How to Tell If Floors Are Engineered Hardwood (6 Easy Ways)

Types of Engineered Hardwood Floors

Are you struggling to identify the differences between various wood floor types? Manufacturers have a way of constructing engineered hardwood floors to look almost identical to solid hardwood floors.

If you are confused about the type of wood floor in your home, then this post will show you exactly how to tell if floors are engineered hardwood. 

The number one recognizable sign of engineered hardwood floors is that they have beveled edges that form a groove between sections.

Now, let’s quickly look at the various signs of engineered hardwood floors.

What are Engineered Hardwood Floors?

Engineered hardwood floors have a decorative layer, while solid hardwood floors have thick top layers. 

They cannot be compared with solid hardwood floors. 

Although, note that a thicker top layer can be added to your solid hardwood floors with a continuous grain at an extra cost.

Also, another feature of engineered hardwood floor is that a strong core band provides strength and stability to the overall floor.

See Also: How to Refinish Distressed Hardwood Floors

The core band is composed of solid materials, which thus makes engineered hardwood floors resistant to moisture and heat. 

Now, let us move on over to the types of engineered hardwood floors, shall we?

Types of Engineered Hardwood Floors

There are three major types of engineered hardwood floors, and they are:

1. Multi-Ply Engineered Wood Floor

This is the most common type of engineered hardwood floor, which shares certain similarities with solid hardwood floors. 

The Multi-ply engineered wood floor has a total thickness that normally ranges from 13mm up to 20mm with extra core stability.

2. 3-Ply Engineered Floor

This type of floor is also quite popular; the 3-ply engineered floor provides excellent resistance to cupping and overexpansion. 

It has a total thickness which normally ranges from 12-18mm. 

3. HDF Core Engineered Flooring

This is the least common of all engineered wood types. 

The HDF core engineered flooring is quite versatile, probably because it is easy to install.

How to Tell If Floors Are Engineered Hardwood

As mentioned, differentiating between the various floor types might be a bit difficult, especially for newbies. 

However, below are some telltale signs we can use to identify engineered hardwood floors.

See Also: How To Clean Rough Floor Tiles

1. Engineered Hardwood Floors Have Beveled Edges That Form a Groove between Sections

As mentioned earlier, this is one of the most noticeable signs of engineered or laminate flooring. 

The floor’s surface has beveled edges that form a groove between sections with single pieces that are three or four planks wide.

2. Engineered Hardwoods Floors Have Planks of the Same Length 

Engineered flooring comes in the same length. 

You can use tape to measure these planks; if they are all the same length, they are definitely engineered or laminate flooring.

3. Engineered Hardwood Floors Have Different Layers of Wood

Another sign of engineered hardwood floor is that different layers of wood are sandwiched together. 

This is probably one of the noticeable differences between solid and engineered hardwood floors. 

Solid hardwood floors have one solid piece of wood with continuous grain. To confirm this, just look at the side of the plank.

4. Engineered Hardwood Floors are Finished with an Aluminum Solution

By pressing your thumbnail on a wood floor, you can easily tell if it is an engineered hardwood floor. 

Almost all engineered hardwood floors are sealed with an aluminum solution that is baked on. 

It follows that if you press your thumbnail on an engineered hardwood floor, it will have no dent, unlike when you press your thumbnail on solid hardwood floors that are sealed with polyurethane.

This sign might not be effective since some engineered hardwood floors are sealed with polyurethane, although rare. 

5. Engineered Hardwood Flooring Have Wide Floorboards

Floorboards are a bit wider with engineered hardwood flooring with slightly beveled edges, creating slight grooves between boards.

It follows that wide floorboards are features of engineered hardwood floors, though not in all cases. 

6. Engineered Hardwood Floors Tends to be More Affordable 

The price of engineered hardwood flooring is probably another telltale sign. 

The price of engineered hardwood floors ranges from $2.50 to $10 per square foot, with most types falling in the $4 to $7 per square foot range.

See Also: How To Get Rid Of Slick Spots On Hardwood Floors

Difference Between Hardwood and Engineered Hardwood

How to Tell If Floors Are Engineered Hardwood

It is becoming increasingly challenging to differentiate solid hardwood floors from engineered hardwood floors. 

Manufacturers are becoming innovative in creating engineered hardwood floors that share striking similarities with solid hardwood floors. 

Here are some ways to differentiate hardwood floors from engineered hardwood floors:

1. In terms of quality, engineered hardwood floors are durable with high-performance attributes.

2. Engineered hardwood floors are constructed with multi-layers of wood, positioned in a different direction, while solid hardwood floors have one solid piece of wood with a continuous grain.

3. In terms of maintenance, engineered hardwood offers easy care and maintenance. In contrast, solid hardwood floors are a bit tasking to care for.

Advantages of Engineered Hardwood Floors

Below are some reasons why you may want to choose engineered hardwood floors over solid hardwood floors:

1. They are known for their stability and thus most suited for older homes that are vulnerable to larger heat and humidity changes.

2. Engineered hardwood floors are quite easy to install and also allow for large installations.

3. Engineered wood floors can be used to add leveling and insulating improvements.

4. There are so many beautiful designs of engineered hardwood floors. 

It follows that you have got a wide array of choices. 

Conclusion

Identifying a particular type of flooring will go a long way in helping you determine the type of floor to install.

We hope this post on how to tell if floors are engineered hardwood will be of great help to you.

See Also: How To Distress Hardwood Floors (5 Easy Steps)

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