Engineered wood floors are real wood floors that are manufactured using multiple layers of wood veneers. The grain of each layer runs in perpendicular directions, which creates exceptional dimensional stability. This means the wood will expand and contract less than solid wood flooring during fluctuations in humidity and temperature. Because of the way engineered hardwood is processed, it is not as affected by humidity as solid wood planks are. Therefore, the product is often the preferred choice for kitchens and bathrooms or in areas where the humidity level can vary—like in a basement or a part of the house below grade, as long as a moisture barrier is placed between the subfloor and the hardwood planks. They are also better suited for installing over in-floor heating systems.
The top layer of engineered wood consists of high-quality wood. Engineered floors can be nailed or stapled to a wood sub-floor, or glued down to a wood subfloor or concrete slab. This makes engineered wood floors ideal for slab and basement installations, but they can be used in any room either above or below grade. This type of flooring can be sanded and finished. Engineered hardwood floors are suitable for installation on all levels of the home and over plywood, wood, OSB and concrete subfloors.