What is Engineered Wood Flooring?

Is it Real or Fake Wood?

I want to clear this up in case you have ever been in this situation yourself. Have you ever found yourself standing at a hardwood flooring display at Home Depot or another home improvement store and looked at the sign on a sample piece of wood that read “engineered wood flooring” and wondered hmm is that real wood or fake? The answer is yes it is real wood flooring.

This is a common misunderstanding and you may wonder then, why don’t they just call it “wood”? Well the answer is simple, real wood flooring can be constructed of one solid piece of wood, called “solid wood,” or can be constructed of 3 to 10 thin layers of wood which is why it is called engineered wood flooring instead of just “wood flooring”

How are Engineered Wood Floors Made?

Engineered floors are made of 3-12 layers that are cross layered, tightly glued & pressed together. The inner part of the engineered wood is made up of hard wood and/ or a ply wood type of material which helps make the tongue and groove system. The top layer of wood that you will actually see as your flooring is then glued on the top surface of the engineered wood.

There are many benefits of using engineered wood, for instance, they are more resistant to higher moisture levels than solid wood, this adds to the appeal because people can have them in their bathrooms or basements without as much worry of warping, as in solid hard wood flooring. Another great thing about them is that quality engineered flooring has the same resale value as 3/4″ solid wood flooring, if you are ever going to sell your home, this is a great thing to be aware of. One other thing that is good to know is they average a lifespan of 20-30 years and thicker engineered floors last from 40 – 80 years before needing replacing.

There are Different Types of Engineered Wood, They Are Not All Alike!

People don’t always take a look at the fact that there is higher end wood flooring and lower end wood flooring for those that don’t have higher end in their budget. Well engineered wood is exactly the same. There is higher end, thicker top wear layer and better quality engineered wood and there is very thin top wear layer and lower quality engineered wood and several types in between as well. Even if your budget is tight, it is still possible to find a good quality engineered floor, if you know the difference between good quality and bad and if you are willing to look around till you find what you want.

What Should You Be Looking For?

First you need to know what your demands are going to be on the flooring you are installing. Is it a high rough traffic space or a low mild traffic space? On a higher rougher traffic space you will need a higher quality thicker wear layer engineered wood. These are much more durable than the thinner wear layered wood. But in a low traffic area home or room you do not need to worry about this so a thinner engineered wood would be just fine.

Going Green

Putting engineered wood in your home helps conserve our precious trees. For every 1 sq foot of 3/4 inch thick solid wood flooring manufactured you can manufacturer around 4 times that into engineered wood flooring. This is the best flooring to provide people with to help conserve our forests. So if you are going green or already are green this is something that you will be glad to know and may make you even more interested in engineered wood flooring.

I hope this information was useful and helpful. I hope you now have a better understanding of what engineered wood is and how it works.

R. Tripp
RWT Design & Construction

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