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Choosing the Right Engineered Hardwood Flooring Thickness

Updated: Apr 1

With so many options on the market, the process of finding the best possible flooring material for the job at hand while staying on budget can be overwhelming. In addition to finishes and construction materials, an important price variable is the plank thickness - a specification that should never be overlooked. Let us take some of the guesswork out of the selection process with our expert tips on engineered hardwood flooring thickness.



Understanding the Construction


The Wear Layer

High-quality engineered hardwood flooring is constructed in a cross-ply, two or three-layered design. The top layer, or wear layer, is a hardwood veneer ranging in thickness from 1.5mm to 8mm, depending on the product line. The wear layer is the only visible section and its thickness directly correlates to both the floor's longevity and refinishing capability. To allow for sanding and refinishing comparable to traditional hardwood flooring, the wear layer should be a minimum of 4 mm.


The Base Layer

Beneath the wear layer lies the core material, or base layer, composed of plywood sheets that are glued together to form an incredibly strong platform. Depending on the manufacturer, the base layer can range dramatically in both quality and thickness. To avoid future failures like delamination, cupping, or warping, choose engineered hardwood made with strong plywood material (like birch) with 9 to 11-layer construction. Some product lines offer a third layer of backing material to equalize moisture levels from the subfloor.


Factors to Consider: Selecting the Right Thickness for the Project


Previous Floor Thickness

When installing engineered hardwood over an existing floor, a thinner wear layer should be used to avoid raising the finished height. When replacing an existing floor, changing the thickness of the material may snowball into replacing moldings, baseboards, and thresholds, as well as adjusting door heights and transitions to other flooring products.

Subfloor Type

Concrete and other non-level subfloors may require thicker material for added structural stability.


Installation Method

Nail-down installations may require thicker flooring than those that use the floating method.

Product Use

Commercial spaces or residential areas that receive high foot traffic or are prone to water exposure can benefit from thicker wear layers.


Heated Flooring

Radiant heat systems require engineered hardwood with minimal thickness to avoid insulation disruptions.


Appearance

Keeping the overall height of the floor in mind, some customers may opt for a thicker wear layer for additional character or visual appeal.


Budget

Careful selection of a thickness suited to the job at hand can balance performance and cost.


Haute Plank's Collections by Thickness


The Belgium Collection Total Thickness: 5/8" to 3/4" (15.88mm to 19mm) depending on line within the collection and custom options chosen.


Wear Layer

Thickness: 4mm to 6mm

Material: Oak, Exotic Woods available on request


Base Layer

Thickness: 12mm - 14mm

Material: Various Hardwoods including Pine, Poplar, and Birch Plywood


Total Thickness: 5/8" (15.88mm)


Wear Layer

Thickness: 4mm

Material: Oak


Base Layer

Thickness: 12mm

Material: Birch Phenolic Plywood


Total Thickness: 13mm, 16mm, or 20mm (1/2" to 3/4"+)


Wear Layer

Thickness: 4mm

Material: Oak


Base Layer

Thickness: 9mm to 16mm

Material: WBP Exterior Birch Plywood


3/4" Grand Collection Total Thickness: 3/4" (19mm) with thicker custom options available.


Wear Layer

Thickness: 4 mm

Material: Oak


Base Layer

Thickness: 15 mm

Material: Waterproof Birch Plywood


For more information, visit our website at www.hauteplank.com or download our specification sheet on each collection page.



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