Have you ever wondered how engineered hardwood floors are made? Experts agree that the best ones in the market are those that have a minimum of three ply layers and a maximum of 12. The layers are all cross layered, pressed and glued all together and the inner cores are built with a soft or hard plywood materials. These comprise the tongue and groove system. The top surface of the engineered hardwood is the hardwood veneer.
There are many benefits in using engineered wood rather than other flooring materials. It is resistant even to the highest levels of moisture. It has been observed that it is even more resistant than many solid hardwoods. This is advantageous if you live in a state that is more humid.
Another benefit in using engineered flooring is that it can be glued directly to the concrete floor or subfloor. It also comes with the Click Lock style which can be laid out to the floor like puzzles.
The Click Lock type of flooring is now one of the hottest trends in the market. They come with that special tongue and groove that just fit perfectly. They form a tight seam which provides a smoother appearance.
There are two ways of manufacturing engineered wood. First, the top layer is sawn or sliced directly from the log just as loggers would do on a solid hardwood. Engineered hardwood that comes in kind of cut offers a more natural look as it preserves the graining.
The next type is the kind that is rotary cut where big lathes are used to peel off the logs. This type offers a more dramatic, wilder graining.
If you are thinking that all engineered hardwood floors are alike, then you are mistaken. A few homeowners believe that this kind of flooring is not as durable as solid hardwoods. They think that engineered types are cheap and haphazardly done.
Of course, different manufacturers make products differently; there are engineered floors that come from the cheaper end of the manufacturing spectrum and there are also high-end ones.
Getting What You Paid For
Settling for the less costly engineered flooring may not be the best way to go. Discount stores and home centers that offer these cheaper alternatives have to thoroughly checked before you can trust what they are offering for your home’s floor.
Most of the engineered floors that these shops offer are only 3/8” thick which means they come in paper thin layers. The more expensive types of engineered flooring are thicker and are more natural-looking. Never compromise beauty and durability for mere price.
To be safe, find a retailer that you trust, more so when you have a very limited budget. Good quality comes at a price and you have to abide by this truth as you go out and buy your engineered floor.
At the end of the day, it all boils down to the wear layer. Find an engineered hardwood floor that is renewable or sandable. If not, then you would end up with a flooring that comes with exposed nails – definitely not a sight to look forward to. If you want to buy the most durable engineered floor, then find the thickest type which is ¾”. This is the type that you can sand and refinish many times over.
Wear layers vary greatly as they depend on the thickness of the engineered wood. This can range from .6mm up to 6mm. For instance, an engineered floor with a 4mm wear layer can be sanded as well as refinished 4 to 5 times during its entire lifetime. The average lifespan of engineered hardwood floors this thick is about 60 to 80 years.
Useful Reference Links
Solid Wood vs. Engineered Wood Flooring: Helpful Tips for Finding the Right Floor
Engineered Hardwood Flooring – pros, cons, install, & cost
The Ultimate Guide To Hardwood Floors
Engineered or Solid Hardwood Flooring – Armstrong Flooring
Engineered vs. Solid Hardwood Flooring – The Spruce
Engineered Hardwood – Wood Flooring – The Home Depot
Engineered Hardwood Floors | BuildDirect®
Engineered Hardwood | Floor & Decor