The Competition: Engineered Wood

It looks like a solid board but consists of wood veneers glued together like plywood and topped with a factory finish. The sandwich-like construction, typically 5/16 to ½ inch thick, lends stability and allows engineered boards to go where solid wood can't, such as in basements or directly over concrete slabs. Engineered flooring is great for DIYers—some types simply snap together—and its cost is on par with unfinished solid wood, at about $2 to $12 per square foot. But the durability can vary greatly depending on how thick the top veneer is; an average board can withstand just a few sandings, while others can be refinished as many times as solid wood.

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