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For most of our clients this is one of the first questions that they ask. Some they have been told they need engineered wood flooring but don't know why. Others are unclear about the difference between solid and engineered wood flooring. Most have been left confused by conflicting information from different sources. So, what is the answer ?

In short, engineered wood flooring is made of multiple layers of timber rather than a single piece like solid wood flooring. These are set at right angles to one another and the idea is that this adds stability (by one layer pulling another flat if both start to move) so that they will say flat when installed in ways or places where traditional solid boards might not.

The top layer of an engineered wood floor is made from the timber that will be seen – most commonly Oak - and is normally 3mm - 6mm thick (products with thinner top layers than this are known as laminates). The layers beneath are most commonly either plywood or layers of less expensive timber and the quality of these can vary considerably affecting both price and stability.

Broadleaf Strata Oak is a new generation engineered oak flooring whose lower layers are also made from Oak. As well as giving them the same luxury feel, insulation and acoustic properties as solid wood flooring this also makes Strata Oak flooring even more stable than conventional engineered flooring.
Broadleaf Strata Oak boards are available in all Broadleaf finishes.

Whether you need engineered wood flooring or not will depend largely on how / where you are planning to fit your floor and whether the additional stability is necessary.

It will also depend on where you buy your floors. 

One manufacturer may advise that you need engineered wood flooring in a situation where other is happy to supply a solid wood floor. And they may both be right, because what will work is as much about how well the timber is prepared and how well the the floor is made as on its basic construction. 

When it comes to Broadleaf wood flooring, we recommend our engineered oak flooring in situations where:

  • You need to float your floor (fix each plank to itself rather than the subfloor beneath) 
  • You want to install a wider boards (200mm +) and cannot face fix them
  • You want fit wider boards (200mm+) over under-floor heating 

We are happy for our solid oak plank flooring up to 150mm and our solid parquet floors to be fitted over underfloor heating subject to our installation guidance.

If you have any queries or need any further advice about using engineered or solid oak flooring, get in touch with one of our showrooms. Our expert team with be happy to help, and specialise in simple, jargon free advice !