What Is Engineered Hardwood Flooring?

Rod Lorenz

Engineered hardwood flooring consists of layers that are bonded together, called plies. The top layer that you see is made of different species of hardwood, such as maple, oak, or walnut. The middle and back layers consist of various wood species intended for dimensional stability so that the whole sandwich is stable and more resistant to humidity, moisture, or arid conditions. In engineered hardwood floors, there are typically 5-7 plies, but the number can be as low as three or more than 10. The National Wood Flooring Association described engineered wood floors as:

“Engineered wood floors are real wood floors that are manufactured using three to nine layers of different wood veneers. The sub-layers can be of the same species or of different species. The grain of each layer runs in different directions, which makes it very stable. This means that the wood will expand and contract less than solid wood flooring during fluctuations in humidity and temperature. The top layer of engineered wood flooring consists of high-quality wood. While this type of flooring can be sanded and finished, it cannot be done as many times as solid wood flooring. Engineered wood flooring can be installed above, on or below grade.”

This is different from a solid hardwood floor, which is a continuous piece of wood with a groove and tongue milled onto the edges. 

What is the purpose of engineered floors?

  • They can be installed over various subfloors, including concrete, and often both below and above grade. 
  • They offer different installation methods, including being glued down, floating with glued joints, stapled, and floating click-together. 
  • They are potentially cheaper, depending on the wood species on top
  • They help make the precious hardwood on top more affordable by using softer and cheaper wood species for the back and middle layers.

Would you like to talk with us about engineered hardwood flooring? We’re here to help. Contact us at 920-984-3383, 800-354-9902, or info@ralphshardwood.com. Showroom appointments are available.ho

Image: Shutterstock

More Posts

New call-to-action