Sunday, 29 October 2017

Engineered wood flooring plywood backing info

About Engineered Real Wood Flooring

The usual questions are asked by customers about the Plywood backing when buying an Engineered wood floor

Questions...

How long has it been around?
What is it?
What is the difference?

How long has it been around?

To start off I have to make it very clear, Plywood has been used for 1000's of years and if it isn't broke then why fix it?? 
  • Archeologists have found traces of laminated wood in the tombs of the Egyptian pharaohs.
  • A thousand years ago, the Chinese shaved wood and glued it together for use in furniture. 
  • The English and French are reported to have worked wood on the general principle of plywood in the 17th and 18th centuries. 
  • Historians credit Czarist Russia for having made forms of plywood prior to the 20th century as well. 
  • Early modern-era plywood was typically made from decorative hardwoods and most commonly used in the manufacture of household items, such as cabinets, chests, desk tops and doors. Construction plywood made from softwood species did not appear on the scene until the 20th century.
The findings from Archeologists and Historians shows that the use of plywood and wood veneers in household items dates back to Ancient Egypt/China, which considering Solid Wood floors only really started to appear in the middle ages (History of Solid Wood Flooring) these findings show veneered plywood was and always has been the more superior product to use in manufacturing/construction.

What is it?

Generally an engineered real wood flooring has 2 kinds of plywood structure:

  1. 3-layer. (3-ply)
  2. Multi-ply (Multi-layer)



3-layer Engineered Flooring is construction with grains running in different directions reduces the natural swelling and shrinking of the wood. The Surface layer Veneer/Lamella is usually 3-4mm sawn cut Premium Hardwood, with 9mm cross structure softwood pine and 2mm Back face poplar to achieve both Economy and Stability for the Engineered Flooring.
With 3-layer flooring, the veneer can not be very thick or very thin. If the veneer is thick, the bottom softwood may not able to hold it well so the floor is very easy to get bowed or warping. If the veneer is very thin, as the middle layer base is in “cross-direction” of the Top veneer, It’s easy to see “horizontal lines” on the surface.

3 layer (3-ply) engineered wood



Multi-Ply Engineered wood flooring is made up with 3-6mm Hardwood veneer + quality plywood structure. 
The plywood is normally cross structure with 1.5mm thick of each ply in odd number (5 layer, 7 layer or 9 layers.) and with the back layer same grain direction to the Hardwood veneer/lamellas.

Multi-Ply (Multi-layer)

Whats the difference?

Both Multi-ply and 3-layer can achieve many different specification of flooring,  but, Multi-ply is far more stable and can support thicker/thinner and small/larger sizes. 3-layer flooring can only achieve a small range of sizes.
As long as the correct ply is used is the correct way both are suitable.

StructureLengthWidthThicknessVeneer
Multi-ply300-3000mm70-400mm10,12,14,15,18,21mm0.6-6mm
3-layer300-1900mm90-190mm14,15mm3-4mm