“Hardwood Flooring 101: Engineered Vs. Solid – Your Complete Guide”

Where can I find German Flooring products?

German Flooring’s showroom is located in Sacramento, California. We also offer a mobile showroom that brings floors to your home to browse & compare samples, speak with a flooring expert, and schedule your installation for any home in Northern California. German Flooring products are also available to view online and can be shipped nationwide.

Does German Flooring install floors?

German Flooring is a quality flooring products supplier/retailer and a licensed & insured flooring contractor with professional installation services backed by German Flooring warranty. German Flooring’s 3rd party licensed, insured, and bonded contractors are experts in their own line of work; Which ensures professional workmanship and customer satisfaction when it comes to the installation of different categories of flooring; hardwood, tile, luxury vinyl, and laminate.

How quickly can installation begin for my floors?

Installation for your flooring project can begin as early as the next day. Get in touch with German Flooring and make a personal connection with your Project Lead, who will guide you and be by your side throughout the whole new flooring process and Installation, start to finish.

What is your warranty policy?


What is German Flooring’s referral program?

Our greatest asset in growing our establishment has been and continues to be word of mouth advertisement. We welcome referals and offer referal incentives.

What is your return policy?

For any reason, if you are not satisfied with the items or merchandise, German Flooring will accept returns or exchanges only when merchandise is in its original condition, with no damage, and accompanied by an original sales receipt within 20 days of purchase. There is no restocking fee on German Flooring brand products, but all other brands are subject to a 25% restocking charge.

Can I request product samples?

Yes, German Flooring will ship out flooring samples nationwide. If you see a product you like on our website, you can easily request a sample by filling out the form underneath the product or by giving us a call.

“Hardwood Mastery: Choosing Between Engineered And Solid Flooring”

Engineered hardwood and solid hardwood are distinct in their construction and applications. Solid hardwood is a single piece of wood that offers a timeless look and can be refinished multiple times, although it’s susceptible to moisture-related warping. Engineered hardwood, on the other hand, features a top layer of real hardwood bonded to plywood or wood substitute layers, providing enhanced resistance to moisture and making it a versatile choice for various areas, including basements and over radiant heating systems.

When preparing for hardwood floor installation, the extent of preparation varies based on the floor type. Engineered hardwood can be installed on different surfaces and allows for a range of installation methods, whereas solid hardwood typically requires a wood subfloor. When purchasing hardwood flooring, it’s advisable to order an additional 10% (or 15% for wider planks) to cover waste and cuts.

Hardwood floors, being natural products, naturally exhibit color variations, which differ across species and wood grades. For homes with indoor pets, hardwood flooring is a viable option, though routine pet nail trimming is recommended to reduce scratches. Alternatively, pet-proof luxury vinyl planks are a durable and scratch-resistant option.

In terms of moisture, engineered hardwood is more suitable for moisture-prone areas like basements, as opposed to solid hardwood. Keeping hardwood floors within a humidity range of 6 to 9% minimizes damage and reduces expansion and contraction. For cleaning and maintaining hardwood floors, it’s important to follow the specific guidelines for the type of finish on the floor, with products like Bona being recommended for various hardwood types.

Engineered Hardwood

Is engineered flooring more expensive than solid hardwood?

Generally speaking, Yes. Engineered hardwood is more expensive than solid hardwood flooring. But when it comes to price, there are a few determining factors.

For example, a standard solid hardwood plank is (3/4″ x 5″ wide x random lengths) and a standard engineered hardwood plank is a (1/2″ x 2mm Veneer x 7 1/2″ wide x random lengths).

If we compare these two, they range about the same price, given they are the same wood species. The solid can be sanded about 5-6 times while the engineered only about 2 times. But if we upgrade the wear layer to a 6mm to match the sandable surface of the Solid 3/4″ plank, your price on the engineered hardwood can increase drastically.

In conclusion, engineered hardwood is an advanced version of the solid hardwood with increased dimensional stability, therefore costing a little more money. A very important factor to keep in mind when comparing prices of engineered hardwood against solid hardwoods is the quality. Anything thinner than 1/2″ x 2mm wear layer and especially an HDF (High-Density Fiberboard) base compared to a Ply-base/Solid Core will be on the low end for a much cheaper quality and price.

What are the benefits of engineered wood flooring?

Engineered hardwood comes with all the benefits of solid hardwood and much more. Majority of all these benefits are due to the ply-base and are also found within the top wear layer of the plank. Given that we know engineered hardwood is real wood, we know that the top layer gives us all the benefits and beauty of natural wood or solid hardwood flooring. Due to the ply-layers, engineered hardwood also has increased dimensional stability resulting in a whole array of benefits:

  • A much larger selection of style and sizes with planks as wide as 12 inches plus.
  • Glue, nail, or floating Installation.
  • Ability to install hardwood even in areas with higher moisture content such as a basement or below ground level.
  • Less expansion and contraction which results in tighter seams from board to board, even longterm over an extended period of time.
  • Consistency with one floor installed in Entire house over wood subfloor or concrete.
  • Install over heated floor system.
  • Sand and Refinish your floors and make them look brand new just like you would for solid hardwood.

