Homeowners who are interested in purchasing engineered hardwood flooring can often mistake other forms of flooring for it, especially if they are shopping for flooring online. If you want to purchase engineered flooring, you should be able to purchase engineered flooring. In order to do so, you need to know what signs to look for, which differentiate the different forms of flooring from each other.

Here are the most common types of flooring inexperienced and novice homeowners mistake for engineered hardwood flooring.

Engineered Softwood Flooring

Both hardwood and softwood can be engineered. However, if you want to purchase engineered hardwood flooring, that is what you should be taking home with you, not engineered softwood. Luckily, the differences between hardwood and softwood are easy to see.

As its name implies, softwood is softer than hardwood flooring. You can easily tell the difference by running a fingernail over a wooden plank. Hardwood is denser and therefore stronger than softwood. Your fingernail will not leave a mark on engineered hardwood flooring.

Engineered softwood is most often mistaken for engineered hardwood flooring, when compared to the other flooring options in this article, because homeowners may simply ask for engineered wood without differentiating between the two. If he or she does not specify whether they would like hardwood or softwood flooring, it becomes easier for him or her to make a mistake.


It is easy to tell the difference between fiberboard and engineered hardwood flooring. Fiberboard is much more absorbent than hardwood flooring. If you are confused which is which, simply trickle a little water on the wood and watch it closely. The water will run along the surface of the engineered hardwood flooring more easily, rather than be absorbed by a much more porous flooring option, like fiberboard.

Real Hardwood

Although it may appear difficult at first to differentiate between engineered hardwood flooring and natural hardwood flooring, it is possible to tell which is which. Real wood floor planks are often spaced a bit farther apart than engineered wood planks because real wood expands and contracts to a greater extent. In the flooring showroom, or online, look and see the spacing between the planks to see if you are purchasing real wood flooring or engineered hardwood flooring.

The reason why engineered wood does not expand or contract as much is due to its plywood base. Real wood floor planks, by contrast, are solid pieces and not layered, unlike engineered wood. This is another indication to look out for to discern which form of hardwood flooring you are purchasing.

Laminate Flooring

Although laminate flooring is similar in appearance to engineered hardwood flooring, there are several signs that differentiate laminate wood from engineered wood. While laminate wood mimics the look and feel of hardwood, especially if you purchase high quality laminate flooring, you can often identify laminate flooring based on its abrasive resistance.

Things like dust, dirt, and grime do not impact laminate flooring easily. Engineered hardwood, which is made of real wood, will act like natural hardwood flooring when it is scuffed by dirt for instance.

Invision Hardwood and Décor wants to ensure you are purchasing engineered hardwood flooring and not some imitation. Although there are benefits and downsides to each form of flooring, you deserve the right to receive what you purchased. Due to our dedication to serving our clients, we have many successful and happy homeowners in Thornhill, Richmond Hill, Woodbridge, and Vaughan. For more information on all your flooring needs, visit us at our website today.