All About Engineered Wood Flooring

April 11, 2023

Engineered wood floorings comprise a thin top layer of hardwood that is adhered to an engineered substrate, as opposed to conventional hardwood flooring, which includes solid wood planks. Wood boards constructed from wood scraps and adhesives are termed "engineered". Because of this construction, engineered wood resembles regular hardwood after installation.

While some may adore the stunning finishes and mechanisms they offer, others have frequently questioned if they go the extra mile for the cost one pays for them. Despite this, the popularity of these floors has remained strong. You can check Stories Flooring's engineered wood range to learn more about why these floors are so popular and if they're right for your home.

In this blog, we'll take a look at the different types of engineered wood floors, their benefits, how they can be installed, and many more. Let's get started!

Types of Engineered Wood Flooring

Plywood Construction

One with a plywood base is perhaps the engineered hardwood floor that is most frequently available. This floor's foundation is built of plywood; the top layer of natural hardwood, known as the lamella, is glued to the plywood. This hardwood top layer's thickness might be between 1 mm and 6mm. The total cost of the hardwood floor is influenced by the lamella thickness, as is your ability to refinish the floor in the future.

Depending on the required final thickness of the finished floor, the plywood base might consist of various layers. Not all plywood is made equal, and the quality utilised can range from marine grade at the high end to residual scrap material at the low end. Generally speaking, the flooring will be more resistant to seasonal expansion, contraction, and dampness if better quality plywood is utilised. The basis of strength for an engineered hardwood floor is similar to that of a solid muscular core in a person.

SPF Construction

SPF, a blend of quarter-sawn Spruce, Pine, and Fir softwood species, is an engineered hardwood flooring structure gaining popularity. These species are used to build 'pickets' that run anticlockwise to the direction of the hardwood lamella, which prevents the hardwood lamella from expanding and contracting naturally. The advantage of such a design is that these softwood species are easily accessible locally, and the trees grow back quickly. Additionally, having a floor that appears to be made entirely of natural wood (softwood in the core and a hardwood lamella) may be advantageous to some customers.

HDF Core

The last construction is the least likely to be used; its core is built of HDF(high-density fiberboard). Laminate, click-together cork flooring, linoleum flooring, and other types all use HDF as their primary component. Additionally, it is used for hardwood flooring where a less expensive, click-together hardwood is preferred. Even if a hardwood lamella adheres to an HDF basis rather than an SPF or plywood substrate, the flooring is still made of natural wood. Remember that no matter the construction style, a floating hardwood floor cannot be re-sanded.

Why Engineered Wood

Engineered wood floors have improved in beauty and performance since their inception in the 1960s. These high-tech boards, which come in dozens of wood species and with innovative surface finishes like hand scraped for a weathered patina, fit perfectly in any antique home, be it a 1910 foursquare or a raised ranch from the 1970s.

Most boards are suitable for foot traffic the day you lay them down since they have factory finishes that will outlive ones applied to solid wood in your home. Engineered boards are also problem-solvers, enabling you to utilise them in places where solid strips frequently can't, including in basements or directly atop concrete slabs. Even better, thrifty homeowners may install the boards themselves, saving money on professional installation and obtaining excellent results in a single weekend.

The Benefits Of Selecting Engineered

  • For older homes that are more susceptible to greater variations in temperature and humidity, the improvement in stability is preferable.
  • Large installations are also possible thanks to the increased strength.
  • You can use engineered wood flooring underlay to increase levelling and insulation.
  • Because of its popularity, there are many more options for engineered flooring.
  • Because of their increased solidity, these floors frequently work with click installation.
  • There are hardly any hazards associated with cupping.

Common Myths

There are some widespread misconceptions concerning engineered wood flooring. To guarantee that your floor fulfils expectations, awareness of these is crucial.

  • Compared to solid wood floors, scratch resistance is not improved. The natural wood on the top layer will continue to be susceptible to dents and scratches. (unless our anti-scratch wood flooring has a particular protective layer).
  • They aren't water-resistant. Although solid wood is more stable against moisture, adhering to the recommended moisture levels is still crucial.
  • Gaps for expansion are still necessary. Although engineered wood flooring doesn't expand as much as solid wood, it still moves with changes in humidity and temperature.
  • We can sand. You can sand back and refinish your floor numerous times if it has a top layer of 3mm or more.

Where to Install It

In Basement

Solid wood flooring suffers damage from the moisture that collects here. The wood's natural inclination to expand and contract in humid environments is lessened by the crisscrossing pattern of veneer layers utilised in engineered boards resembling plywood. The boards' thinner profile is beneficial where headroom is at a premium.

Radiant Heat

Thinner engineered boards are sturdy and better at transferring heat than thick solid wood. The ideal floors float since they don't require nails or staples that could pierce wiring or hot-water tubes. Before employing a foam underlayment, which obstructs heat transfer, consult the manufacturer of the radiant heating system.

Where to Avoid Using It

While engineered flooring is more resilient to changes in moisture than solid flooring, it still has drawbacks. Even sturdy engineered boards are vulnerable to the wet feet, drips and soggy towels of a crowded bathroom when combined with shower steam. The same thing threatens laundry rooms.


Engineered wood floorings are made up of a thin top layer of hardwood. Engineered wood is easy to use and can be used in places where solid wood can't, like a basement. Since it is easy to install, you can install it independently and use it for foot traffic afterwards. We hope this article has been helpful. If you have any questions, please let us know in the comments below!


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