re all for saving the planet, there are two terms that you may have stumbled upon – “green” and “sustainable”. Though used interchangeably, there are a few key differences between the two. “Green” indicates advocacy for environmentalism – it is that simple. Sustainability, on the other hand, is more of a lifestyle. It dives deeper into being “green” and looks into resources that cannot be replenished quickly enough and deems it unsustainable. 

A Breakdown on Sustainable Interior Design

Given the differences between green products and sustainable design, there are certain factors to consider when designing a sustainable home. Sustainable interior design thus requires an in-depth look at everything used within a home – from eco-friendly flooring options to designing with the future in mind, sustainable interior design entails much thought. Some of these include:

1. Lowest environmental impact 

Love the idea of having your entire home covered with parquet? Highly in demand due to the luxuriousness it exudes, trees are harvested more than ever before. Hence, materials like wood that are extracted in an environmentally responsible way are pivotal in sustainable design. Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) labels on timber flooring are an indicator that the material was harvested sustainably. 

2. Waste reduction 

When renovating a home, products inevitably get discarded. Be sure that the interior design scheme you plan on abiding by is timeless and will not go out of style. Opting for any type of wood flooring known for being versatile and long-lasting is a good option to build your home upon. Better still, the floor can be recycled or repurposed should you decide to replace your floors in the future. 

3. Longevity and flexibility 

Tapping on the above, it is important to consider the lifespan of your flooring and design components. Choosing quality over quantity will save you loads of money in the long-term.

4. A healthy and green home

Sustainable Interior Design

Wondering if your flooring is healthy? As people spend more time at home due to the pandemic, try designing with a healthy environment in mind. Choose flooring that is low in VOCs, such as our HDB vinyl flooring. The Floorrich non-toxic vinyl flooring not only improves indoor air quality but also ensures that it is safe for your kids, pets, and the elderly.

A Peek into Sustainable Interior Design Trends

Keen to design your home based on sustainable interior design trends? To kickstart your journey to sustainability, you can start with the basics of interior design – flooring. Upon choosing the best-fit sustainable flooring material to have installed in your home, you can then layer other design elements to complete the entire look. 

1. Laying the right foundation with sustainable flooring

For reasons such as the fight against deforestation, natural wood flooring might not seem like the best option at first glance. However, given its longevity and an increasing number of eco-friendly certified options (i.e. FSC and PEFC accreditation) to choose from, solid wood flooring is actually a reasonable choice for your home in Singapore. Alternatively, you could go for engineered wood flooring that utilises less wood, making it more environmentally friendly. Man-made materials like vinyl are also worth considering. Contrary to popular belief, vinyl flooring is not harmful – at least not those distributed by Floorrich. Our vinyl flooring is a healthy, resilient type that is low in VOCs.

2. Other design elements to consider

A living room with a couch and a fireplace  Description automatically generated with low confidence
  • Lighting 

One of the main contributing factors of climate change is the over-consumption of energy – and lighting is one of the culprits. To ensure that your home is designed for energy efficiency, use energy-saving light bulbs. 

  • Paint choices 

A sustainable interior design principle is designing a healthy environment. Containing high emissions of VOC, paints can lead to indoor air pollution if there is a lack of ventilation. Instead of constantly painting your walls to revamp your home interior, why not install versatile flooring like white oak flooring or American walnut wood flooring that will complement any interior design scheme? At Floorrich, you’ll be spoilt for choice since our engineered and solid wood flooring comes in a variety of colours and stains.

  • Recycling or reusing furniture 

Probably an obvious tip, but it is crucial that every purchase is a practical one. It is thus important to differentiate wants from needs and reuse old furniture pieces wherever possible.

The Hunt for Eco-Friendly & Non-Toxic Flooring

Non-Toxic Flooring | Floorrich

Whether you are a mum, a parent to a couple of furry friends, or have elderlies living in the same household as you, it is pivotal that your home is designed to be a healthy one. If we were to take things back to the basics and peek at every property, we’ll notice that there is one common theme – that flooring lays the foundation of the interior architecture in every home. A major component of any home, your choice of flooring should be suitable for the elderly and the young. However, with the vast sea of flooring types available for you to choose from, how do you ensure that your flooring is healthy for you and your family? 

