As a highly popular flooring option, engineered wood flooring is a perfect choice for those of you who are looking for a wood flooring option which should withstand moisture and temperature fluctuations, or which is suitable over under-floor heating. Engineered wood flooring is simply man-made flooring which is manufactured of wood products. This type of flooring has been developed over the years and currently is one of the top flooring options, including in interiors in which moisture and temperature fluctuations aren’t a problem.
Engineered wood flooring is manufactured by bonding together several layers of plywood (usually from 3 to 12) which are sometimes cross-layered and subsequently glued and pressed together, thus creating a very solid core board. Then, we usually have a hard or soft plywood element, which makes up a tongue and groove element of the board. After being prepared, core boards are topped off with a top layer of solid wood, also known as lamella, of virtually any species of wood you want.
If you have picked engineered wood as the flooring option for your project, you’ll undoubtedly need to consider the species of wood to chose and the finish that will work best in the given interior. You can also be faced with a dilemma – a 3-ply or a multi-ply engineered wood flooring? Here's some handy advice on how to resolve this issue and make a good decision.
Three-ply engineered wood flooring is composed of three layers, that is lamella, core layer and base layer, while the core of a multi-ply board is has more layers of ply inside it. Additionally, the core of a three-ply board is usually made up of a single block board, while a multi-ply board is made up of several layers which are bonded together using glue. A difference between three-ply boards and multi-ply ones is that tongue and grooves are more resilient in the case of the latter ones.
When making a choice, you will need to consider a few crucial elements.
Firstly, focus on the conditions. When making a decision between 3-ply and multi-ply engineered wood flooring, remember to think about the conditions in the interior where the floor is to be fitted, including the moisture content of the sub-floor. A multi-ply board is less likely to risk damage due to moisture and temperature fluctuations as compared to a 3-ply board.
Secondly, consider your budget. All in all, a three-ply boards are more affordable as compared to multi-ply boards, as their construction is less time-consuming and involves less effort. Moreover, the price of the product depends on the thickness of the board and the thickness of the lamella – the cheaper it is, the cheaper the product will be. In the case of both three-ply and multi-ply options, you will be able to find a 15mm thick board with a 3mm lamella up to a 20mm board with a 6mm top layer. It goes without saying that the thicker the board, the more stable the flooring will be. However, in the areas where the subfloor is dry and level, a thinner board will definitely be sufficient – and it will allow you to save some money.
Thirdly, think about under-floor heating. If you have or want to have it, multi-ply boards are usually recommended, as they better withstand the direct impact of the heat. Moreover, you need to make sure that the board you choose should be suitable for installation over under-floor heating. In the case of any doubt, always consult your flooring supplier.
So, what to choose – 3-ply or multi-ply engineered flooring? There is no single answer to that question. We would recommend you to take all the aspects mentioned above into consideration and work out a solution that best suits your flooring project.