The Bordeaux range of engineered wood flooring is proving hugely popular with residential clients…

So what exactly is the difference between engineered wood flooring and solid wood?


The Bordeaux range of flooring is manufactured in Europe to a very high standard (rather than manufactured in say Asia or China for example) and has 14mm birch ply which backs up the 6mm solid wood boards. The birch backing is 14mm of layered ply running both down and across.

the board to make it solid and stable. Being more stable means, it is less vulnerable to humidity and therefore less likely to expand and move.

Solid wood has 6mm of solid wood above a tongue and groove structure so effectively both solid wood and engineered wood has the same longevity but engineered wood can be more stable as it has a manufactured backing to minimise the effects of humidity. Engineered wood can also facilitate underfloor heating which solid wood cannot. This doesn’t mean one is preferable to the other but it does explain why engineered wood is around 20% more expensive.

Solid wood being a natural product and totally un-manufactured, it must be allowed to acclimatize to it’s environment over a period of 10 days. During which time it is monitored closely to measure humidity. When the humidity of the environment is the same as the wood flooring then it has equalised and should not expand dramatically. If not moisture can get into the cracks between the boards and within the texture of the flooring which, expands and creates a ‘wave’ effect which moves outwards towards the skirting boards. If there is an insufficient expansion gap at the skirting board then the flooring expands into the gap and pushes back against the wall creating a ‘pyramid effect’ in the centre of the floor, which rises up. Consequently the outer of the floor has to be trimmed then to ‘ease’ the expansion. Engineered flooring because of it’s manufactured backing needs only 48 hours to acclimatise but the same principle applies and it too is carefully metered until the humidity has equalised.


Preparation is the key to the perfectly laid wood flooring

This is why Criterion flooring put such great store in the initial consultation, the preparation and assessment of a floor to ensure a perfectly clean and level finish and that the wood is carefully acclimatized to the environment. (in many old properties this is not always the case so provisions have to be made to level the sub floor prior to laying the wood boards)

Our initial consultation also allows you to see sample boards, to decide on the width of board, the colour and finish. In the Bordeaux Oak range there are some spectacular colours and finishes (download the brochure pdf from our website to see for yourself at which can transform a room.

The ‘Winter Frost’ for example is a grey colour which looks amazing, equally colours like ‘American Black Walnut can create a warm, cosy effect in a lounge or bedroom. You can also choose the finish from ‘Select’, ‘Rustic’ or ‘Prime’ which, have varying degrees of texture and wood knots depending on the aesthetic you are looking to achieve. We can discuss this with you and show you the samples and often photographs of other projects where a particular material has been used so you can judge for yourself.

You will also be pleased to hear that the Bordeaux Range represents excellent value for money based on it’s high quality of manufacture and with care both engineered wood or unmanufactured solid wood flooring will last a lifetime in your home.