Construction Type

There are two main construction types of engineered hardwood flooring: 3-ply construction and multi ply construction.  As you can imagine, 3-ply engineered hardwood is made up from 3 layers: a real hardwood top layer followed by 2 more layers of wood (a softwood core and a hardwood base layer).  Multi-ply engineered hardwood is made up of multiple base layers of plywood and then the real hardwood top layer. The top layer of both types of construction is solid wood so that once it has been installed the only part you will see is the solid wood top layer of your chosen floor, and both types of engineered hardwood will resemble a plank of solid wood flooring.


Which construction type of engineered hardwood flooring should I choose?

The actual look of the flooring once it has been installed is not related to the construction type; the aesthetics of your floor are defined by the species of wood, size of planks and surface finish.  Both 3-ply engineered flooring and Multi-ply engineered flooring have a wide range of species, surface finish and plank sizes so you may want to think about the look of your flooring first. Both types of engineered wood flooring can be used in versatile ways: floated over an underlay, used with underfloor heating (if the flooring is 15mm or less in thickness), installed over any subfloor that has been properly prepared (the flooring must be at least 18mm thick if using over joists), and used in conservatories and other rooms where temperature and humidity fluctuated.  This is because of the multiple layers of wood that have been provided during the construction of the planks of flooring.  They are dimensionally stable, durable and long lasting.

As with most flooring decisions, it is mainly down to personal preference and which particular construction type of hardwood flooring suits your project. Both types of engineered wood flooring have many advantages  - to find out more read our article: Advantages of Engineered Wood Flooring.


How do I install the different construction types?

Both 3-ply and Multi-ply engineered hardwood flooring can be installed in very similar ways.  Both types of flooring are available with either a tongue and groove fitting profile or a click fitting system. Your choice of how to install your flooring usually depends upon the existing subfloor in your property, the amount of footfall the room is likely to get, whether you have underfloor heating or not, and ultimately your personal choice. Both types can be either floated over an underlay or fixed directly down to the subfloor.  With a commercial property or home that is very busy then we would advise that you fix the flooring down (rather than float), as it gives extra strength and stability to cope with the high footfall.

If you want to install your engineered flooring over joists then you must use tongue and grove engineered hardwood that is at least 18mm thick as it load bearing and can be securely fixed to the joists using secret nails or screws. For more information about fitting your hardwood floor, please read our Installation & Fitting Guide.


How do I maintain the different construction types of engineered hardwood flooring?

Looking after your engineered hardwood floor is the same as any wooden flooring.  It is quick and easy to maintain by sweeping regularly and cleaning with a wood floor cleaning solution and microfibre mop.  Have a look at our range of cleaning products and accessories which have all been designed specifically for wooden floors.

For tips and advice keeping your hardwood floor looking its best read our Wood Floor Maintenance and Care Guide.


Are there any alternatives available?

The main alternatives to engineered wood flooring is either solid wood flooring or laminate flooring.

Here are some of our most popular types of solid wood floors:

Solid Oak Flooring| Parquet Solid Wood Flooring | Plank Solid Wood Flooring | Unfinished Solid Wood Flooring | Brushed and Oiled Flooring | Solid Wood Flooring | Lacquered Solid Wood Flooring


Further help and advice

If you still have any questions about which type of hardwood floor is most suitable for your home or project then please contact us or pop into our showroom where we will be happy to help.  If you would like to see free samples of our floors then visit our sample page.

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