Unlike conventional hardwood, which comes straight out of a tree and into your home, engineered hardwood is a more complex product that consists of several layers. The outermost is a hardwood veneer, a thin slice of wood (less than 1/8″) of whatever species you desire. The inner layers are made of plywood, high density fiberboard, or hardwood. The core layers make the product more stable than regular hardwood, while the outer veneer surface adds beauty and authenticity.
Engineered hardwood is different than a hardwood laminate because the surface is made of real wood. While laminate has a core of high density fiberboard, its surface is basically a picture of wood (or any other material, for that matter). Laminate is less expensive than engineered and solid hardwood, but has a different look and feel due to its make up.