Solid oak flooring has a natural tendency to change shape when it is prone to moisture rich areas. It is either shrinking when it dries or swelling when it absorbs moisture.

The plywood backing is made by bonding strips of perpendicular softwood layers. This gives the plank incredible strength and torsional rigidity. It is able to retain its shape better under the stress of environmental changes.

By bonding the durable oak veneer to the stable plywood base, the resulting hybrid product is beautiful, sting, and easier to install.

Most engineered oak floor products are click and place. There is no gluing or nailing with click and place. I favor the products that have a soft foam like backing pre-installed. If you install over slab concrete floors, then you will need to lay down an inexpensive moisture barrier.

Engineered Oak Flooring

Kitchens and bathrooms can benefit from engineered oak flooring because these 2 areas are usually moisture rich. Engineered wood floors are also installed in basements where excess moisture could be a problem.

The negligible expansion and contraction of this flooring also lend it to being glued to a subfloor rather than nailed and allows for wider boards to be glued than possible with solid oak flooring.

What to Look For When Purchasing Engineered Oak Flooring

The appearance of the engineered oak floor is always at the top of the list. Find a cheap engineered oak flooring product that has any knots, shakes, or cracks in the oak are left unfilled. This will give the floor a very traditional look and feel.

Look for a high-quality plywood backing. Stay away from anything that looks like particle board as this will become a sponge for moisture.

Make sure the engineered oak flooring veneer layer is at least 6mm thick to allow for at least three futures refinishing sanding.

  • Are the board’s grain end matched to allow for longer runs of the board?
  • Are the boards available in lengths over 1800 mm?
  • Buy an engineered flooring product that has a polyurethane coating.