What rooms are best suited for engineered wood flooring in a home?

Thanks to the ply-layers of the engineered hardwood, it can be installed in pretty much all areas of your home. Since the floor is less prone to expansion and contraction to relative humidity levels, it can be installed below ground level in basements and directly glued to concrete or glue/nail to your wood subfloor for one consistent floor in the entire home. This leaves it up to you to decide where you would like to install your engineered hardwood, living rooms, bedrooms, hallways and all of the above.

Some areas of concern are primarily bathrooms and laundry as there is always water involved in one way or another. Large areas such as living and family rooms along with unique staircases will always be on the top of the list for areas to install hardwood as the bigger the room the more of the natural wood to attract the eye.

What floor types can engineered hardwood be installed over?

Engineered hardwood can be installed over solid concrete and/or wood subfloor, which are the two main foundation types for homes. Due to the ply-layers, both of these surfaces are compatible allowing for glue, nail or float Installation.If there are any existing floor types and interest in installing on top of what’s already there, please consult a licensed flooring contractor.

Depending on the floor type, you could be taking a risk that will void your warranty and cause long/short term defects. Be sure to refer to the warranty of the actual product.

How thick is the hardwood veneer for engineered hardwood?

The hardwood veneer or the wear layer of the engineered hardwood ranges in thicknesses up to 8mm. Generally speaking, the thicknesses can get out of control with all the different sizes. But, for peace of mind, our understanding, and to set the foundation of the thickness, the standard quality thickness ranges from 2mm to 6mm Veneer. The 2mm allowing you to sand or refinish the floor at least once, and the 6mm being equivalent to the sandable surface of the solid hardwood, which can be sanded about 5-6 times.

Anything thinner than a 2mm risks scratching beyond the wear layer, exposing the wood underneath and doesn’t allow for refinishing your floors. If you don’t plan on refinishing your floors, then that’s an affordable way to go with engineered hardwoods. With that being said, anything less than a 2mm is falling off the grid and anything thicker than a 6mm is overrated.

Can engineered hardwood be sanded and refinished?

When it comes to engineered hardwood flooring, it’s all about the wear layer, especially if sanding and refinishing your flooring is of the essence.

Given that the wear layer on the hardwood is 2mm or more, you have the option of sanding and refinishing your flooring. You can sand/refinish a 2mm about 1.5 times, 3mm about 2.5 times, 4mm about 3.5 times, ect. Even though there are some floors that have an 8mm wear layer and some that have less than a 2mm, generally speaking, the wear layer of a nice standard engineered hardwood ranges from a 2mm to 6mm.

A 6mm wear layer being equivalent to the sandable surface of a solid hardwood, can be refinished about 5 or 6 times. The thicker wear layers add up to the longevity of your floors with the ability to make them look brand new again and again.

Do engineered wood floors scratch easily?

Scratch resistance is determined by the species of the wood and the type of finish. If there is a cause for concern, there are three main factors to keep in mind when you buy engineered hardwood floors: species, finish, and surface character.

Species such as Ipe, Brazilian Teak, and Brazilian Cherry are known for having a high rating on the Janka Scale, which measures the hardness of the wood. But, generally speaking, Acacia and Hickory are on the higher end of difficulty to scratch/dent, Oak and Maple fall somewhere in the middle, and Walnut and Birch are on the softer end, making them most prone to scratching.

The finish on the hardwood is also intended to protect against scratching and normal wear & tear. There are many types of finishes but the two most popular are the polyurethanes and the oil finishes. The polyurethanes are known to have a higher resistance to scratching and the oils are known for the natural beauty radiating from the hardwood floors.

One of the final factors to keep in mind and equally important especially when it comes to looks, is the surface character. Characteristics such as distressed marks, saw marks, chiseled edges, and the more traditional looking floors with the hand-scrape finish will be a lot more forgiving when it comes to scratches, especially when compared to the smooth shiny finishes which just seem to attract and point out every little imperfection.

By choosing the harder species, combined with a stronger finish, your hardwood can be at the top of the list as far as how hard it is to scratch.

Are engineered wood floors durable?

Durability refers to the top layer of the engineered hardwood’s ability to resist scratching and normal wear & tear, many times generalized on how “tough” the floor really is. A nice thicker floor, usually a ply-base 1/2″ x 2mm wear layer and thicker, combined with a stronger species of the wood and a more durable type of finish can be well equipped to be considered very durable.

Is engineered hardwood fake?

This is a misconception that a lot of people have about engineered hardwood flooring. Engineered hardwood is real wood! An engineered plank is made up of several layers of wood that are pressed and glued together allowing for increased dimensional stability, a wider selection of sizes and styles, and overcoming some of the limitations of solid hardwood planks. The top layer of an engineered hardwood floor after installation is identical to that of the solid hardwood.

