wood flooring

Engineered Wood Flooring; Frequently Asked Questions [And Answers!]

Posted on Posted in Wood Floors

As a homeowner, you want hardwoods for your home that will look great and stand the test of time. While solid hardwood floors may be what you are most familiar with, engineered hardwood flooring is a great option to consider if you are looking for a more stable hardwood flooring option.

What is engineered wood flooring?

Engineered hardwood allows you to bring a modern and sophisticated look to your home in a more resistant surface. Engineered hardwood is composed of a layered wood core with a hardwood veneer affixed to the top surface, which maintains the natural characteristics of the selected wood type. Engineered hardwood was designed to better stand up against imperfect conditions such as heat and moisture.

How is engineered hardwood made?

Engineered hardwood is created by cross-layering 3-12 pieces of multiple wood layers. The more layers a hardwood has, the more stable it is. These layers are then pressed and glued together to create the core, and then the hardwood veneer is affixed to the top. Engineered hardwoods can be made from any type of wood.

Why choose engineered hardwood over laminate and solid hardwood floors?

Engineered hardwood is more versatile and stable than both solid hardwood and laminate floors. It can be easily installed and will not buckle, even when glued straight onto a concrete floor. While more durable than solid hardwoods against moisture, it is still not recommended to be placed in a damp environment. Engineered hardwoods also hold up to heat better, and unlike solid hardwoods that tend to shrink or buckle under heat, can be installed near radiators or other heating systems without issue.

Why is engineered hardwood more stable than solid hardwood?

If the conditions aren’t right, solid hardwood floors can warp, cup, swell or split apart. The multiple-ply plank design of engineered hardwood counteracts twisting and remain flat and intact. This makes engineered hardwood flooring a better choice for installation over heat sources or concrete.

Does engineered hardwood look different than solid wood floors?

Not at all! The top hardwood layer (a hardwood veneer), and the only layer you see, is exactly the same as the hardwood used in solid wood floors, giving the two an identical appearance.

Is engineered hardwood cheaply made?

Many homeowners assume that engineered hardwood is a lower quality option to solid hardwood, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. Like all products, engineered hardwood can be manufactured in a range of quality and price, and a shopper can choose whichever hardwood suits them best. Cheaper types of engineered hardwoods will be very thin (⅜” or less) and have a paper thin top veneer that is worn through quickly. On the other end of the spectrum, some types of engineered hardwood floors can have an incredibly thick top layer that can be sanded and refinished multiple times. Just as anything goes, you get what you pay for in engineered hardwood flooring.

Does engineered wood flooring harm the environment?

Engineered wood flooring actually uses less prized wood than the traditional solid hardwood. For every 1 square foot of solid hardwood manufactured, you can manufacture 4 times that amount into engineered hardwood flooring, which helps to conserve our forests and create a more sustainable hardwood flooring model.

Do I have to rip out my current flooring to install engineered hardwood flooring?

If you have carpet, yes. Engineered hardwoods cannot be installed over carpet. But if you are planning on installing engineered hardwoods in a space that currently has tile, laminate, concrete or another hard surface, you can install the engineered hardwood right over it, so long as the current flooring is secured well and flat.

Do all manufacturers of engineered hardwoods produce a similar quality material?

Not necessarily. Quality will depend on the number of layers, quality of wood used, and quality of glue used in the layers.

Can I install my own engineered hardwood floor?

If you can measure a board, cut it, and glue it to the subfloor, then yes. Installing engineered hardwood floor is no harder than any other DIY project. Installing it yourself is a simple and rewarding way to save money. Contact us for guidance on your next project.