What is Engineered Hardwood?
Engineered hardwood floors are made up of layers. The top layer is 100% natural wood, which comes in a variety of species. The bottom layer is also wood. In the middle is a core built from 5 to 7 layers of plywood that crisscross in different directions.
Engineered construction creates a highly stable core that is less likely to expand, contract or shift when exposed to moisture, humidity and temperature. This makes engineered wood flooring a great option in rooms that are subject to moisture (like basements) or over concrete slab and radiant heating systems.
With a few exceptions, engineered wood flooring is available in a wide range of styles, ranging from traditional to specialty designs with features like multi-tonal colors and handcrafted tool markings. Certain looks, such as extra-wide planks, may only be possible with engineered wood. Engineered wood is an excellent choice for areas where solid hardwood cannot be installed, like in basements, over concrete floors or over radiant heating systems. Engineered hardwood flooring has multiple installation options: staple, glue or float, or Lock&Fold technology, available on some products.
Engineered wood can be sanded and refinished several times throughout the life of the floor. If your durability concerns are around moisture, humidity or temperature, engineered is the way to go. Its layered construction provides stability against environmental changes. Premium engineered products come with Armstrong Flooring's best warranty and a Lifetime Finish for superior scratch protection. Engineered has multiple species to choose from: Oak, Maple and Hickory, plus softer species like Birch, Cherry and Walnut, and exotic woods like African Mahogany, Acacia and Tigerwood. At 3/8” to 1/2", engineered wood is slightly thinner than solid hardwood.
Thicker woods are usually available in premium collections. Some engineered floors have a thicker top hardwood layer that allows them to be sanded and refinished several times. Engineered floors can be a good choice if you need a thinner wood for an existing space.
Sometimes, engineered floors can sound more hollow than solid under-foot, but that can be addressed by stapling down the planks instead of floating them. Premium engineered flooring is usually thick enough to look and sound just like "real hardwood."