Recognizing Different Types of Wood Flooring

Recognizing Different Types of Wood Flooring

Meet Ed

Instructor Ed Jones has over 30 years of experience in theindustry, has the title of MasterWater Restorer, is an Institute ofInspection Cleaning andRestoration Certification (IICRC)-approved instructor, and hasserved on the S500-2021consensus body committee todevelop the most recent standard.

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Hardwood Flooring vs. Engineered Wood Flooring vs. Laminate Flooring vs. LVP/LVT

Hardwood flooring is a solid wood plank typically about ½” – 9/16” thick. It can be sanded and refinished many times and can generally be dried and saved on category 1 water losses if cupped, but not buckled. Whereas engineered wood flooring is a thin veneer layer of real hardwood, glued to a plywood or MDF or HDF core. It typically can’t be sanded and refinished and can only be dried on category 1 water losses when still in good condition, not coming up, and the planks have the plywood core. MDF or HDF cores typically can’t be saved if wet significantly or perhaps significantly wet. Laminate flooring is a picture of wood on paper glued to MDF or HDF core. It can’t be saved if significantly wet for it swells up very easily. Luxury Vinyl Plank or Luxury Vinyl Tile are vinyl planks or tiles made to look like wood or ceramic tile or stone. Since they are vinyl they represent a vapor barrier. They are very water resistant and can withstand water well, but if water penetrates underneath they must be taken up to dry subfloor below.

See photos below to help tell the difference for many times it is misdiagnosed by the onsite technician. Need a good close-up photo of an edge to tell the difference.

Engineered Wood Flooring vs. Laminate Flooring

Look at the top edge of a plank in a close-up photo (see below) and look for how thin that edge is. On engineered wood with an MDF, HDF, or plywood core it will be about 3-4 mm thick depending on quality, but you can see the edge, whereas with laminate is only a picture of wood glued to MDF, so has a very thin edge, if any at all.

Typically, engineered wood flooring with plywood core is the only one that can be restored if significantly wet. *see Getting EDucated Article – Engineered Wood Flooring, To Dry or Not To Dry?

Laminate Flooring Construction

Engineered Wood Flooring Construction with Plywood Core

Engineered Wood Flooring Construction with MDF or HDF Core

Luxury Vinyl Plank (LVP)

Luxury Vinyl Tile (LVT)

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