Engineered wood flooring has become an increasingly popular choice for homeowners looking for the beauty and warmth of natural wood, with added durability and stability. But what exactly is engineered wood flooring, and how does it differ from traditional solid hardwood? Here are the adorable layers that make up engineered wood flooring, and explain how they contribute to its unique properties and benefits.

Three Layers of Engineered wood Flooring

Engineered wood flooring comprises several layers of wood and other materials, each with its specific purpose and function. Here are the key layers that make up a typical engineered wood flooring plank:

  1. Wear layer: The top layer of an engineered wood flooring plank is called the wear layer, and it’s made of a thin slice of real hardwood veneer. This layer is what gives engineered wood flooring its natural wood look and feel, and is typically 1/16″ to 1/8″ thick.
  2. Core layer: Beneath the wear layer are several layers of high-density fiberboard (HDF) or plywood, which make up the core of the engineered wood flooring plank. These layers are typically cross-layered, with each layer running perpendicular to the one above and below it, which gives the plank added stability and resistance to moisture and temperature changes.
  3. Backing layer: The bottom layer of a hardwood flooring plank is called the backing layer, and it’s typically made of a thin layer of wood veneer or a moisture-resistant material like cork or rubber. This layer helps to protect the core layers from moisture and provides added stability to the plank.

The Benefits of Engineered Wood Flooring’s Layered Construction

The unique layered construction of engineered wood flooring offers several key benefits over traditional solid hardwood flooring, including:

  1. Stability: Because the core layers of engineered wood flooring are cross-layered and made of stable materials like HDF or plywood, they are less likely to expand, contract, or warp due to changes in moisture or temperature. This makes engineered wood flooring a great choice for areas with high humidity or temperature fluctuations, such as basements or kitchens.
  2. Durability: The wear layer of engineered wood flooring is made of real hardwood, which means it can be sanded and refinished if needed, just like solid hardwood flooring. However, because the wear layer is thinner than solid hardwood, it can typically only be refinished once or twice over its lifetime.
  3. Versatility: Because engineered wood flooring is more stable than solid hardwood, it can be installed in a wider range of environments, including over concrete subfloors or in areas with radiant heating systems.
  4. Affordability: Because engineered wood flooring uses a thin layer of real hardwood veneer over a core of less expensive materials, it is typically more affordable than solid hardwood flooring, while still offering the same natural wood look and feel.

Choosing the Right Engineered Wood Flooring for Your Home

When selecting engineered wood flooring for your home, there are several key factors to consider, including:

  1. Wear layer thickness: The thickness of the wear layer will impact the durability and refinishing potential of your engineered wood flooring. Thicker wear layers (3/16″ or more) will offer more durability and refinishing options, but will also be more expensive.
  2. Core layer material: The material used for the core layers of your engineered wood flooring will impact its stability and moisture resistance. HDF and plywood are both good options, but HDF is typically denser and more stable.
  3. Finish and color: Engineered wood flooring comes in various finishes and colors, from natural wood tones to more modern gray and whitewashed options. Choose a finish and color that complements your home’s style and decor.
  4. Installation method: Engineered wood flooring can be installed using various methods, including glue-down, nail-down, or floating installations. Consider your subfloor type and personal preferences when choosing an installation method.


Engineered wood flooring offers the beauty and warmth of natural wood, with added durability and stability thanks to its unique layered construction. By understanding the adorable layers that make up engineered wood flooring, and considering key factors like wear layer thickness, core layer material, finish and color, and installation method, you can choose the perfect engineered wood flooring for your home. So go ahead and explore the world of engineered wood flooring – your adorable home (and your feet) will thank you!