The transition between amorphous regrowth and explosive crystallization of a 220nm thick amorphous Si layer on a crystalline Si substrate has been studied using time-resolved reflectivity, transmission electron microscopy, and Rutherford backscattering spectroscopy. Upon irradiation by 7.5ns FWHM pulses from a frequency-doubled Nd:YAG laser, interferences in the reflectivity indicate growth of amorphous Si from the surface. The observation of a narrow Cu peak, buried below the surface, points towards solidification from both the rear and the front. Transmission electron microscopy studies revealed the occurrence of small patches of polycrystalline Si. The relative amount of this polycrystalline Si is increased by longer laser pulses, higher substrate temperatures, and thicker amorphous Si layers. The results are discussed in terms of the temperature distribution and the time available for the nucleation of polycrystalline Si at the liquid-solid interface.