All About Engineered Wood Floors Engineered wood floors -
How are they made?
The best engineered wood floors are built having 3-12 multiple ply layers that are cross layered, glued and pressed together. The inner core layers are generally built up with either a hardwood and/or soft plywood type of material, which incorporates the tongue and groove system. The top thicker hardwood veneer wear layer is then glued and pressed on the top surface of the core. Engineered hardwood flooring is available in almost any wood species. The benefits of using engineered wood floors include more resistance to higher moisture levels than solid wood flooring, which adds to their appeal to use in damp basements or in regions of the country that have higher relative humidity levels.
Also, most engineered flooring can be direct glued-down over (dry) concrete slabs above or below grade or stapled down over a wood subfloor. Quality Engineered Hardwood flooring generally has the same additional appraisal value for resale as 3/4 solid wood flooring.
Engineered Hardwood floors range in widths from 3-7 inches wide and in thicknesses from 3/8 - 3/4" they also come in a wide variety of domestic and exotic hardwood species and some are available in the very popular hand scraped styles.
The average lifespan of standard thickness engineered flooring is between 20-30 years depending on traffic. Others with a thicker 2 - 6 mm thick wear layer can be sanded and refinished when needed. Thicker wear layer engineered floors can last from 40 - 60 years before having to be replaced.
Engineered wood floors are manufactured two ways,
One, where the top surface wear layer is Sliced/Sawn cut from the log like solid wood flooring is. Engineered hardwood flooring that has a Sliced/Sawn cut wear layer shows the truer natural look of the wood and finer graining. Sliced/Sawn cut engineered flooring also allows a thicker wear layer.
And. Two, Engineered wood floors can also be Rotary cut, which the veneer hardwood wear layer is peeled off the log using big lathes. This peeling method can show dramatic wider graining.
Not all engineered flooring is alike! Some homeowners believe that engineered flooring is not as good as solid 3/4 in. thick flooring because they are under the impression that it’s cheaply made.
Well, as with all consumer products, manufacturers do make products at all levels of quality, each to fit a certain price point within the market. There are engineered floors on the less costly end of the price scale that are specifically manufactured to be affordable and are more appealing if your expected time frame in the home is less than 10 years as this usually insures that visual wear is not a problem.
There are a multitude of engineered floors on the market today that are made using the best raw materials available, for the prospective buyer who wants a top quality product for his or her home.
You have probably heard "a penny wise and a pound foolish” or "you get what you pay for.” This is true of any product flooring or otherwise.
That’s why we have floors to meet all your budgets and needs and that educating you on all of these allows you choose properly with all the information, price, quality and selection.
Even if your budget is tight, it is still possible to find a good quality engineered floor. The goal of this article is to help the consumer understand the differences between engineered floors and, ultimately, what to look for in the specifications of an engineered floor when deciding.
It's All about the wear layer and what you want or need. When working with a standard 3/4 in. thick solid floor, you can sand and refinish 3/4 in. thick floor approximately 5-7 times over the lifetime of the floor. The average lifespan of 3/4 in. thick solid wood flooring is approx 100 years.
With engineered flooring, wear layer thicknesses can vary greatly. Wear layers on engineered flooring can range anywhere from .6mm to 6mm.
As an example, an engineered wood floor with a wear layer of 4mm (5/32 in.) usually can be sanded and refinished 4-5 times over the lifetime of the floor.
The average lifespan of an engineered floor with this 4mm wear layer is approximately 60-80 years.
What should your concerns be?Your concern should be what your demands are going to be for that flooring and match those demands to the flooring as best you can. If the area that the new flooring is going to be installed is it going to receive a lot of traffic then you will want an engineered floor that has a thick wear layer that can be sanded and refinished new again later.
Or you may opt for solid wood.
Quality Engineered floors are very durable we will educate you on the needs you express so you can choose with knowledge.
Engineered wood flooring is Green flooring it helps conserve wood. For every 1 sq foot of 3/4 inch thick solid wood flooring manufactured you can manufacturer approx 4 times that amount into engineered wood flooring because the surface veneer is less thick.
