Engineered wood flooring is a fantastic way to update the look and feel of your home. Though it’s not precisely hardwood floors, unless you’re looking with a magnifying glass and happen to be an expert, it’s nearly impossible to tell the difference. In many ways, multi-ply and 3-ply engineered wood flooring is a better choice. It can offer more durability and moisture resistance while still boasting that authentic wood floor look.
But is it affordable? How much does multi-ply and 3-ply engineered wood flooring really cost? It depends. Let’s look at some of the options you have available these days.
What Is Engineered Wood Flooring Exactly
Engineered wood flooring comes in a wide range of styles and types. We’re going to look at the 3-ply and multi-ply varieties.
3-Ply Engineered Wood Flooring
3-ply flooring is made with grains that run at different angles. The top layer you will see in your home is generally a .06 to a 4mm thick piece of premium hardwood flooring. That’s why it’s almost impossible to tell the difference between hardwood and engineered hardwood flooring just by looking.
As this becomes more popular, more styles are available on the market. When it comes to the style, color, and wood grain today, you can find almost anything in engineered wood flooring that you could do with standard full hardwood flooring.
Under the surface layer, the middle layer is usually compromised of plywood because of its structural integrity and affordability. But sometimes, they use a composite of plywood dust that is pressed and sealed. The bottom layer is generally another layer of plywood. The boards are all glued and pressed together to create a single solid plank that is ready to install.
Multi-Ply Engineered Wood Flooring
Multi-ply flooring planks are similar to 3-ply, but as the name points out, there are multiple layers. Like 3-ply, the surface layer comprises a premium sealed hardwood and creates the style and look of the plank. The top layer in multi-ply engineered wood flooring is often slightly thicker than the 3-ply versions.
Multi-ply flooring can have anywhere from four layers up to twelve layers. Again, like the 3-ply, the underlayers are created from plywood. These under layers are cross-pressed and can be a mix of plywood and hardwood to make the sturdiest option.
Muti-ply engineered wood flooring is generally stronger and more resistant to warping than 3-ply.
The Wear Layer
The top layer is considered the wear layer; as we’ve discussed, this is a layer of pure hardwood flooring. One of the primary things that can impact the cost, longevity, and durability of your engineered hardwood flooring is how thick this layer is.
A wear layer of 4mm has some significant advantages over the lower end of a .6mm top layer.
A thicker top layer allows your engineered wood flooring to be sanded and resurfaced. In contrast, engineered wood flooring with the thinnest top layer cannot stand up to a refinishing project.
Cost-Effectiveness of Engineered Hardwood Flooring
Now that you know the distinct differences between the types of engineered hardwood flooring available, you can make a more informed decision for your upcoming remodel or construction. When you’re working on budgeting your project, remember that there are going costs other than just the price per square footage. You’ll also need to calculate for installation and possibly baseboard replacements.
3-Ply Engineered Wood Floor Cost
3-ply engineered wood flooring is the cheapest engineered wood flooring. If you’re on a tight budget, you can still manage to get something as attractive as hardwood.
The disadvantage of 3-ply flooring comes in its strength and durability.
Because many of the lowest-priced 3-ply floorings use pressboard style plywood dust rather than solid plywood, it’s much more susceptible to the elements. Temperature changes and humidity can cause warping, and it’s much more likely to become damaged from any water. This may not be the best choice for home areas like the kitchen or damp basements.
You can find 3-ply engineered hardwood flooring on the lower end from three to five dollars per square foot. Some fancier designs and wood styles may be in the seven-to-ten-dollar range.
Multi-Ply Engineered Wood Flooring Cost
Multi-ply engineered wood flooring is more expensive and ranges from, on average, about eight to fifteen dollars per square foot. The thicker the wear layer, the more expensive the flooring will be. Also, some styles and designs may cost more, depending on the look you are trying to achieve.
Multi-ply engineered wood flooring is stronger because they use more layers and solid plywood, not just pressed plywood dust. Just like the 3-ply,the strength comes from the wood being layered and set at different angles so that all the pieces make a stronger whole.
The Biggest Advantages of Affordable Engineered Hardwood Floors
In some ways, engineered hardwood flooring is more durable than standard hardwood floors. Luxury and high-end multi-ply planks are sealed with a high-quality sealant to help keep out moisture.
This can help prevent warping from the wood in areas with higher humidity, drawing moisture. Because it’s constructed with multiple layers, it’s less likely to warp from humidity than a whole hardwood floor.
You may save on the installation of engineered hardwood flooring over traditional options. Standard hardwood flooring generally has to be either nailed or stapled when installed. Engineered hardwood flooring has more options, you can nail or staple it if that’s what you want, but it can also be floated or glued if needed.
For those environmentally conscious, engineered hardwood flooring is a greener solution. Instead, you can make about 4 engineered wood planks for every basic full hardwood plank. So, choosing multi-ply or 3-ply engineered hardwood floors helps conserve the precious natural resources of our environment.
Engineered Hardwood Flooring for Every Design
You can find engineered hardwood planks in assorted sizes, from wide-plank natural light woods to the newly popular, white-washed shabby chic look.
Whatever design you plan for your remodeling project, there is something in hardwood engineered floors that will work for it.
Overall, all the things you love about the look of a hardwood floor are available in engineered hardwood flooring options. You can still have the rustic warm look of natural wood in your home without as much to take care of in the long run. The price difference is significant. Multi-ply engineered hardwood flooring can be used in almost any home room without issue because of its durability.