Some people confuse engineered wood with laminate, but nothing could be further from the truth. Laminate flooring may look like wood, but it is not, it is simply a photographic image under a clear protective layer. Engineered wood, however, is the real thing. And once laid it is virtually impossible to distinguish it from solid wood. But instead of being milled from a single piece of timber, engineered boards consist of several layers, and this construction results in a number of very sound advantages.
In an engineered board, the top layer is, of course, solid wood, whilst the other layers may be plywood, softwood or yet more layers of hardwood. Each layer is bonded to the next with the grain running at right angles, which makes it virtually impossible for the board to swell or shrink. So when it is laid it is highly unlikely to warp and gap, or otherwise suffer in the same way as solid wood flooring can when exposed to changes in humidity through the use of heating and air conditioning, or simply due to a change in the weather.
In addition to being far more stable, engineered wood offers several other benefits. It may be laid as a floating floor, as well as being nailed or glued down, and some planks even come in an easy to fit 'click' system. It is usually pre-finished, meaning you see exactly how your floor will look before it is fitted and ensuring a faster, easier installation with no mess and no fuss. And, because it isn't affected by changes in humidity, it is available in much wider, longer, more imposing planks. Finally, it is particularly kind to the environment, because every beautiful, stable, hard wearing engineered timber floor fitted uses less of the slow-growth hardwoods. Little wonder that engineered timber is now by far the most popular type of timber flooring fitted around the world.