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Core Construction Matters: Understanding the Difference in Engineered Hardwood Quality

Engineered hardwood and traditional hardwood flooring are renowned for their timeless elegance, enriching any space with their natural beauty. On the surface, both types of hardwood flooring options appear nearly identical, seamlessly blending into the ambiance of a room. Beneath the surface lies a significant distinction in their construction and durability. Engineered hardwood, with its innovative manufacturing process, boasts superior moisture resistance compared to solid hardwood, rendering it less prone to expansion or contraction from water damage or fluctuations in humidity. 


Unlike traditional solid hardwood, engineered planks are composed of multiple layers. Engineered hardwood floors stand as a testament to the harmonious fusion of nature's splendor and human craftsmanship. At the core of engineered hardwood floors is a clever construction method designed to enhance durability while preserving the elegance of natural wood. 



Engineered hardwood construction core layers


Understanding Engineered Hardwood Construction


The Beauty of the Top Layer


The top layer, known as the veneer or wear layer, is made of real hardwood, showcasing the unique grain patterns and colors of species like oak, maple, or walnut. Unlike laminate flooring, which may have a 1 to 2mm veneer, engineered hardwood features a wear layer between 3 to 7mm thick. The top layer is then bonded to the core layer using advanced adhesives and pressing techniques, creating a strong and durable composite material.


The Crucial Core Layer


Beneath this surface layer lies a core layer made of high-density fiberboard (HDF) or plywood constructed of many thin layers that go in different directions. This core provides stability and resistance to moisture, crucial for withstanding fluctuations in humidity and temperature. The plywood is the key component of stability for an engineered floor. High-quality plywood, such as Baltic Birch, is more stable than eucalyptus or teak because it is a harder, denser wood that holds up better against moisture, making your floors less likely to expand or contract with water damage or changes in humidity. 


Haute Plank is proud to offer products exclusively made with marine-grade Birch plywood, which is the only type of plywood engineered to return to its original condition after moisture exposure. For example, if your HVAC fails, once the issue is corrected and your climate returns to normal, your Haute Plank flooring will, too.


The result is a flooring solution that not only exudes the warmth and character of natural wood but also offers enhanced resistance to warping, cupping, and expansion. Engineered hardwood floors can be installed in a variety of settings, including basements and areas with radiant heating systems, thanks to their stability and adaptability.


Base Layer Material Can Make a Huge Difference


Products in Haute Plank’s Spain collection boast an additional layer of the same premium wood used for the top layer into a third layer at the bottom for even greater stability. This innovative approach not only enhances the structural integrity of the flooring but insures your floor will continue to exude luxury, craftsmanship, and timeless elegance for many years to come.


Wrap-Up


To be clear, not all engineered hardwood flooring products are created equally. Products with inferior core layers can significantly impact the life of your floor; while using a product with a non-water-resistant core material in high-moisture areas can lead to fast failure. Lastly, the durability of the top layer's finish must also match its intended application. Haute Plank's titanium finish excels in high-traffic areas while a simple oiled finish is suitable for a ceiling application.


Each layer – from the top to the base – plays a crucial role in overall quality and Haute Plank proudly prioritizes top-tier materials throughout every product in its extensive collection. For more information about Haute Plank’s engineered hardwood flooring collections, contact us at info@hauteplank.com

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