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Engineered hardwood flooring adds modern innovation to a timeless classic. Solid hardwood has adorned cabin getaways, banquet halls and dance floors for generations. However, it’s susceptible to damage in the most inconspicuous ways. For example, extreme temperature changes (such as those that we experience in Salem this time of the year) can lead solid hardwood panels to warp and even buckle over time. Depending on the installation process, this can sometimes mean trouble for the home’s structural integrity.

Engineered hardwood is designed to overcome these challenges. It’s still composed of actual hardwood, but includes features and a manufacturing process that overcomes the shortcomings of solid hardwood. Here, we’ll explore a few of its benefits and features.

Layered Construction

Rather than having a solid construction top to bottom, engineered hardwood features a layered design. Each layer is still composed of real wood, but not necessarily the same species. Don’t worry, if you prefer the aesthetics of a particular species, you’ll still find it available for the top layer. Below that, a plywood core enhances both stability and durability. To further enhance each of these attributes, a bottom wood grain layer serves as the floor’s foundation.

Protective Treatments

Most engineered hardwood selections feature a protective treatment that works even harder to prevent damage and moisture absorption. Manufacturers tend to have their own branded names for these treatments, but they all tend to consist of a polyurethane application. This treatment is often applied in multiple coats.

Moisture Resistance

The layered construction and polyurethane treatments featured with engineered hardwood mean a level of moisture resistance that simply isn’t possible with solid hardwood. In fact, many engineered hardwood selections are entirely waterproof. So, spills are less damaging and increased humidity won’t cause the planks to expand. This is especially useful in light of all the rain we’ve been getting in Salem!


We previously mentioned both the plywood core and protective treatments. While manufacturers will offer their own spin on each, these attributes help improve the durability of engineered hardwood beyond that of its traditional counterpart. So, scratches, scrapes and dents occur less frequently and are easier to fix. Even better, it’s more resistant to expansion and contraction during significant temperature changes.

Unique Applications

As we’ve seen, engineered hardwood will endure conditions that solid hardwood simply can’t. This makes it an excellent choice for basements, where humidity is high and floors are often concrete slabs. In general, engineered planks can be installed directly over the concrete. Even better, installation is often easy enough for most homeowners to manage (though this will depend on the specific line selected and existing flooring).

Learn More

To learn more about the advantages of engineered hardwood, or to browse the many styles available, visit the flooring experts at COLORTILE of Salem today!