Comparison guide for solid wood and parquet floors (2023)

As the name suggests, solid wood flooring is solid wood throughout its thickness, usually a hardwood species such as oak, maple or walnut. Its main advantage is that it can besanded and repaintedcountless times during its lifetime.

Parquet looks very similar on the surface, but consists of a relatively thin layer of hardwood glued to a substrate of high quality plywood. Engineered hardwood is slightly cheaper than solid wood, but most types can only be sanded and refinished once or twice since the hardwood surface is relatively thin. When researching the cons of hardwood flooring or determining which is better, there is no clear advantage for one form of hardwood flooring over the other. Your choice will depend on how much you value the relative merits of each.

Read on to take a closer look at the pros and cons of parquet versus hardwood floors.

Solid Parquet: A Beginner's Guide


Watch now: 7 things to know about hardwood vs engineered wood

Differences between solid wood floors and parquet floors

solid wood floorcomes in long planks, usually from hardwood species. It is milled with tongues and grooves on opposite edges so that the planks interlock when laid. It is always nailed to the sub-floor, an operation that requires some skill. Because it is solid wood, this flooring can be sanded and repainted several times over its lifetime.

Engineered flooring looks like solid hardwood, but its construction is a relatively thin layer of hardwood glued over a top-quality layer of plywood, which gives the flooring excellent stability. The best parquet floors have good flexibility and a durable plywood core with three to nine layers. You can be sure that a high-quality parquet floor usually lasts 25 to 30 years. It's less expensive than solid wood and easier for DIYers to install.

Solid hardwoodMachined hardwood
lifespan30 to 100 years20 to 40 years
Cost$8 to $15 per square foot$3 to $14 per square foot
grinding, paintingFour times (possibly more)One or two times
stabilityMay warp in humid conditionsGood resistance to warping
plank thicknessApproximately 3/4 inch3/8 to 9/16 inches
Part width2 1/4 to 4 inches2 1/4 to 7 inches
plank length12 to 84 inches12 to 60 inches
InstallationsmethodeNailing, tongue and grooveNailing, floating or glued



Solid parquet floorboards are usually narrower than parquet floors. Solid hardwood generally has very tight seams between the boards and there is alarge selection of colorsand types than is the case with parquet floors. Solid hardwood is available in both pre-finished and unfinished boards.

Comparison guide for solid wood and parquet floors (2)

prefinished parquet

The planks are usually wider in parquet floors. Some prefabricated hardwood floors have slightly beveled edges, creating slight grooves between the planks, while solid wood floors generally have very tight seams between the planks. Engineered wood flooring is almost always sold ready to install and there is a narrower range of colors and wood species available than solid wood.

Best for Looks: Tie

Which finish of parquet floor you prefer really depends on your personal preferences.


Solid hardwood

Prefabricated solid woodaverages about $8 per square foot, ranging from $4 to $12 per square foot.

Machined hardwood

Ready-made parquet is slightly cheaper than solid wood. The typical range of hardwood floors ranges from $2.50 to $10 per square foot, with most types ranging from $4 to $7 per square foot.

Best Value: Engineered Hardwood

The advantage here is with parquet floors, but the difference is not huge. For either type of flooring, installation labor can add $3 to $10 per square foot depending on the prevalent labor costs in your area and the complexity of the room layout.


Solid hardwood

Solid hardwood typically lasts at least 30 years and up to 100 years as it can be sanded and repainted multiple times.

Machined hardwood

Finished parquet usually lasts 20 to 30 years.

Best for Lifespan: Solid hardwood

Because the solid wood construction allows for repeated sanding and refinishing, solid wood planks lead in terms of durability. If you base your decision solely on durability, then one of the downsides of engineered wood is durability. Although 30 years is still a decent amount of time.

comfort and sound

Solid hardwood

Solid hardwood has better acoustic properties than engineered hardwood. Its density absorbs reverberations while its harshness spreads the sound evenly throughout the room. Hardwood floors are usually glued or nailed to keep them stable. When first installed, hardwood floors will creak and squeak as the planks settle. If you're still hearing a creaking sound after a few months, you may have an uneven subfloor or a poor installation problem.