Solid Hardwood

What rooms are best suited for solid wood flooring in a home?

Solid wood flooring works best in rooms that are on or above ground level and have low moisture levels such as living rooms, dining rooms, offices, and bedrooms. It is best to avoid installing it in bathrooms, basements, laundry rooms, and kitchens.

Can a solid hardwood floor be floated?

No, we don’t recommend floating for solid floors. Solid wood flooring should be glued or nailed to a wood subfloor.

Can I expect my solid hardwood floor to have color variations?

Yes. Solid hardwood flooring is a natural product. Therefore, you should expect there will be natural color variations in the wood. Although lower grades of flooring will have a larger number of character blemishes, you can expect color variations in all grades.

Which solid hardwood flooring installation method is best?

Solid hardwood is best paired with a wood subfloor which will allow for nail/staple down over a moisture barrier. This is the best and most preferred option. If you have a concrete slab, please consider an engineered hardwood.


Why should I choose laminate flooring for my home?

Laminate flooring offers a budget-friendly option with the look and feel of hardwood. It is also scratch, fade, and stain-resistant and works well for high traffic areas. Our laminate floors also offer easy click-together installation over sound & moisture barrier. That means no glue or nails are required.

How are laminate floors made?

Laminate floors are made up of an HDF (high-density fiberboard) topped with high-quality paper and sealed under an extremely hard protective clear-coat. This makes it perfect for anyone looking for a durable floor with the look and feel of hardwood and for the fraction of the cost.

What is a laminate flooring AC rating?

The AC ratings represent a laminate’s resistance to abrasion. AC3 rating is suitable for residential use, AC4 is for light commercial use, and AC5 (the highest rating) is the best option for commercial use and very heavy traffic.

Where can laminate flooring be installed?

Laminate flooring can be installed in any room on, above, or below ground. It is a very versatile floor that is perfect for high traffic areas and homes with pets & kids. If you’re looking for an option that is waterproof for your bathroom, laundry room, or kitchen, we recommend Luxury Vinyl flooring instead since it is 100% waterproof.

How do I clean my laminate flooring?

Laminate flooring is virtually maintenance-free and very easy to clean. Use a vacuum or a damp mop to clean your floors from dust and dirt. We don’t recommend the use of excessive water sin laminate is not 100% waterproof. Also, clean up any spills immediately to avoid damage. Lastly, follow all the manufacturer’s guidelines that come with your specific floor.


Why should I choose vinyl flooring for my home?

Luxury vinyl plank flooring, also known as LVP, is a top choice for homeowners for several reasons. Luxury vinyl can replicate the look of wood, stone or ceramic while providing an extremely durable & waterproof surface. Our Vinyl is 100% waterproof and scratch-resistant, which means it can be installed in all rooms in your home including bathrooms & kitchen.

The other reason that makes vinyl a popular choice among homeowners is the ease of installation with click-together flooring that can be installed over existing floors.Simply clean or wet mop your Luxury Vinyl flooring with peace of mind and enjoy it’s waterproof & maintenance-free features. Contact us to speak to a flooring expert that can help you decide if luxury vinyl can be installed over your existing floor.

Is vinyl flooring dog-friendly?

Luxury vinyl is a great option for dog owners who are worried about spills or their dog’s nails scratching their new floors. Luxury Vinyl is 100% Waterproof with a scratch-resistant top layer which makes it Pet-proof and Child-proof. For bigger dogs and higher traffic, you’ll want to choose a vinyl floor with a thicker wear layer.

Can vinyl flooring be installed in a basement?

Yes. Our vinyl flooring is 100% waterproof and can be installed in basements, bathrooms, kitchens, and any moisture-prone areas in your home.

How do I clean my luxury vinyl floors?

Luxury vinyl flooring is virtually maintenance-free and very easy to clean. You can sweep, vacuum, or use a wet mop to clean up any dust or dirt. When using a vacuum, we recommend you use one without a beater bar.

How do I keep my luxury vinyl floor looking great for years?

Luxury vinyl floors are extremely durable and can last for years by following a few simple tips to prevent any unnecessary damage. Here are a few tips on how to take care of your floors and keep them looking new:

  • Use a doormat at all entrances to lessen the dirt, rocks, and debris that gets into your home.
  • Felt pads under furniture can prevent scratching the surface of your vinyl floors.
  • Clean up any spills immediately.
  • Don’t drag any furniture across your floors. Pick them up to move them.
  • Your broom should have soft bristles.
  • Follow all manufacturer’s instructions that come with your specific floor.

Do I need to use a protector on vinyl floors for my rolling chair?

Our vinyl flooring is scratch-resistant, but that doesn’t mean scratches will never happen. It is a good idea to use a mat under your rolling chair to protect your floor. Over time, some wear & tear can happen and your floors will last longer when protected against scratches.