Disadvantages of Engineered Wood Flooring

Disadvantages of Engineered Wood Flooring

Disadvantages of Engineered Wood Flooring

What is engineered wood flooring?

The name speaks for itself “engineered” wood flooring is basically an alternative to real hardwood flooring. Unlike the actual hardwood that comes as a solid piece of wood with no layers; the engineered wood floor is made up of layers of both hardwood and plywood.

Wood has a charm of its own and can add elegance anywhere it is being used. The same is the case with wooden flooring.

Mentioned below are some points about engineered hardwood:

  • Engineered hardwood has tough, superior characteristics.
  • It is developed with multi-layers of wood; each layer is situated in an alternate way. This keeps the engineered hardwood from distorting and bowing the manner in which a hardwood floor may in wet zones.
  • Its preferred position over strong hardwood is that the development considers establishment in most grade levels of the home, incorporating subterranean with a defensive dampness boundary introduced.
  • A hardwood facade gives the characteristic excellence and look to the engineered floor similarly as a strong hardwood floor does.
  • Engineered hardwood offers simple care and maintenance

Different available styles of engineered hardwood

Engineered hardwood is found in a number of styles to liven up your house:

  • Available in today’s trending and popular species; hickory, oak, maple, and more.
  • There are a number of finishes available such as matte, semi-gloss, and high-gloss.
  • To add visual appeal to your floor, engineered hardwood comes in a variety of surface effects such as hand-scraped for a time worn and vintage appearance, distressed for a slightly rough appearance, or wire-brushed.

No matter what style you prefer, you can find a hardwood floor that is perfect for your home, be it of classic or contemporary style. However, one thing’s for sure that where ever you decide to install engineered hardwood, it will look breathtakingly beautiful.

How Thick is Engineered Wood Flooring?

Engineered flooring is typically between 3/8” to 3/4” thick.

How Long Will an Engineered Wood Floor Last?

Largely it depends on the thickness of the veneer on top of the flooring, the quality of the flooring being used matters a lot as there are manufacturers how deal in high quality engineered hardwood so you should always do thorough research before investing in them, lastly how well you maintain your floors because just like anything engineered flooring call for maintenance from time to time.

Engineered hardwood flooring can be installed in any room in your house due to its innovative manufacturing techniques. However, you should always make sure that there are no drastic moisture issues and the engineered flooring has a protective moisture barrier installed.

Does engineered hardwood scratch easily?

Average life of an engineered hardwood flooring is around 20 to 40 years. As they do have a final top layer consisting of hardwood so they are prone to scratches. Look for engineered hardwood flooring that is coated with a scratch-resistant on top if scratch-resistant matters to you. You can always fix small scratches yourself at home using a wax repair kit or a cotton cloth and some rubbing alcohol.


Summary table:

Engineered Hardwood

Lifespan 20 to 40 years
Cost $3 to $14 per square foot


Once or twice
Stability Good resistance to warping
Plank thickness 3/8 to 9/16 inch
Plank width 2 ¼ to 7 inches
Plank length 12 to 60 inches


Nail down, floating, or glue-down

Engineered hardwood disadvantages:


1.    Engineered Hardwood Fades

2.    Susceptible to Scratches and Dents

3.    Comparable Price to Solid Hardwood

4.    Low-Quality Core Construction

5.    Manufacturers May Use Thin Veneer

6.    Off-Gassing

7.    They Are Not Moisture-Proof

8.    Engineered Wood Is Still High-Maintenance


Engineered Hardwood Fades

Whatever type of flooring you may use it will still fade with the passage of time. So, you should treat engineered hardwood flooring as any other hardwood floor.

What to do about it? Try to minimize the income of direct sunlight into your room where you have engineered hardwood installed. Use blinds and curtains to do so.

Why not pieces of rug or carpet on exposed zones? That is even more unfortunate and worse because your flooring will fade away anyway but now you will have even more prominent faded patches making the situation even worse for you.