As the name suggests, solid wood is hard underfoot. It is softer than other surfaces such as tile or concrete, but compared to a floating parquet floor, a floating parquet floor is softer.

Machined hardwood

Prefinished hardwood floors are typically "floating," meaning they've been clipped together over an existing floor, with no glue or nails holding them in place. Floating floors tend to create echoes or clicking noises, making walking on the floor a louder experience. Processed hardwood doesn't absorb sound as well as its solid hardwood counterpart, but it does have a resilient surface, which means it will still absorb a significant amount of weight and noise, especially if you spend more money to place a quality acoustic underlay underneath the ground.

Beware of cheaper hardwood floors made from inferior plywood with a hardwood veneer. They are prone to defects such as B. the splitting and cutting of the plywood. Plywood is not ideal for snap shelves as they sometimes come loose. Regular wear and tear can cause the flooring to come loose and cause squeaks.

Best for Comfort and Sound: Tie

It depends on what is more important to you - noise protection or softness underfoot. In general, solid parquet floors are not as noisy as parquet floors; However, floating hardwood floors feel softer and have some resilience.

Water and heat resistance

Both types of hardwood have good heat resistance. None of the materials are recommended for installationreally humid locations. Although engineered hardwood has higher water resistance, engineered hardwood is not waterproof.

Solid hardwood

Solid hardwood is not recommended for laying on concrete slabs as moisture migration through the concrete can cause solid hardwood to swell and warp.

Machined hardwood

Processed hardwood performs slightly better in humid places because its plywood construction makes it stronger and less prone to warping. If laying on a concrete base is required, hardwood is a better choice.

Best for Water and Heat Resistance: Engineered Hardwood

Engineered flooring wins here because its plywood base is less prone to warping from moisture.

care and cleaning

Solid hardwood

This flooring iseasy to cleanby simply sweeping and vacuuming and occasionally damp mopping with an approved wood cleaner.

Machined hardwood

Care and cleaning of this floor covering looks just like solid hardwood: sweeping or vacuuming, andoccasional damp moppingwith wood cleaner.

Best for care and cleaning: tie

Both types of flooring are relatively low maintenance, requiring a simple sweep and clean with an approved wood cleaner. Avoid using water or steam to clean wooden floors.

Comparison guide for solid wood and parquet floors (4)

durability and maintenance

Solid hardwood

Solid hardwood is slightly superior here as it can be sanded and sanded downreworked several timesover its lifespan. Industry experts state that two to four times is the norm.Although flooring professionals claim in some cases they have resurfaced up to 12 times.

"The number of times a given floor can be sanded depends on the skill of the person sanding the floor, the type of equipment used, the thickness of the remaining wear layer, and the flatness of the floor," according to the National Wood Floor Association.

Machined hardwood

Processed hardwood can only be re-treated once or twice before the hardwood surface layer is exhausted. A plank of hardwood can be solid, but processed hardwood can sometimes be stronger than a solid hardwood you might be considering. Hardwood consists of several vertical layers that firmly bind the wood together.

Best for Durability and Maintenance: Solid hardwood

Solid parquet has the edge here, as it can be sanded and repainted several times over the course of its lifetime. Precast forms of both floors are the most durable, as they have a hard, factory-applied finish that holds up very well. All wood floors can benefit from a refinish of the surface finish every few years.


Solid hardwood

Solid parquet is laid using a tongue and groove system, where each plank is blind nailed to the subfloor by tongues on the edges of the planks.

Machined hardwood

Some hardwood floors are also installed using the same nailing processes as solid wood, but there are also forms with "click-lock" edges, known as "floating floor.” Parquet floors can also be glued to a concrete subfloor. Most do-it-yourselfers find hardwood floors easier to install.

Best for Installation: Engineered Hardwood

DIYers find that engineered hardwood's click-lock or glue-down forms are easier to work with than the nail-down methods used for solid hardwood.

Finished parquet usually lasts 20 to 30 years.

Because the solid wood construction allows for repeated sanding and refinishing, solid wood planks lead in terms of durability.


