Decorating our homes is as important to us as ever, but in the current economic climate, we’re particularly mindful of our spending.

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Engineered wood or laminate are great options for flooring because they are hardwearing and come in all sorts of colour options. However, keep in mind that they are not one and the same.

Enjoy Wood Throughout Your Home

In some ways, thanks to advanced manufacturing processes, engineered wood has advantages over real hardwood.

These floors are pre-finished by the manufacturer, sometimes using used plant machinery that can be sourced from sites such as which means less mess during installation, and they can be used throughout the house depending on the finish. Manufacturers can also stain and finish the wood in many different ways, allowing you to have any colour or style to suit your personality and decor.

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Engineered wood is made from several thin layers – 3 to 5 plies – that are stacked in layers in alternating directions and glued. This makes for a very strong piece of wood that is more resistant to changes in temperature and humidity. The lower levels of ply can be a cheaper wood to keep costs down, with the top layer – the finish seen in your home – made out of real wood.

Different Top Layers

There are always options for the top layer, too, and there are pros and cons for each. A Rotary Peeled Veneer gives the maximum yield from a log. The log is put onto a large lathe and then long strips are peeled off in a way that is not unlike getting a piece of kitchen roll.

Sliced is more like cutting cheese once the log has been processed and conditioned. There is ALSO Sawn Face, which is the traditional way of cutting wood in a saw mill. Wood is graded by quality and then sawn to the desired thickness. It tends to have the best aesthetic appeal because it maintains the grain structure of the wood, but it is more expensive and there is more waste.

Now that you understand how it’s made, you can get some inspiration from interior design experts Houzz, on using it.

Shopping for engineered oak flooring is relatively easy now, too, and there are specialist retailers.

The top layer you choose will depend on your budget and the look you want to create.