3-ply or Multiply Wood Flooring, Which Is Better

- Jul 07, 2020-

These are the two most popular options for engineered flooring. But which one is best for your floors? And how does the plywood affect your floor’s longevity?

3 ply flooring is made up of 3 separate layers of wood. The wood grain on the top layer runs opposite of the middle layer, and the bottom layer is the same direction as the top. The middle layer is made up of one single piece of plywood. Sometimes, this isn’t even solid plywood, but actually plywood dust consolidated into a block. Because of this, the floor isn’t very durable or resilient and will often expand or contract when the temperature of your home changes. This could result in your floors cracking, cupping, or become otherwise damaged.

Multi-ply engineered flooring is made up of multiple plywood layers. Usually there are an odd number of layers, such as 5, 7, 9, or 11. For each layer, the plywood runs in a different direction so it is more resistant to warping. The multiple layers and directions create a grid of reinforcement to prevent the wood from moving and make it more resistant to the damage mentioned above.

Ultimately, we believe multi-ply engineered flooring is the best option. It is a stronger flooring option, will last longer, is more resilient and resistant to warping, and is overall more durable than 3 ply.

3 ply flooring

  • 3 layers of flooring

  • Wood grains run in opposite directions through the layers

  • Sometimes just plywood dust, not solid plywood

  • More susceptible to moisture damage

  • More susceptible to warping with temperature changes

Multi-ply engineered flooring

  • Multiple layers of plywood, and solid hardwood on top

  • Plywood layers run in opposite directions to provide structure

  • Less likely to warp from temperature or moisture changes

  • More durable flooring overall