Updated: Nov 15
Benifits of engineered hardwood flooring - For years we have worked with engineered wood floors. We know its advantages and disadvantages. A few days ago, I had a client who asked me if you were going to build a new house and you had to choose between a solid or engineered floor.
Which one would you choose? He told me to think about it and respond him later. I immediately said, there is no need to think about it, engineered flooring with a thick wear layer is my choice.
But don’t run off to your local flooring vendor just yet—there are important questions you need to consider before you start picking out color samples.
Along with the good stuff, there is also an amount of low-quality engineered wood too—and you could be very disappointed down the road if you don’t consider it now.
Many people think that engineered is not real hardwood flooring, as there are many misconceptions about it.
But the best engineered hardwood flooring brands use high-quality materials, a thick wear layer, made of real hardwood species and a sturdy core. Meaning engineered options perform the same way as solid options.
Let's look at the core of each material, since we can't see it once the floor is installed.
Traditionally, wooden floors have a tongue and groove system. There is a new click system, which we do not recommend since tongue and groove has been used for many years. It is reliable and safe.
Solid hardwood: is a completely solid piece of the species you choose.
Engineered hardwood: The top layer, also called wear layer or veneer, is what you see after the installation (between 3-6 millimeters) and features the real hardwood (species like white oak, hickory, walnut, etc) bonded over layers of birch plywood, for dimensional stability, typically between 7-11 layers of plywood.
Also read - How engineered hardwood flooring is made
Now let's move on to the benefits of this wonderful engineered hardwood flooring.
99% of engineered wood floors already come with color, textures and finishes. Choosing a pre-finished floor is much more beneficial than the one finished on site.
The finishes are extremely durable and you have a greater variety of textures and finishes. Textures such as wire brushed, aged or sawn are not possible to obtain on-site, as it is too time-consuming for the installer to do it on site.
Engineered flooring is a material that comes ready to install and walk on immediately. Today, there are no limits when it comes to colors, textures, and finishes.
In fact, our CASA TERESA collection is created with that consumer in mind who wants something completely custom-made. You can choose colors, textures, finishes and sizes, and we’ll bring your vision into reality.
The reason for building multiple layers of plywood is to give the floor stability. A well engineered floor ranges from 7 to 11 layers of premium plywood.
The cross-plywood construction method of engineered hardwood is dimensionally more stable, which prevents the wood from warping as a result of changes in temperature and moisture.
Engineered hardwood doesn't flex or warp as easily, meaning this type of flooring will hold its shape better in the case of flooding or other water damage. Engineered hardwood are more versatile than solid wood.
They can be installed over concrete, in basements and moist areas such as bathrooms and kitchens.
There are many ways you can incorporate sustainable materials into your home or business, let's begin with the floors !
Engineered hardwood is an environmentally-friendly alternative to solid-wood flooring that requires cutting down fewer trees and creates less waste.
While solid hardwood uses the wood species all the way through, engineered wood only has a wear layer of the wood species on top of its plywood layers.
The entire manufacturing process is clean and free of harmful emissions, from eco-friendly and sustainable forest.
An important factor of sustainable forestry is cutting down one tree at a time, with this practice we are giving the trees a chance to grow strong and live out their total capacity, before they are ready to serve new purposes.
WIDER AND LONGER PLANKS:
Wide and long planks allow you to show off the beautiful grain pattern of your flooring and provide a more seamless look.
If you decide to select wide and long planks, you can't go wrong with engineered hardwood. This versatile material is designed to be stable and reliable when the weather changes, minimizing expansion and contraction.
How wide and long can engineered be ? Our engineered floors can be up to 12" wide and 13' long, impressive right !
With solid hardwood, you can still have a wide plank, but it's not recommended to select a floor more than 6" wide. This is because the planks are prone to bucking as a reaction when the weather changes.
Also read - Glimpse into your reclaimed hardwood flooring
After sharing the top benefits of engineered hardwood, we also would like to mention a few things to consider before you decide if engineered wood is a good fit for your interior needs.
All of these benefits only apply to high-quality engineered wood floors. You may be thinking, how do I know if an engineered hardwood is well produced?
Let's make it simple, by looking carefully to wear layer, plywood core and finish.
The thicker the wear layer the better, as this means the floor can be sanded and refinished more times. We recommend selecting a wear layer no less than 3mm.
Our thickest range has a wear layer of 6mm which can last just as long as a solid wood floor.
In this image we are comparing solid and engineered hardwood with the same thickness of 3/4" and the same wear layer of 6mm.
Plywood core is something you are never going to see, it is still one of the most important elements to consider when identifying the best engineered wood flooring.
This is the part of the plank that determines floor stability. Plywood cores can vary in quality, but high quality planks will have what is known as a multi-layer ply 7-11 layers. Many economical engineered wood flooring ranges are made up of a single board.
This type of engineered plank is slightly affordable but is definitely not as stable and reliable as a multi-layer ply. Choose a board with a plywood core of 7 tp 11 layer of birch or marine plywood as their strong cross-layered structure will make the boards far less prone to swelling, shrinking or buckling.
The real benefits of engineered hardwood flooring are:
1. Versatility in Design: Engineered wood flooring offers a plethora of design options. Available in various styles, colors, and finishes, it can mimic almost any hardwood species, providing the aesthetic appeal of traditional hardwood floors without limitations. This versatility makes it suitable for a range of interior styles, from rustic to contemporary.
2. Enhanced Stability: The unique construction of engineered wood – a top layer of hardwood bonded to several layers of other wood – ensures greater stability. This composition reduces the natural tendency of wood to expand and contract with changes in humidity and temperature, making engineered wood an excellent choice for regions with fluctuating climates.
3. Durability and Longevity: Engineered floors are known for their durability. The multiple layers provide strength, making these floors resistant to warping and bowing. With proper care, engineered wood flooring can last as long as traditional hardwood floors, often spanning several decades.
4. Eco-Friendly Option: Engineered wood is an eco-friendlier option compared to traditional hardwood. The manufacturing process uses less of the actual hardwood, often sourced from sustainable forests, thereby reducing the environmental impact. Additionally, some engineered wood products are made using recycled materials, further enhancing their green credentials.
5. Ease of Installation: One of the significant advantages of engineered wood flooring is its ease of installation. It can be installed over most types of subfloors and can be nailed, glued, or even floated, depending on the product. This flexibility simplifies the installation process, making it a viable option for both professionals and DIY enthusiasts.
6. Cost-Effectiveness: While maintaining the appearance of solid hardwood, engineered wood flooring is generally more cost-effective. The reduced use of solid wood in its construction makes it a more affordable option, offering the luxury of hardwood flooring without the hefty price tag.
7. Compatibility with Underfloor Heating: Unlike traditional hardwood, engineered wood is compatible with underfloor heating systems. This compatibility is due to its dimensional stability, which allows the flooring to withstand the changes in temperature without warping or cracking, making it an ideal choice for modern heating solutions.
Conclusion: Engineered wood flooring represents a harmonious blend of beauty, functionality, and sustainability. Its growing popularity is a testament to its ability to offer the timeless charm of wood floors while addressing the practical needs of contemporary living. Whether you're renovating an old space or designing a new one, engineered wood flooring stands out as a smart, stylish choice that meets a variety of aesthetic and practical demands.
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