Engineered wood flooring will help to provide a product to people that wish to conserve forests. Engineered Hardwood Flooring Reviews:
Q. What's the advantage of using an Engineered wood floor over a Solid nail down floor?
A. Engineered hardwood floors can be installed in areas where there are slightly higher relative humidity levels. Engineered wood flooring is stable for areas below ground.
Q. Does it matter what size width board or color to use?s one width better than another?
A. No. Use whatever width board you prefer aesthetically. A narrower board will give you a more traditional appearance whereas a wider board will give your rooms a bigger than actual size feeling and appearance.
Floor Color is a personal choice that would have more to do with your personal tastes and decor.
Q. Can I use an Engineered wood floor in my basement?
A. Yes, as long as the moisture content of the concrete is acceptable and does not exceed 5%. Basements are known to have higher relative humidity due to being under the ground. You can choose either a glue down product or use a Floating engineered wood floor which allows the use of a 4-6-mil plastic vapor barrier in any areas where there is a slightly higher moisture conditions.
Q. Can you install an Engineered floor over other floor coverings such as vinyl or tile?A. Yes, but not a long term recommended method. But as long as the other flooring is a hard surface secured well and is flat. Although if this is done you are depending on the existing floor to be secure enough that problems do not develop late.
In addition the installation warranty does not apply to this method because of that. So long term it is generally much better to remove existing flooring prior to installing your new floor. You cannot install any wood flooring over carpet.
Q. Can I glue down an Engineered wood floor over my concrete slab that is on grade?
Q. Are all Brands of Engineered floors the same?
A. No, like anything else you purchase there can be big differences in quality. Some manufacturers use a lower quality wood along with low grade, cheaper bonding glues for their ply layers. Their milling could also be off and their finish quality could be poor. We only offer hardwood flooring from manufacturers that have great products and stand behind them.
Q. How much flooring do you order? Why do you add 10% to my square footage?
A. We provide easy to follow instructions as to how to measure your rooms, see our Measuring Tips page. It is important to remember that all manufacturers recommend adding 10% to your actual square footage.
This added 10% is recommended to cover boards that you may not want to use, that may have gotten by the inspection process at the factory and for cutting and fitting waste.
If you want your to run at a 45-degree angle in the room then we would add approx 15% for a waste factor for the added cutting waste.
Q. Are there different styles of Engineered flooring?
A. Yes, aside from their smooth surface styles some wood flooring manufacturers also produce character or hand scraped versions that are available, which would show more light and dark boards along with more pronounced character.
What is extremely popular over the last 6 years are wider hand scraped flooring.
Q. What are the benefits of using prefinished flooring rather than unfinished flooring?
A. Purchasing prefinished flooring eliminates the time consuming chore of the sanding and refinishing and gives you the added benefit of a perfect finish all done for you at the factory.
Most of the brand name manufacturers carry a variety of stained colors to choose from and are coated with a durable 7-10 coats of the Aluminum oxide finish, which is more durable for wear.
Using prefinished flooring allows you to move right back into the room after installation. No waiting for days while the finish is being applied and drying!
All wood floors will react to the presence of moisture. In the dry winter heating months, moisture leaves the wood causing the floor to contract, which can leave unsightly gaps between each plank.
In the summer months when the humidity is higher the wood will expand and the gaps will disappear.
If there is too much moisture it may cause the wood planks to cup, or buckle.
This is why it is important when installing a wood floor to and to acclimate the wood prior to installation and leave the proper expansion area around the perimeter. It is also important for the homeowner to keep the relative humidity at between 35 - 55% with all wood flooring.
More frequently asked questions about - Hardwood Flooring
1. The best engineered floors have a Lifespan anywhere from 30 - 100 years.
2. Using an engineered wood floor allows you to have a wood floor on any grade level.
3. Engineered hardwood flooring can be used on wood subfloors or dry concrete slabs.
4. Better suited for humid areas of the country.
5. Engineered floors are flexible to all areas to install on.
6. Engineered wood floors are dimensionally stable.
7. Engineered floors are available in many different sizes, colors and styles.
8. Some glued down engineered floors are made to be sanded and refinished if ever needed. 9. Hardwood flooring is the only floor covering that increases the value of your home.
10. Hardwood flooring does not cause allergies, recommended to use by allergists.