All About Hardwood Flooring: Engineered

by Eric Hurst

Engineered hardwood flooring is an incredibly versatile option for shoppers looking for a real wood floor product that is more stable and eco-friendly than a traditional solid wood floor. Start shopping for engineered wood floors with, and let us help you find the best prices for your budget!


The world of hardwood flooring has so many options that it can really be overwhelming when you start shopping. If you're looking for Engineered hardwoods, then we are assuming you have already eliminated solid hardwood as an option, meaning you are well on your way to narrowing your selection down to the perfect floor for you!

What is engineered hardwood flooring?

Quite simply, it's a real hardwood floor that is made up of multiple layers of wood, with the top layer being the beautiful decorative layer, and the lower layers being either a plywood core or an HDF core. Either way, an engineered wood flooring product is just as beautiful as a solid wood floor, but it's superior to solid hardwood because it is more stable.

Many people compare engineered vs solid hardwood flooring to see which one they like best. In the end, it comes down to one's personal preference or what your jobsite conditions dictate. For example, if you need new wood floors installed directly over a concrete slab subfloor on or below grade, than solid hardwood is probably not an option for you, while engineered hardwood will do the job perfectly!

Types of Engineered Hardwood Flooring

There are really two main kinds of engineered hardwood floors: Plywood based engineered hardwood and HDF based. These are both pretty self explanatory, so we won't go into any great detail regarding what is different between the two, but just keep in mind that both options have a real wood surface layer, so either way you're getting a real hardwood floor!

Since each of these options comes with their own positive and negative traits, it's important for you to understand the differences in those traits to make an educated decision.

High Density Fiberboard

HDF engineered hardwood floors are relatively new compared to other types of wood flooring on the market. Innovative manufacturers like Home Legend Hardwood are offering this type of flooring because it is eco-friendly, cost effective and easy to source the raw materials.

There are a few things about HDF that make it very attractive for specific uses. First of all, it's made out of a synthetic material that is highly durable and resistant to the negative effects of moisture. When the relative humidity in any given area rises and falls seasonally, a solid hardwood floor can experience unsightly side effects of moisture, such as shrinking, cupping, warping, etc... An engineered HDF wood floor is less susceptible to these negative effects of moisture because of it's unique construction and intelligent design.

Because an HDF based wood floor still features a real wood top veneer, you are still able to find nearly any design you could possibly have with a solid wood product, so you really can have beauty and stability in one product.

Hardwood Base Engineered Flooring

Engineered hardwood made with a plywood base is the most common type of engineered flooring. This is what the most respected names in the flooring industry like Anderson, Bruce and IndusParquet have been making for many years.

All about engineered hardwood flooring

This type of hardwood will have the same level of strength and durability of regular hardwood, but is superior because of it's stability and resistance to shrinkage and expansion with seasonal climatic changes. Some people prefer to use this over regular hardwood because it can sometimes be less expensive, while simultaneously coming armed with a greater resistance to water damage through the added protection of layering of the plywood layers.

Which is best for you?

The different situations in which you'd use either of these options are many and varied. While your purchase may sometimes be dictated by nothing other than your budget, if you are able to bring other things into account, then there are a few tips to finding the right flooring for you. First, when it comes to HDF, you will really want to consider this flooring if you live in a very moist and humid area.

The US Pacific Northwest is a great example of a place that sees a lot of rainfall every year, where people could really benefit from HDF. Since it is so resistant to water damage, it will be able to stand up to years of use much more easily.

If you want your flooring to have that undeniable feel of hardwood under your feet, then a hardwood plywood based engineered flooring is the way to go.

It has many of the benefits of regular hardwood flooring, but has the added stability as a result of the plywood core, and these types of wood flooring often cost less than solid hardwoods.

The Nuts and Bolts

Engineered flooring is another form of flooring that you really shouldn't write off until you've done your homework on the subject. It offers a number of benefits that don't come with regular hardwood flooring, and these benefits may make this a better choice for you in the end. What are you waiting for?

Take a look at our various types of hardwood floors and start shopping!

This article was published on Saturday 18 February, 2012.
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