Engineered Hardwood Flooring
Hardwoods warm up a space, give it character, style, and charm. They’re also a costly investment. Deciding on the type of hardwood flooring product to install in a property is a major decision. This article will provide in-depth information concerning the manufactured flooring type known as engineered hardwood, and show the ways engineered hardwoods differ from and yet are similar to solid hardwood flooring.
Engineered Hardwood Flooring: Why Does It Exist?
As a natural product, all hardwoods react to changes in climate. However, engineered hardwood flooring was created to limit the amount of expanding and contracting that occurs, so that areas below grade like basements, and homes located in climates of relative high humidity levels, can contain hardwoods without gapping and cupping between the floorboards taking place.
Engineered Hardwood Flooring:
Is it Real Hardwood?
Yes, engineered hardwood flooring is made of real wood. It can be made from the same varieties of solid hardwood species, including Hickory, Maple, and Oak. To make engineered flooring, multiple layers of solid hardwoods, by way of much heat and pressure, are packed tightly together in a mesh-like pattern, placing one layer over the other. While all hardwoods expand and contract when temperatures change, this pattern significantly limits the amount of constricting and contrasting that is seen in solid hardwoods, reducing chances of structural damage, like cupping or gapping, from happening. The pattern helps the engineered hardwoods maintain form, creating sturdy flooring. It’s topped with a solid, durable piece of prefinished hardwood flooring, which helps to limit scratches, dents, and dings.
Engineered Hardwood Flooring: Is it Environmentally Friendly?
Engineered hardwood flooring is an environmentally-friendly product. The fastest growing wood is used to make the flooring’s interior. Fewer trees are required in the making of engineered hardwood flooring, and most of the lumber is used up when creating this flooring type. Between 70 and 80 of the log is used. The excess goes into making piles and energy. In contrast, when making solid hardwoods, only 20 to 30 percent of the log is used. Engineered Hardwood Flooring: Can I Install It in My Basement? Engineered hardwood flooring can be installed on all levels and in just about all areas of the home. Because of its ability to withstand fluctuating changes in climate and temperature however, many homeowners choose to use engineered hardwood flooring in the lower levels of the home, particularly in basements, where solid hardwoods may not have much of a chance. Individuals living in parts of the country with high relative humidity levels also find engineered hardwood flooring a suitable choice throughout their homes. All parts of the home however may not be a good fit for engineered hardwoods, or any hardwoods. Due to the amount of moisture and the potential of a great deal of water being spilled, installing hardwoods in frequently used bathrooms or laundry rooms is not recommended.
Engineered Hardwood Flooring: How is it Installed?
Engineered hardwood flooring can be installed in multiple ways. Depending on the specific nature of the space and the hardwoods, they can be installed by using nails, staples, or glue. They can also be installed using what’s called the floating method. With the floating method, hardwood planks are simply snapped together over a previously existing dry and flat surface, like concrete, tile, or a wood subfloor. Engineered hardwoods can also be installed over radiant heating.
Engineered Hardwood Flooring: How Long Does It Last?
Engineered hardwood flooring, just as solid hardwood flooring, can last for a lengthy amount of time. As long as it’s well maintained, such flooring can hold up on average between 15 and 80 years, depending on the type of care it receives and how thick the wear layer is. Because solid hardwoods are made thicker than engineered hardwoods, solid hardwoods can be resanded and refinished rather frequently if they’ve suffered some surface wear and tear. Hardwoods4less flooring undergoes an elaborate 8-layer prefinishing process which includes adding aluminum oxide in the top coat, which creates extremely durable product. As a result, refinishing is not done nearly as often as it used to be. When it comes to engineered hardwood flooring specifically, the type of refinishing that occurs depends on the depth of the wear layer, which is the top portion of a hardwood flooring plank. With a wear layer of 1mm, sanding and refinishing is not recommended. Instead, a recoating would work best. The average lifespan of such engineered hardwoods is about 15 to 25 years. Going up 2mm, sanding and refinishing can take place, but no more than 1-2 times over the floor’s lifetime, which is about 30 to 40 years. With 3mm, sanding and refinished can happen 2-3 times, and can last around 40 to 50 years; and 4mm can give you 50 to 80 years, sanding around between 3 to 4 times in that lifespan. Some floors may never need any resanding or refinishing if the floors are maintained properly. Engineered hardwood flooring can be resanded as well, but no more than one to five times, depending on the thickness of the top layer or wear layer. Resanding engineered hardwood flooring too often can result in revealing the plywood underneath.
Engineered Hardwood Flooring: How Much Does It Cost?
There are various factors to consider when determining the cost of engineered hardwood flooring, which varies from company to company. Those factors include plank size and thickness, and lumber and adhesive costs. Installation costs vary as well. The do-it-yourself route may reduce installation costs significantly. Hardwoods4less engineered flooring starts at a base price of $2.34 per square feet. Engineered hardwood flooring also has the same resale value as solid hardwood flooring. In conclusion, engineered hardwood flooring is made of solid hardwood and can withstand the changes in temperature and climate in lower levels of homes and in regions experiencing high relative humidity levels. It lasts just as long as solid hardwood flooring, looks just as good, and can be installed in just as many, and more areas of the home.