Engineered wood floors are a great alternative for those who love the real solid feel of hardwood without its annoying drawbacks such as high maintenance and huge cost. Engineered wood floors win in several aspects where solid wood floors fail to make the mark.
The Basics of Engineered Wood
Engineered wood floors feature a multi-layered design, which imparts the stunning good looks and practical benefits they are known for.
The top layer features solid wood. This is the layer that gives an engineered wood floor its wood-style look, texture and feel. This is also the layer that is visible to the eye.
The middle layer is made of softwood, HDF (High Density Fibreboard) or multiple layers of plywood. The purpose of this layer is to serve as a protective shield for the top layer.
The middle layer is bonded to the top layer using glue. It serves as a strong supportive layer offering excellent stability to the top layer and protecting from warping. If the middle-layer features multiple layers of plywood, the floor comes with extra strength and stability.
There is then a third and final layer at the bottom. Made of wood, this layer provides fundamental support to the previous two layers to ensure that they are stable.
Benefits of Multi-Layer Construction
The layered design of engineered wood floors – where each supports the one above it – imparts a solid stability to the floors. That’s why they excel in comparison to solid wood floors.
The layered design also ensures that the floors do not warp, buckle, shrink or expand in response to environmental changes such as variations in humidity and moisture.
This impressive stability is a reason for the compatibility of these floors with click-lock installation technology. Wood floors have never been so easy to install; simply fit planks into each other at the joints to install them!
Discover Varieties of Hardwood Floors
Engineered wood uses less hardwood when compared to solid wood floors. A variety of wood species is available in this flooring option. If you favour a rare species of wood, it is highly likely you’ll get your wish fulfilled with engineered floors!
Different Grades of Engineered Wood Floors
The grade of an engineered wood floor determines how the floor surface will look.
- A rustic grade floor comes with knots and markings. If you are looking for more character, you could go for a super-rustic variety- great for interiors looking to add more character
- A premium grade floor features minuscule knots. A super-premium grade floor comes with little or no knots at all – great for interiors desiring a refined or contemporary look
- A nature grade floor is used to impart a classic wood look. Such floors come with very few knots and markings
Engineered wood floors can feature a brushed or sanded smooth top layer.
A brushed layer sets apart the natural texture of the floor by highlighting the grains, markings and other wood details. A sanded layer plays down the natural texture of the floor, giving a neat and smooth look overall.
Oiled and lacquered are two prominent types of finishes common to engineered wood floors.
Floors with oiled finish look highly natural. Such floors need to be treated with oil application periodically to have the glossy good looks maintained. While the oil finish serves as a protective shield against wear and tear, this floor is easily damaged by spills, stains and stressful use.
Floors with lacquer finish are less demanding in terms of maintenance. High-quality lacquers can last for several years, reducing the need for reapplication. Being more resistant to spills and stains, these floors are great for use in kitchens. They are also ideal for high-traffic areas.
Engineered wood floors offer a range of options in terms of shades, wood type and maintenance. So, you can be sure of having a selection that suits your aesthetic, budget and lifestyle requirements.