Solid hardwood

Standard hardwood floor planks are 3/4 inch thick, 2 1/4 inches wide and are sold in a variety of lengths from 12 to 84 inches. Other thicknesses and widths are also available, although hardwood floors are rarely more than about 4 inches wide.

Machined hardwood

Engineered wood boards are often thinner, with boards 3/8 to 9/16 inch thick being common. Processed hardwood is available in much wider planks, up to 7 inches, and lengths are typically 12 to 60 inches.

Best for sizes: tie

There is no particular winner here, unless you prefer narrower planks (in which case solid wood is preferable for you) or wider planks (in which case parquet is a better choice).

resale value

Solid hardwood

In appearance, solid hardwood isn't noticeably different from engineered hardwood, but real estate professionals and potential home buyers canplace a bonuson a solid wood floor for a longer lifespan.

Machined hardwood

Engineered hardwood floors will rarely turn off potential buyers, although they may realize that these floors have a shorter lifespan.

Best for Resale Value: Solid hardwood

Both solid wood and parquet are high-quality floor coverings that add good real estate value to your home. Solid hardwood can come out on top here as it lasts longer than parquet.

Ecological damage

Solid hardwood

More trees need to be harvested for solid hardwood than for its engineered counterpart. However, a parquet floor is still an environmentally friendly option if it comes from a responsible supplier. Sustainably sourced hardwoods are certified by the Forest Stewardship Council.

The plus points of solid hardwood are that it lasts longer than engineered wood and can be refurbished more often, so it doesn't need to be replaced as often. Solid hardwood can be reclaimed and reused or recycled to make engineering hardwood. Even if it has to be disposed of at the end of its life, it is 100% biodegradable.

Machined hardwood

Processed hardwood is environmentally friendly and sustainable compared to most other floor coverings. With wood-based materials, fewer trees are used per plank than with solid wood. It uses the "leftovers" from other wood manufacturing processes to make its boards. Engineered wood has just a thin veneer of traditional wood on its plywood or fiberboard core. Also, the veneer is sliced ​​rather than cut with a saw, reducing sawdust and pollutant by-products.

Composite wood flooring products such as parquet are manufactured using adhesives and resins that may outgas or contain volatile organic compounds. Also, engineered hardwood is not as biodegradable at the end of its lifespan due to the adhesives used to make the wood. It can be refinished, increasing its lifespan; However, it will end up in a landfill, adding to the pile of rubbish for future generations.

Best for Environmental Impact: Tie

Engineered parquet saves trees. The trees used to make hardwood floors take longer to grow than the trees used to make hardwood floors. Ready-made parquet protects old growth and slow-growing trees.

But the longevity and end of life of hardwood is a concern. Because it's not as biodegradable as solid hardwood, it ends up in landfill. Also, its adhesives can pose an air quality issue (although a recent push toward less toxic adhesives may mean that VOC outgassing becomes less of a problem).

The judgment

Engineered flooring was once considered a pale imitation of solid hardwood, but improvements in product quality have removed that perception. Solid hardwood may hold a slight prestige edge for some people and continues to be the top choice among professionals for added value and durability, but parquet's lower cost and ease of installation give it an edge over others. In addition, engineered wood uses less hardwood, which appeals to environmentally conscious consumers.

Top Marks

  • Carlisle: This company specializes in solid wood floorboards with wide floorboards and also sells ready-made parquet. These are expensive products but extremely high in quality.
  • wood liquidators: This discount lumber store sells medium quality solid wood and parquet floors at very good prices. This is the brand to look at if you want affordable flooring.
  • Bruce: Once owned by flooring giant Armstrong, Bruce is a brand of AHF Products. Bruce offers a very wide range of hardwood floors (more than 190 types and colors) and parquet (more than 150 options) at moderate prices.

Article Sources

The Spruce uses only quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts in our articles. Read ourseditorial processto learn more about how we fact-check our content and keep it accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.

  1. "Increasing resource efficiency in the Swedish flooring industry through floor refinishing." IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute.

  2. "Wood floor sanding and finishing guidelines." National Wood Flooring Association.


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