Engineered wood is a durable and affordable way to get that luxurious hardwood look

What is engineered wood?

If you are looking for an affordable and beautiful wood floor, it might be worth looking into engineered wood. Many people are unaware of this type of flooring, so I’ll try to explain it a little. Engineered wood is made of many layers of thin solid wood sheets that are compressed and glued in a cross-ply layer.

The top layer is the wood you choose to use, such as oak, maple, acacia, hickory etc. This layer of hardwood can vary in widths, the thickest veneers are more expensive, but still more affordable than doing a solid hardwood.


Engineered woods are covered in several protective coatings to help your wood last longer. You don’t have to sand and refinish these hardwoods, they are constructed to resist dents and scratches.


This is an engineered hardwood by Armstrong that we recently installed. You can see that the planks are all the same length and width; so it is more affordable but it still has a nice luxury to it. This wood is handscraped; you can see the texture it gives to the surface.

They are also more resistant to expanding in different temperatures throughout the year which is a downside of most solid hardwoods. There’s always going to be a little color variation in woods exposed to sunlight, that’s characteristic of a wood adjusting to it’s environment.

Depending on the wood species, it can darken a lot in the first six months of having it in your house. However, most engineered wood floors are protected with a warrantied finish that reduces the color variation that comes over the years.

When you buy a wood that is stained, the color variation is less noticeable. Armstrong and Mohawk are some of our more popular brands for engineered wood, we also have Johnson, Gemwoods, Pinnacle, and Scottsdale. 

This hardwood has a high color variance. You can see that the color of the wood can vary from a light golden, to a chocolate brown. The natural color variation gives your room variety. A natural walnut engineered wood by Armstrong is pictured here.

There are many options when looking at hardwoods. Lots of people like the distressed look, it hides any imperfections that may occur over the life of your wood, and it gives your wood some extra texture. Many of our samples are hand scraped hardwood, it varies with each plank.

Planks can vary in lengths anywhere from 9″ to 4′ lengths, and can vary in widths from standard 3″ planks which are cheaper, to 5 or 6″ planks if you want to achieve the high end look. Some woods vary in color and natural wood grain patterns more than others, make sure and ask about the color variation in each plank so aren’t surprised when they show up different colors.

Natural woods can vary in hardness as well, Hickory and Maple are a good choice for a Utah climate, they are harder than cherry, oak, birch; and resist color change and warping in this climate. Much of the exotic hardwoods (ie Santos Mahogany, Jatoba, Brazilian Cherry) are harder than local woods, but they are more susceptible to a higher amount of color change over time.

There are lots of factors in deciding which hardwood floor is best for your needs and wants, our staff here at Designer Home Interiors is happy to answer any questions you may have when selecting wood for your home.

– Designer Home Interiors.