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Wear Layer / Top Layer

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Wear Layer / Top Layer – Glossary

The top layer of an engineered wooden floorboard (such as European Oak) is referred to as a wear layer.

Typically, wear layers are cut from temperate hardwoods such as Oak, Walnut, Ash, Cherry, Beech, and Maple but also frequently from tropical hardwood species such as Teak, Mahogany, Jatoba, Merbau, Wenge, Rosewood and Zebrano.

Some of the harder (and more expensive) softwood species such as Pitch Pine, Yellow Pine and Douglas Fir are also used as wear layers.

Wear layer thicknesses vary from just 1mm up to a maximum of about 8mm. Thinner veneers are usually sliced or peeled from a log or flitch and thicker sizes, such as 6/8mm are normally sawn from flitches. Either way, they are then dried before being bonded to the base board, then machined, sanded and if appropriate receive additional processes which may include ageing / distressing / smoking or fuming (in the case of Oak) / brushing or simply finishing with oil or lacquer.

Oak is probably the most common species of real wood wear layer used in engineered hardwood flooring.