Engineered Wood Flooring 101: The Ultimate Buyer's Guide

February 22, 2024


The solid hardwood plank has long been a staple in home design, but in recent years, its engineered counterpart has captured the spotlight. Engineered hardwood flooring is becoming increasingly popular for many reasons, from its remarkable durability to its authentic aesthetic appeal.

The material consists of plywood layers beneath a layer of genuine hardwood, offering the classy charm of real wood with the durability and moisture resistance of the lower layers. These versatile planks blend beautifully with nearly any aesthetic, from sleek and modern to traditional. With its unique benefits and captivating allure, it’s hard to go wrong with engineered hardwood planks.

What Is Engineered Wood Flooring?

Engineered wood flooring is a blend of real wood and plywood layers, creating a durable product that combines the timeless charm of authentic hardwood with the sturdiness of plywood. Unlike solid wood flooring, a single slab of timber cut to planks, engineered wood flooring features a thin layer of genuine hardwood atop layers of plywood.

The upper layer, the pinnacle or wear layer, offers a distinct wood essence, creating a homey and cozy feel without the need for solid timber planks. The layers beneath it are cross-grained plywood, which boosts the product’s strength and offers remarkable moisture resistance.  

Understanding the Benefits of Engineered Wood

Every flooring option has merits, from tile to carpet, but engineered wood offers unique benefits. Our W™ hardwood planks provide numerous perks, from timeless elegance to exceptional versatility. 

Remarkable Durability

Longevity and durability are essential factors to consider when shopping for flooring. With engineered wood, you get an option that lasts. The genuine pinnacle layer draws durability from its multi-ply core construction and its CrystaLux Ultra™ finish, designed to protect against everyday wear and tear.

Strong Warranty Coverage

Between constant foot traffic, spills, and furniture scraping, engineered hardwood floors will experience wear and tear. While some wear and tear is normal, it doesn’t hurt to have strong warranty coverage to protect your investment. When you choose MSI’s engineered wood flooring, you get an industry-leading warranty that matches your purchase, extending for years beyond installation.

Coverage varies based on the collection you choose. For example, our McCarran collection offers a limited lifetime structural and residential finish warranty or a 10-year light commercial warranty. Our Ladson collection boasts a limited lifetime structural and 30-year residential finish warranty or a 5-year light commercial warranty. Regardless of your option, each warranty protects your investment and reflects our commitment to quality and customer satisfaction.   

Effortless Versatility

The beauty of engineered hardwood is its versatility, blending effortlessly with diverse aesthetics to create an ambiance from warm and welcoming to cool and contemporary.

mccarran-hinton-engineered-wood-flooringHinton Engineered Hardwood Flooring

For instance, consider Hinton Engineered Hardwood Flooring, with its dark gray hues, pictured in an open and airy living area. The variations complement the natural wood tones, silver accents, and bright whites throughout the space, creating a welcoming yet modern balance.

ladson-whitlock-engineered-wood-flooring-Whitlock Engineered Hardwood Flooring

Or, imagine Whitlock Engineered Hardwood Flooring in a lofty bedroom with an airy ambiance of pale wood tones, creamy accents, and golden finishing touches.

Environmental Stewardship and Sustainability

At MSI, we recognize the importance of sustainability and environmental stewardship and strive to create products that resonate with both. From our sustainable harvesting methods to our Lacey Act compliance, we take a stand to protect the environment and promote sustainability.

Furthermore, our W Luxury Genuine Hardwood Planks feature multiple indoor safety certifications, including GREENGUARD Gold, CARB, TSCA, and FloorScore®.  

Ideal Applications: Choosing Where to Incorporate Engineered Wood

Because of its unmistakable charm and impressive water resistance, engineered hardwood is versatile enough to work perfectly in nearly any space in your home. Solid timber planks have restrictions and are rarely suitable for use in high-moisture areas like kitchens and bathrooms, but no such limitations apply to engineered wood floors.

Since the material is built for extra stability, water resistance, and durability, you can incorporate it into nearly any room of your home. Whether you want to create a cozy, welcoming ambiance in a sprawling great room or add warmth and authenticity to a bathroom, this flooring is the perfect fit.

ladson-atwood-engineered-wood-flooringAtwood Engineered Hardwood Flooring

For example, consider Atwood Engineered Hardwood Flooring, pictured in a sleek living room with captivating wall panels that add depth to the space. The deep, moody hue adds to the inviting ambiance, effortlessly complementing the contrasting color palette and vibrant greenery.

mccarran-northcutt-engineered-wood-flooringNorthcutt Engineered Hardwood Flooring

Or, consider Northcutt Engineered Hardwood Flooring for an open living concept. Since the material works beautifully in kitchens, you can create a cohesive living space that flows from one to the next in effortless elegance.

Add the Warmth of Genuine Wood to Your Home

Whether you want to add warmth to a minimalistic modern living room or a sprawling bedroom with a moody color palette, engineered wood planks are the perfect fit. These planks offer many benefits with their lasting strength, strong warranty coverage, and effortless versatility.

If you’re ready to add genuine wood to your home’s floors, our experts at MSI can help. Chat with our team online, contact an authorized MSI retailer, or visit a local MSI showroom to get started today!


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