What is Engineered Wood Flooring: Everything You Need to Know

If you’re planning to resurface your interiors, engineered wood flooring is the perfect option. This hard-wearing alternative to solid wood flooring isn’t just affordable; it’s also a sustainable choice for those looking for eco-friendly products.  
Just because it’s sustainable doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice style or colour options when choosing engineered wood flooring. You’ll find plenty of style varieties, ranging from minimalist long planks to elegant Versailles panels. Furthermore, you have a full range of colour options and inviting hues to consider.  
Keen to explore the world of engineered wood flooring for yourself? Below, we’ll look at the key information you need to know about it, making it easy for you to find quality flooring for your interiors.

What is Engineered Wood Flooring? 

Engineered wood flooring is a robust and eco-friendly choice of flooring material. Unlike traditional flooring, engineered wood flooring is made of several bonded layers of wood, with an upper layer made from premium solid wood. The veneer layer of engineered wood flooring is thick, with most measuring more than 2mm. A more basic engineered wood floor would be a 3-ply construction, but more expensive options would have a 5-ply construction.
These multiple layers make engineered wood flooring particularly durable. Unlike conventional solid wood flooring, engineered wood can withstand extreme temperature and copes well when exposed to moisture and humidity. A basic wood flooring might only last 10 years whereas engineered wood flooring could have a lifespan of 30 or more years. 
This resilience delivers one of the key advantages of engineered wood flooring, allowing it to be used in spaces like bathrooms and kitchens.  

Engineered wood flooring can also be used with under-floor heating systems. If you are installing an under-floor heating system you need to consider the density and thickness of the wood. The denser the wood is, the better it will be at transferring the heat. Similarly, you do not want it too thick as it will trap the heat. At Wood Flooring Ireland we recommend going with our 15/4mm thickness options. What this means is that the wood has a 4mm top layer of solid Oak and 15mm in total. This is the ideal measurement for anyone considering an under-floor heating system in their homes. 

Engineered flooring is also a cost-effective choice for homeowners looking to keep refurbishment budgets in check. The unseen inner layers tend to be made from plywood, with only the external veneer being made from solid wood. This also makes it an eco-friendly choice if you’re asking yourself ‘is engineered wood flooring good for the environment?‘.  
Engineered wood flooring is also incredibly easy to install, with most flooring products suitable for laying atop underlay. It is highly recommended to hire professionals to lay it. 

Key Differences Between Engineered Wood and Hardwood Flooring

Choosing between engineered wood and hardwood floors can be relatively challenging with all the similarities. Both types of flooring are popular choices for homeowners looking to bring a natural and authentic look to their spaces. However, when choosing between engineered wood and hardwood floors, it is important to consider these primary differences:


Engineered flooring has a shorter lifespan because you can’t sand them as many times as hardwood floors. However, it is essential to remember that the structure of engineered wood flooring makes it stable and highly resistant to water and heat damage – which is a big problem for hardwood floors. Therefore, durability often comes down to how well you care for your wood floor and the prevailing conditions in the space. Follow these 11 wood floor care tips for some help.

Engineered flooring can last between 20-40 years while hardwood flooring can last between 30-100 years.


Engineered wood flooring consists of multiple layers of plywood or fibreboard glued together, then topped with a hardwood outer surface. The thickness of the top layer (lamella) ranges from 1/16 to 1/8 inches. On the other hand, hardwood flooring is made of natural hardwood chopped to create solid planks.


Engineered floors are made of a thin top layer of hardwood. For that reason, you can’t sand them as many times as their hardwood counterparts. Generally, you can sand engineered wood flooring between once or twice times in its lifespan (depending on the thickness), while hardwood flooring can be re-sanded 2-4 times.


In wood flooring, stability refers to the floor’s ability to resist water and temperature that causes contraction and expansion. In this case, engineered wood floors are significantly stable compared to hardwood alternatives.

As mentioned earlier, engineered flooring is made of multiple layers of plywood or fibreboard – this creates a strong core that provides enough support for the top hardwood lamella. Therefore, engineered wood floors are less susceptible to buckling and warping.


The size also varies between engineered wood and hardwood flooring. Typically, engineered wooden floors come in shorter lengths and wider widths. Widths range between 2 ¼ – 7 inches while the length is 12 – 60 inches long with height between 3/8 – 9/16 inches.

On the other hand, hardwood floors are available in longer lengths (12-84 inches) and narrower widths (2 ¼ – 4 inches) . Their height is around ¾ inches.

