Homeowners interested in tough, durable and beautiful flooring are wise to give serious consideration to engineered hardwood (also referred to as “laminate” flooring) products.

These flooring products have been on the market in the U.S. for more than 30 years and have had long built a reputation for offering lower pricing than traditional hardwood, but with exceptional durability and an attractive appearance.

What is engineered hardwood?

Traditional wood flooring is milled from solid pieces of hardwood, such as oak, maple, cherry or hickory. Most hardwood flooring today is sold prefinished and can be installed by a knowledgeable homeowner with the proper tools and experience.


Engineered hardwood is made of thin layers of wood, glued together under pressure with extremely durable and long-lasting adhesives. The layers – also referred to as “plies” – are laid up one across the other with the wood grain running at 45- or 90-degree angles.


This orientation of the grain from layer to layer makes the flooring much more resistant to warping, which is usually caused by moisture absorbed into the wood. The top ply in an engineered flooring plank is usually made of hardwood, albeit much thinner than what is used in a traditional wood floor. The top layer is stained and finished with extremely tough coatings with do much to protect the flooring from stains, spills, and scratches from the nails of dogs and cats.

Is engineered flooring easy to spot?

Over the decades since its inception, engineered flooring has evolved greatly. Current engineered flooring products offer a variety of wood finishes, beveled edged planks, and hand scraped textures. Many engineered flooring products feature sound-deadening backing, which greatly muffles the sound of shoes on the flooring, creating a solid sound often indistinguishable from that of a traditional hardwood floor.

What are the advantages of engineered hardwood flooring?

While traditional hardwood flooring can be beautiful, classy and enduring, engineered hardwood flooring has several advantages, including:

  • Lower cost. Depending on the product, engineered hardwood flooring can cost half as much or even less, than a traditional hardwood floor
  • Greater resistance to warping. Due to its construction, adhesives and finishes, engineered hardwood flooring can resist warping caused by moisture better than a traditional hardwood floor. Engineered hardwood flooring products are not waterproof, but they tend to resist the effects of moisture more than traditional hardwood flooring. This means engineered hardwood flooring may be a better choice in basements and kitchens, for example.
  • Ease of installation is often greater with engineered hardwood flooring products. While a handy, knowledgeable and skilled homeowner may be capable of installing either a traditional or engineered hardwood floor, most engineered products feature interlocking designs, eliminating the need for nail guns and other special tools. In either case, flooring is a significant investment and most homeowners would be wise to opt for professional installation.
  • Engineered hardwood flooring can also be cleaned routinely with a wet mop. Traditional hardwood flooring should only be dry mopped to avoid problems with moisture.


Conversely, while well-cared for engineered hardwood floor can last 30 years or more, a traditional hardwood floor that is carefully maintained, not subject to abuse and kept dry can last up to 100 years. This longevity is in part due to the fact that traditional hardwood flooring can be refinished, while engineered flooring may not.


Proper installation makes a difference.

With either traditional hardwood or engineered hardwood, putting down planks in the center of a room can be a straightforward undertaking.

The differences between a professional installation and one completed by a do-it-yourselfer can be readily visible in the details. The intricacies of properly installing flooring under baseboards, around fireplaces and heating and cooling vents, doorways, stairs, in and around corners and countless other oddities can make or break a flooring installation.


Professional installers face these challenges daily and have the experience – and the specialized tools – to tackle these issues with ease. In the end professional installation results in a perfect floor, one which a homeowner can be proud of for decades.


Our staff and flooring professionals are experts, having installed countless floors in homes, businesses, schools, and churches. Their expertise and knowledge mean your new floor will be installed perfectly and look beautiful for years to come. To ensure you get the results you want, it’s important to plan, make smart choices and work with experts.


Contact us today and let us help you transform your home with classic tile looks that will endure!