Susceptible to Scratches and Dents

If you think that engineered hardwood floor is scratch-free then you are highly mistaken. The top layer is still wood and it will get scratches and dents over time.

You can try to minimize the effect by having the engineered hardwood flooring coated with scratch-resistant.

However, if you are someone who cannot invest in it and also absolutely hate the sight of scratches and dents then it is better to opt for wood-look tile.

Comparable Price to Solid Hardwood

Some people go for engineered hardwood flooring because think it will save them money! However, if you are buying high quality engineered hardwood then it will cost you almost as much as solid hardwood.

At times it may even cost you more because of lamination. So be prepared for some cash expenditure. And if you are not so much into quality then you can find cheaper engineered hardwood flooring but that obviously won’t last long.

The least you should be prepared to pay is somewhere between $4 to $7 (prices may vary depending on the manufacturer).

Low-Quality Core Construction

It is always a good decision to do some research about the manufacturer and the construction process of the engineered hardwood before buying it.

Some manufacturers tend to use low-quality core material in order to reduce the costs by using materials such as oriental strand board or fiberboard. Because of this, the flooring is unstable and more prone to damage.

So in order to avoid cheap replicas of the engineered hardwood make sure you thoroughly check its quality. High quality engineered floors are built to withstand temperature fluctuations and are also dimensionally stable because of the plywood cores that are used in them.

Manufacturers May Use Thin Veneer

Whenever buying engineered flooring always pay close attention to the veneer. It should be at least 3/16” thick as it makes sure that there is enough wear layer. If you go for a thinner veneer, then that will save you some money for that moment but will cost you a lot in the long run. A thin surface layer won’t be able to withstand refinishing and sanding on the flooring.

After the veneer check look as to how the wood is cut. It makes a huge difference in the final look of the flooring. Most people do not prefer a wide grain appearance that is given out by a rotary cut veneer that uses a blade which peels of the final top layer off the log.

Contrary to that, a sawn-cut veneer is preferred by most homeowners as it sliced from the log, just like solid wood. As it replicates the same color and pattern variations as solid hardwood.


There is a lot to look out for when buying engineered flooring and one thing that you should be careful of is that if someone in your house has a weak immune system then you should look for flooring that is certified formaldehyde- and VOC-free.

Some manufacturers even today use formaldehyde and other carcinogens in the making of their composite materials. Mostly found in adhesives and sealers that are used to join and assemble the flooring.

These chemicals are volatile organic compounds and convert to a gas when heated to room temperature. And the process through which this happens is known as off-gassing. And even trace amounts of these chemicals can cause health issues.

They are not moisture proof

Many people think that since it is “engineered” hardwood flooring so it must be able to withstand high levels of humidity and install them in their kitchens, bathrooms, and/ or other such high-moisture places.

Although this fact cannot be denied that they can very well adept with a shift in humidity, even then if you have the best and high-quality engineered hardwood boards installed they are not completely waterproof. As a result, mold and bacteria can grow underneath them, and in case they get wet, they will buckle and shift.

If you really do wish to have that wood look in your basement, bathroom, or other high potential humidity areas then you should re-think your choice. My suggestion to you would be to instead go for a beautiful wood-look tile. That will satisfy your aesthetic needs and will be more durable too.

Engineered Wood Is Still High-Maintenance

Once again many homeowners do get fool by the “engineered” part of the hardwood flooring. However, that is not the case and maintaining engineered hardwood floors is the same as you would for solid hardwood. So it is not at all that simple to maintain it.

You should be very careful about the cleaning products that you use. And make sure that you sweep or vacuum away dust particles daily with a specially designed hardwood vacuum. Again never ever use heavy wax or oil as it can have a very negative effect on the topcoat of your flooring.

Water again is not good for your flooring so never flood it with water as this will cause bacteria to grow and ultimately cause decay. Instead, you should invest in a quality microfiber mop.

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