How is Engineered Hardwood Made?

How is engineered hardwood made? Engineered hardwood is considered a real hardwood flooring option, but the biggest difference lies in the construction of the planks.

Engineered Hardwood Core

To engineer a hardwood floor to be more durable, resistant to moisture and climate changes, this hardwood flooring option is created by using a real hardwood veneer on the top surface, with the core created with adhering layers of plywood together.

solid vs engineered hardwood

The plywood core layers, usually made with high density fiberboard, are stacked in opposite directions and glued together. Engineered hardwood cores are made with a tongue and groove system, much like a laminate, that allows for a click and lock installation.

After the core is assembled, the hardwood veneer is adhered to the top. The veneer is manufactured in a few different ways, which can have a significant impact on the price.

Types of Veneers

  1. Dry solid sawn is the most expensive type of veneer cut. The wood is kept in low humidity allowing the moisture to exit the wood cells. The veneer is sawed the same way a solid hardwood floor would be, thus creating the most unique and natural wood floor appearance.
  2. Rotary-peel works by boiling each log at a certain temperature and then scraping the veneer off with a blade, starting from the outside of the log and rotating around. Over time, these floors can lose shape, causing issues with warping and cupping.
  3. Sliced-peel also involves boiling the log like the rotary-peel, however, the veneers are cut straight through the log instead of rotating the blade around the log.

As a rule, higher quality engineered wood floors have thicker veneers on top. A thicker veneer will also allow you to re-finish or sand the flooring in the future.

Have you installed an engineered hardwood flooring? Tell us about your experience in the comments below!

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