Image of a non engineered hardwood floor

Knowing if your floors are engineered or solid hardwood will help you in learning how to care for them and becoming a better homeowner. 

We will take a look at how to perform a visual inspection, sound test, moisture resistance test, and what installation clues to look for to determine if your floors are engineered hardwood. Once you have all the important info, determining if your floors are engineered hardwood is a breeze.

Our team at Dalton Flooring Center are experts in flooring installation and materials. We know exactly what to look for to determine if floors are indeed engineered hardwood. So read on to learn how to tell if your floors are engineered hardwood or not.

Methods to Tell if Floors Are Engineered Hardwood

Here are the top methods to look for when trying to determine if floors are engineered hardwood.

Visual inspection

A trained eye is a huge help in determining what kind of hardwood you have. With engineered hardwood you will find a top layer of solid wood with a consistent visible grain pattern and color throughout the floor. These planks will have multiple layers and a top veneer and may have a consistent grain pattern and color throughout the floor.  Instead of a consistent grain pattern, solid hardwood will have more natural variations in its grain. 

How the flooring is installed is another big clue. Engineered hardwood has a tongue and groove system, which helps to secure each plank to the next. It is usually installed as a floating floor or glued down. Solid hardwood on the other hand will be nailed or stapled down. Lastly, engineered hardwood planks are typically wider than solid hardwood planks, as they are designed to be more stable.

Sound Test

Knock knock, who’s there? Tap on the planks with your knuckle or a coin to hear if they are hardwood or engineered wood. Engineered hardwood typically has a softer sound than solid hardwood when tapped on. Compare the sound you hear by tapping on solid wood or laminate flooring to get a better idea of what kind of material you are dealing with.

Moisture Resistance Test

Another telltale sign is water resistance. Engineered wood is more resistant to moisture than solid hardwood. You can carefully test the flooring’s resistance by putting a few drops of water on different sections and see how it reacts. Engineered hardwood will usually not be affected by the water, while hardwood may absorb the moisture and change color.

Installation Clues

Look for any signs that the flooring has been professionally installed, such as a smooth finish or a particular pattern in the wood. Also look at the edges of the planks to see if they are square and fit together properly. Engineered hardwood is usually installed with a click-lock system, so you should be able to see that each plank clicks into the next.

Check Your Closet, Attic, or Basement

After installing engineered hardwood floors, many installers will leave behind extra planks in the home. You can check the closets, attic, or basement of your home for extra planks that may have been left behind after installation. 

If you find planks, you can easily tell if they are engineered hardwood by looking at it– it is thin, will have a top layer of real wood, and have a tongue and groove locking system.

Consult a Flooring Professional

Consulting with a flooring professional like our team at Dalton Flooring Center is the surest way to determine if your floors are engineered hardwood. We can easily identify the kind of flooring you have and provide advice on how to care for it.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, to determine if floors are engineered hardwood, you can, look for a thin layer of real hardwood on top, check the grain pattern (engineered hardwood often has a repeated grain pattern),  inspect the edges, consider the installation method (they are usually floating floors, i.e., no nails). By looking for these indicators, you can determine if your floors are engineered hardwood or another type of flooring material.

Whether you have engineered or solid hardwood floors, Dalton Flooring Center can be your guide. We’ll help identify what kind of flooring you have, make repairs to existing flooring, help you choose new flooring, and install it for you. Contact Dalton Flooring Center today for a free consultation!

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