Delamination of Veneer / Stave in Engineered Wood Floors


When the wood veneer/surface layer separates from the substrate on a wooden floorboard, it is known as delamination. This is a problem associated with engineered wood flooring.

Example of delamination


Delamination can be caused by various unrelated issues, which could potentially lead to the veneer suffering damage. In addition, a number of factors could accumulate which may result in delamination process taking place. The first of which, and the more likely is that water may have seeped between the layers of the engineered floorboards causing the product to suffer damage. This could have potentially been caused by incorrect cleaning practices, such as cleaning with an excessive amount of water remaining on the mop or, not clearing spillages quickly enough.

One explanation as to why this may occur as often as it does could be down to engineered flooring owners lacking the necessary knowledge to clean the flooring effectively, while simultaneously avoiding causing damage their product. A variety of cleaning methods and products cause more harm than good if used incorrectly. As a result, the condition of the wood will deteriorate more quickly therefore, needing to be replaced a lot sooner than it would have been if it was correctly cleaned. Following the correct maintenance procedures can also significantly reduce the chances of floors becoming damage in such a manner.

It is important to check manufacturer guarantees and guidelines of products as poor workmanship in the making of some engineered boards have been known to be a cause of delamination

Example of delamination

These Causes Include:

Uneven sub-floor leading to flexing of flooring creating stresses on the adhesive bond.

Drying of Timber Veneer Due to:

Excessive environmental heat from hot water pipes, under-floor heating, sky lights etc. Unsuitably dry atmospheric conditions.

Poor Adhesion Due to:

Faulty adhesive product. Surface contaminant creating a barrier to good adhesion. The splitting of timber due to faults in the veneer in combination with environmental heat.


  • Is the flooring laid over under-floor heating?
  • If yes, what is maximum floor temperature?
  • Are there any hot water pipes beneath the floor?
  • What are the ambient conditions, Temp / RH?
  • Is there any shrinkage / splitting of veneer in combination with the delamination?
  • Is the moisture content of the area where delamination has occurred lower than other non-affected areas (indicating localised heat source)?


Any separation between the various layers of a floor is considered to be "delamination" and is between the wood or paper surface veneer and the backing material.

This can be caused by poor manufacturing methods or by water sneaking between the cracks and getting underneath (i.e. from incorrect washing). Ask the manufacture for specific warranty coverage!

One other way in which the problem of delamination can be solved is through replacing the board. This process can be carried out without the need of a professional flooring installer and replacing boards depends on the nature of the damage caused.