The sizes of engineered wood and hardwood flooring differ because of the difference in the manufacturing processes. However, it is essential to remember that you can customise both flooring options to suit your preferences or installation requirements.

Available Varieties of Engineered Wood Flooring 

Wood Flooring Ireland offers customers a variety of premium engineered wood flooring products to consider.  
One of the most popular choices is chevron flooring. This type of flooring is instantly recognisable thanks to the V-shaped motif it produces when panels have been laid out. This style of flooring has been popular for hundreds of years and is perfect if you’re looking to inject character into a space.  
Herringbone wood flooring is like chevron flooring. Herringbone flooring tends to be made up of smaller individual planks. When properly aligned, these planks form a distinctive zigzag pattern. Unlike the 45-degree alignment of chevron flooring, herringbone flooring tiles are cut at a 90-degree angle. This results in a slightly more staggered impression that makes it suitable for all room sizes.  
Long plank wood flooring is another option to consider. Long planks can be used in small and large spaces alike. If you’re working with a smaller room, long planks can give the illusion of space. Wide long planks can also be used to complement a larger room with a sense of scale.  
Finally, there are Versailles panels. Each panel is made up of a variety of square-shaped, rectangular and triangular panels. These tiles are then joined together to form a truly breath-taking panel that’s rich in character. They’re more expensive than other wood flooring options but make a solid choice for rooms where you’re looking to add a luxurious touch.  

Engineered Wood Flooring Colour Options

Colour is crucial when choosing a new floor for any individual room. At Wood Flooring Ireland, you have plenty of beautiful colour options to choose from.  
Light coloured flooring is a good option if you’re looking to resurface a guest bedroom or space that is only occasionally used. Although lighter woods are very effective at bouncing around light, they also tend to show up dirt and grime more easily.  
Warmer tones are a good option if you’re planning on reflooring open-plan interiors. Warm-toned engineered flooring looks great in contemporary and traditional spaces, with richer hues meaning you won’t have to worry too much about daily cleaning.  
If you’re looking to overhaul your interiors with a sense of luxury, go for darker woods. Darker hues are a practical option for rooms that see a lot of foot traffic. They’re ideal for larger spaces but should be used cautiously in smaller rooms.  
If a contemporary makeover is on the agenda, white wood flooring is the obvious choice. White flooring immediately opens a space, making it ideal for rooms with limited square footage. It’s particularly effective if you’re looking to achieve a minimalist aesthetic.  
Grey wood flooring offers similar benefits to white flooring, although it’s a more practical option for busier households. Like white alternatives, grey wood flooring will help you achieve a clean and contemporary finish, without your home looking too sterile. It’s also incredibly versatile and makes the perfect base for countless interior decor schemes.  

How to Install Engineered Wood Flooring 

 One of the main benefits of engineered wood flooring is that it’s easier to install than solid wood flooring. Solid wood flooring requires considerable preparation, with planks and panels needing to be cut down to size before being fixed in place. Engineered wood flooring is far more flexible.  
Unlike tougher solid hardwood material, engineered wood flooring pieces can be cut down with ease, making it an ideal choice for rooms with awkward layouts. You also don’t need to worry about using carpentry nails or quick-drying adhesives. In most cases, you can opt for floating installation, requiring little more than an underlay.  

Maintaining an Engineered Wood Floor 

  Taking care of an engineered wood floor is effortless. Compared to solid wood, engineered wood flooring is incredibly durable with improved structural integrity. This means it won’t become damaged when exposed to occasional moisture and extreme temperatures.  
However, you’ll need to carry out some basic maintenance to ensure your floors remain looking their best. If you’re wondering how to clean engineered wood floors, the advice is fairly like how you’d take care of a standard solid wood floor. Avoid aggressive cleaning products and anything that includes wax or soap when tackling cleaning jobs. Always look for floor cleaning solutions that have been formulated for use on engineered wood flooring.  
Eventually, you’ll have to contend with scratches and scuffs. However, you can pre-empt such damage by having an oiled or lacquered finish applied to your flooring upon installation.

Transform Your Home with Engineered Wood Flooring 

Eager to overhaul your interiors with engineered wood flooring? Wood Flooring Ireland is here to help. Our experienced team is on hand to provide you with all the information you need about engineered wood flooring, as well as advise you on suitable products for your space. 

You can visit our showroom in Cork today to see everything that’s on offer. Alternatively, get in touch via the online contact form or call us on 021 4629913 for a quote. 

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