Understanding Non-Toxic Flooring

From laminate flooring to ones manufactured from bamboo, the list of floor types at our disposal is endless. Tagged together with choice paralysis, the hunt for the best non-toxic flooring for your abode can be a tedious one. This is especially so since many popular flooring options which are easily accessible tend to contain harmful chemicals.

Dive deep into the search for non-toxic flooring, and you’re sure to come by the term “VOC”. A significant source of indoor air pollution, Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), are harmful chemicals that you do not want to have impacting the air quality of your home because of the dangers it poses to human health. Including probable carcinogens like benzene and formaldehyde, breathing in VOCs on the regular can result in skin reactions, irritation, headaches, and even damage the liver, kidney, and Central Nervous System. So how do you go about trusting suppliers that their flooring is “low in VOC”?  

Certification for non-toxic flooring 

Other than trusting the words of your flooring provider, you could keep a lookout for a FloorScore certification. The most recognised indoor air quality certification standard for flooring, this accreditation indicates compliance with the EPA ecolabel and GSA requirements. After on-site audits by the SCS auditor, flooring products will be submitted to an SCS-approved independent lab for emissions testing according to the California 01350 standard. If the emissions test is passed, flooring manufacturers are granted the right to use the FloorScore logo. Approval by the FloorScore programme hence indicates two things – the flooring contributes to better indoor air quality, and the supplier cares about delivering quality flooring solutions to their clients.

Understanding Eco-Friendly Flooring 

Eco-Friendly & non-Toxic SPC Flooring | Floorrich

Beyond looking for FloorScore certified flooring, “Green” floors are an indicator of minimal chemical processing. Yes, you read that right – Green Floors. This has got nothing to do with the colour of the flooring but rather the assurance that the content of the floors comes from controlled sources. Although VOCs are indeed found in several household items such as building materials and even cleaning products, verification that certain design elements are engineered with strategies that deliver high performance in areas of human and environmental health, is key to building a safe, non-toxic home. 

Certification for environmentally-friendly flooring

  1. Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC)

Aimed to empower consumers to buy and companies to distribute sustainably, the PEFC is for forest-based products – think wood flooring. Getting certified by the PEFC indicates that companies promote sustainable forest management and use certified materials during production. 

  1. Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)

The ASI (Assurance Services International) will carry out assessments to evaluate compliance to the FSC-STD-20-001 standards through on-site audits before granting FSC accreditation.

  1. Nordic EcoLabel

Being certified under the Nordic EcoLabel is relatively tough as it requires strong proof of environmental efforts. If certified, it serves as an indicator that there are limited chemicals present that will impact the health of individuals and the immediate environment.

  1. Singapore Green Labelling Scheme (SGLS)

To meet environmental standards, SGLS officials will check if the products fall within the SGLS scope of certification. This certification is granted credibility through major players such as the GENICES and GEN due to its conformance to the ISO 14024 & ISO 17065 standards.

Floorrich – Your Trusted Eco-Friendly & Non-Toxic Flooring Provider

Here at Floorrich, we are one of the top suppliers of eco-friendly and non-toxic flooring in Singapore. Driven by the philosophy of carrying top-quality, safe, and visually appealing flooring, we keep your health at the forefront of our business model. Proud owners of all the above-mentioned accreditation and certification, our range of non-toxic floors such as low VOC vinyl flooring and various types of wood flooring are popular choices amongst homeowners in Singapore. Here is a breakdown of some of them:

  1. Wood flooring 

An absolute classic, wooden floors or solid timber, are a versatile choice due to their classic appeal.

  1. Low VOC Vinyl flooring 

What is vinyl flooring? Water-resistant, durable and affordable, vinyl flooring from Floorrich is non-toxic, so you do not have to worry about VOCs.

  1. SPC flooring 

What is SPC flooring? New to the market, SPC flooring is one of the most robust floor types that has recently gained popularity due to its non-toxicity and ease of maintenance. 

  1. Engineered wood flooring

What is engineered flooring? An alternative to hardwood flooring, engineered flooring is a durable, affordable, and eco-friendly flooring that looks and feels just like parquet floors.

  1. Outdoor decks 

Not sure what flooring types to have installed in your outdoor space? Manufactured to withstand external factors like heat, water, and termites, composite decking is ideal for your balconies.