When it comes to furniture shopping for your home, the prospect is exciting and confusing at the same time. Engineered wood vs solid wood: which is better?

There are countless designs, materials and comfort levels to choose from. In India, solid-wood furniture has always had the upper hand as we culturally consider it to be auspicious, durable and sturdy.

But times are changing, and environment-conscious homeowners are weighing the pros and cons of engineered wood and solid wood. Moreover, the fact that the former is also quite affordable, tips the scale further in its favour.

And that raises the need for the comparison of engineered wood vs solid wood furniture, and which is the better for furniture? We can’t answer that without weighing the pros and cons to decide what works best for your space. 

What Is Solid Wood?

Solid-wood blocks used for making furniture

Solid wood refers to naturally available wood or timber from felled trees. Basically, people cut down trees to get this wood to make new furniture. In India, there is a large market for such solid-wood furniture. And in order to create big curvy designs, craftsmen even use large wooden blocks. Hence, solid-wood furniture market in India is known to have handcrafted vintage designs with curves, curlicues and arches.

What Are the Types of Solid Woods Used in India?

Teak, rose, cedar and rubber woods are commonly used in India to make furniture

Some of the popular types of solid woods available in India include teak wood, Indian rosewood, cedarwood, sal wood, rubber wood and satinwood. Also, many furniture makers use materials from regional trees like jackfruit trees or mango trees. While there are many differences between engineered wood and solid wood, one of the major one is the beautiful texture and grains of natural solid wood.

Also Read: What Kind of Wood or Wood-like Materials are Used in Home Interiors and Why?

What Is Engineered Wood?

This is more commonly used nowadays for making lightweight custom furniture

As the times progressed, the cost of producing solid-wood furniture increased. Additionally, people became concerned about forest depletion and started looking for creative solutions. And eventually, they produced engineered wood which is made by binding wood shavings, sheets, and particles using a strong adhesive called resin. Since then, engineered-wood furniture is constantly gaining popularity amongst homeowners for its affordable prices and environment-friendly properties.

What Are the Types of Engineered Woods Used in India?

Particle boards, plywoods, MDF and HDF boards are the most commonly used engineered woods

One of the popular engineered woods used in interior design is plywood. While many try to differentiate between engineered wood and plywood, it belongs to the same category. However, there are other types of engineered woods like high-density fibreboard (HDF), medium-density fibreboard (MDF), particle boards as well. In fact, each of these has its own strengths, weaknesses and utility in interior design. To understand more about different kinds engineered woods, you can read this guide to engineered wood

What Are the Pros and Cons of Solid-Wood Furniture?

A traditional Indian dining room with solid-wood furniture

Pros of Solid Wood:

  • Solid wood is a classic choice for furniture and is easy to craft and design
  • There are different colours and materials available in solid wood
  • Since solid wood is durable and sturdy, its furniture also last for a long time
  • Any damages due to sunlight can be rectified by lightly sanding the surface and polish it
  • Solid wood furniture has beautiful grains and veins that add to its appeal
  • This wood is also easy to maintain and doesn’t require constant care

Cons of Solid Wood:

  • The furniture can be expensive depending on different wood types
  • It is not an environmentally-conscious choice as trees have to be cut for sourcing solid wood
  • Also, moisture and weather conditions like humidity can affect natural wood
  • Unfortunately, it is susceptible to termite infestation in the long run
  • Its furniture is typically heavy and difficult to move around

What Are the Pros and Cons of Engineered Wood?

Engineered wood is much cheaper than solid wood

Pros of Engineered Wood:

  • It is a cost-effective choice for those who’re decorating on a budget
  • Since it recycles wood particles, it is an environmentally-friendly choice
  • In general, wastage is minimal in engineered wood 
  • Engineered-wood furniture is water and moisture-resistant
  • Also, the resin adhesive is a strong repellent of termites
  • Engineered-wood furniture is typically lightweight and easy to move around

Cons of Engineered Wood:

  • Constant exposure to sunlight can warp certain material finishes
  • You’ll find it hard to repair and you might also need to replace it instead
  • You’ll also need to take care to avoid any damages to the furniture
  • Low-density engineered wood like particle board can break easily
  • Also, you’ll find limited variety of engineered woods out there
  • Some chemicals used in production can be toxic

Comparison of Engineered Wood vs Solid Wood Furniture

Engineered WoodSolid Wood
MaintenanceHigh to mediumLow
Termite-ResistanceHighNot termite-resistant
Water-ResistanceHigh (for most varieties)Not water-resistant

What Works As the Best Furniture Choice?

Custom wooden furniture made of MDF and laminates
Solid wood is a traditional material used in Indian architecture and interiors

Engineered wood vs solid wood comparison for furniture can seem a bit confusing at first. However, depending on your budget, space and weather conditions of the place where you live, choose a material that works for your home. You can also choose a mix to make most of both the materials! Basically, the idea is to find furniture pieces that match your style. For instance, if you live in an area where it rains a lot and it’s very humid, solid wood may not be a great idea as it will deteriorate quickly. However, if you often relocate your home, then you shouldn’t choose engineered wood as it can easily get damaged during transportation. Hence, it’s your lifestyle that should dictate this choice.

Which Is Easier to Maintain?

Solid wood is easier to maintain when compared to an engineered one. Moreover, it can also repair it easily and polish it to make it look brand new, even after years of use.

Which Is Easier to Install?

Engineered wood is lighter and readily available in market. Hence, it is easier to build or install an engineered-wood furniture than a solid-wood one.

Also Read: Latest Wooden Flooring Ideas and Costs: Textured Wood Floors for Your Home

How Can Livspace Help You?

If you want your home to be just as beautiful, then look no further. Book an online consultation with Livspace today.

We love hearing from you! Write to us with your comments and suggestions at editor@livspace.com