Who doesn’t enjoy the look and feel of authentic hardwood floors? This flooring solution, unfortunately, is quite pricey and prone to scratches and water damage. It also requires upkeep and specialised maintenance to ensure it stays in tip-top condition. Luckily, there is a much more affordable option for which anyone who enjoys wooden floors can opt – engineered wood flooring. Whether or not you have heard of this unique solution before, we answer all your questions below.
1. What is Engineered Wood Flooring?
Unlike other products (such as laminates and luxury vinyl tiles) that seem to accurately emulate the feel of solid wooden floors, engineered wood flooring makes use of a hardwood veneer surface. Beneath this veneer are various layers of bonded core layers (usually plywood, hardwood, or high-density fibreboard). These layers are crisscrossed in different directions, which makes the structure of each plank incredibly stable and durable.
2. Does it Come with Any Benefits?
There are several benefits of investing in engineered wood flooring. A major draw is how stable the planks are – they are much less likely to warp or cup based on fluctuations in temperature or humidity. This stability also means that larger installations are possible. When an underlay is installed, the levelling and insulation of the product are enhanced. They are also relatively easy to install when compared to hardwood installations. Lastly, but certainly not least, engineered wood flooring is an affordable alternative to solid wooden floors, while still offering the same aesthetic appeal.
3. Are DIY Installations Recommended?
DIY installations are possible, but not recommended. This is because of factors that many homeowners do not consider, such as subfloor preparation. Though it does not expand and shrink as much as solid wood with temperature and humidity fluctuations, engineered wood flooring also still requires expansion gaps during installation. For a quick, seamless and efficient installation that will last you years to come, it is far better to hire professional assistance.
4. Is it More Stable than Hardwood Floors?
Solid wood becomes unstable when moisture, humidity, and heat is introduced. Engineered wood flooring is designed with multi-ply layers that are bonded and counteract major changes in shape. This also means slightly more resistance to buckling and wear and tear. With the right underlayment and moisture barriers, certain products can even be installed over concrete or underfloor heating.
5. How Does it Differ from Laminate Floors?
While engineered wood flooring is man-made, real hardwood is used in the construction of each plank. They are not completely made from hardwood, however, which makes them a much more cost-friendly option for homeowners who are seeking that authentic, natural feel within their home. Laminates, on the other hand, are manufactured with synthetic materials, with a printed layer that emulates a wooden grain. They are also generally a thinner product but quite durable. Both options come with plenty of variety in style and colours, so buyers can choose whichever option suits their needs best.
6. Is Cleaning and Maintenance Easy?
If properly installed, the surface of your installation will be hard, flat, and smooth. This makes cleaning no effort at all, and also means that dust, debris, and allergens are not difficult to sweep away. It is recommended to clean your floors daily to prevent the build-up of grime and dirt. It is also best to avoid cleaning with a wet mop, steam, harsh chemicals or lots of water, as these may negatively impact the hardwood veneer over time. A microfibre mop, broom with soft bristles, or towel are ideal for cleaning.
7. How Durable is this Floor Type?
Pre-finished engineered wood flooring with the right coating can be incredibly durable and hardwearing. This finish not only adds to its lustre, giving it vitality and depth, but it adds to surface durability and how well it will fare under foot traffic.
8. Can the Surface be Refinished?
Most wooden products are not completely resistant to scratches and scuff marks, even with a protective top coating. Engineered wood flooring is no different in this regard but it is possible to fix the issue. It can be sanded down multiple times (depending upon the thickness of the hardwood veneer) and refinished as many times as needed.
9. How Much Does Installation Cost?
Your supplier will be able to give you an estimate of the price per box that you can expect. It is also always recommended that you purchase extra planks in case any emergency repairs are ever needed. The price of installation, however, comes down to the type of labour required and what kind of subfloor preparation is needed. For an accurate quote, your installer will need to visit you and assess the floor.
10. Where Can I Find Superb Engineered Wood Flooring Products?
Here at Top Carpets and Floors, we are home to distinctive and sophisticated engineered wood products that are sure to cater to your practical needs and style preferences. We are also available to help you choose the right design and will assist you with everything from providing you with a quote to handling the installation.
For more information or to request a quote, be sure to speak to our professional team today.