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Hardwood Flooring: Solid Core vs. Engineered

In this edition of the Hardwood Flooring Showdown, we have two competitors in the engineered wood flooring category: Solid Core vs Engineered Core Technology.

Both solid core and plywood core technologies are commonly used in engineered wood flooring, and both will deliver good results. However, solid core technology is vastly superior to plywood core technology. Let’s take a look at the construction of these two types of engineered wood flooring to find out why.

Understanding Solid Core Technology

In this example , the top layer is a veneer, which is about 3 millimeters of solid wood. That layer is placed on top of a softer core layer, and there’s another layer below for balancing. This solid core flooring is 3 plys, or layers.

This sample  of engineered core technology illustrates the main difference between the two types of flooring. As you can see, the plywood core flooring has about 15 layers versus the 3 layers of the solid core flooring. Each time there’s a layer of veneer, there’s another glue, meaning the plywood core flooring contains more glue.

The difference between Engineered Core and Solid Core.

What’s Wrong With Glue?

One of the major ongoing discussions about engineered wood flooring is about volatile organic chemicals, also referred to as VOCs. For both environmental and health reasons, the fewer VOCs, the better. All products sold in the state of California must meet the California Air Resources Board’s guidelines.

The glues and adhesives used in constructing hardwood flooring are the pieces of the product that are most likely to include VOCs. In most cases, it’s slight amounts of formaldehyde. Having fewer glue lines means having less glue, which translates to having fewer VOCs in your flooring.

The Clear Winner

Solid core technology is the clear winner because it is better constructed and more environmentally sound. Plywood core wood flooring involves a number of layers, which can lead to complications since more things could happen between those layers to cause damage. A flood in our facility showed that solid core technology outperformed plywood core flooring by allowing the floor to stay down. It didn’t cup or buckle, even after being submerged under a couple of inches of water for a period of time.

Find Your New Flooring at Universal Hardwood

Our Los Angeles area showroom features more than 2,000 samples of hardwood flooring to help you determine what you are searching for. Our team of hardwood flooring experts is on hand to answer any questions you have about the process of choosing or maintaining your flooring.

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