In a solid wood floor, every board is made from a single solid piece of hardwood. This is the most traditional form of hardwood flooring. It is installed over plywood subfloors using nail down installation.
In engineered flooring, every board is made from several layers of wood, with valuable hardwood used only for the surface, or ‘wear’ layer. The other layers may be plywood, common softwood or even high density fiberboard (HDF). Engineered floors are generally more stable than a solid floor, and they are more versatile too, as they can be installed in practically any situation with a variety of different installation techniques.
Laminate floors are made with entirely manufactured materials and contain no real wood (although the main component of many laminate floors is HDF, which is a wood-based product). Laminate floors have an image of wood (or other material) imprinted onto the surface, to give the appearance of a wood floor.