Hardwood flooring has a classic aesthetic that is difficult to match. The warmth and beauty of its grain, as well as its capacity to be refinished, are significant advantages. What's the drawback? Solid hardwood flooring is costly, and it isn't always the ideal choice for humid environments.
Engineered wood flooring is a viable option. Instead of a solid piece of wood, the best-engineered wood flooring employs boards formed of layers of wood. When subjected to changing temperatures and humidity, those layers of plywood and wood form a stable core that is less likely to contract and expand. Engineered hardwood floors are therefore a fantastic choice for basements or areas with radiant heating systems.
Continue reading to find out more about engineered wood flooring.
Engineered wood flooring, when put correctly, resembles solid hardwood. Choosing the best-engineered wood flooring necessitates considerable thought and knowledge. Some of the most significant aspects to keep in mind when purchasing this versatile flooring option are outlined in the following sections.
The fact that all engineered wood flooring is made up of a hardwood veneer on top of a core layer of other woods is one of the most crucial things to remember.
A piece of engineered wood flooring's veneer layer is the top layer. It's where you stroll, play, drop things, and arrange your furnishings. Because the veneer is hardwood, engineered wood flooring can be purchased in the same hues and species as solid hardwood flooring. Oak, maple, mahogany, bamboo, and other types of engineered wood flooring are available.
When it comes to the thickness of the veneer layer, there is much variation across items. Some items have thin layers (typically less than 1 millimetre thick), while others have veneers that are 2 millimetres thick, 3 millimetres thick, 4 millimetres thick, or 6 millimetres thick. If damaged, the more viscous veneer products can be refinished.
With a protective coating of naturally occurring aluminium oxide, some of the best-engineered wood floorings take durability to new heights. These products are more durable and scratch-resistant than engineered wood without an aluminium oxide finish, but they can't be refinished in most cases.
The substance upon which the veneer rests is known as the core layer. Core layers are made from a range of materials by manufacturers. A plywood core with seven to eleven layers of wood is generally used in higher-quality items. These layers are referred to as plys. An engineered wood floor with more plys is less prone to cup, shrink, split, or expand. Simply, the longer the flooring lasts, the thicker it is.
HDF (high-density fiberboard) cores are used in some engineered wood floors. They're frequently less expensive than a plywood engineered wood floor. These cores are stable, but they are sponges when it comes to absorbing moisture.
Finally, there are softwood cores, which are formed out of softwood strips (typically aspen). The stripes go parallel to the veneer, preventing cupping, shrinkage, and splitting.
Engineered wood flooring is available in several widths, ranging from typical 4-inch boards to farmhouse-style boards 7 inches wide or wider. Most engineered wood floors are 5 inches wide, which is a smaller size that is less prone to cupping than wider boards.
There are other design concerns when deciding on a width. Narrow planks have a formal or contemporary vibe, whilst more giant planks have a rural, colonial, or old-world feel.
To give the installation a more hand-built aspect, most engineered wood flooring comes in random-length planks.
The method of installation of these flooring differs depending on the product. Some engineered wood floors require nailing or adhesive to keep them in place, while others can be installed directly over an existing floor. Click-in devices hold together the entire floor on floating foundations. The installation method is more of a personal decision than a sign of quality. In both categories, there are high- and low-quality options.
Taking care of the best-engineered wood flooring is similar to taking care of a solid hardwood floor. After all, the veneer layer is made of hardwood. The same products you use for concrete hardwood floors can be used to clean, vacuum, and wax them.
Even engineered wood floors with a veneer layer thicker than 2 millimetres and no aluminium oxide topcoat can be refinished by DIYers. Scratches in the veneer can be sanded out, and the floor refinished with a fresh coat of wax or another sealing solution.
Moisture resistance is an essential factor to consider. While engineered wood floors are frequently confused with laminate floors, they are not as water-resistant as laminate. Engineered wood absorbs moisture and humidity precisely like a hardwood floor, so mop up moisture, water, and liquids as soon as possible to avoid staining the veneer.
Here are our top selections for some of the best-engineered wood flooring in various categories, based on the shopping as mentioned earlier factors.
The traditional look of solid hardwood flooring is achieved with Bellawood's Red Oak Engineered Hardwood Flooring, which has a 3-millimetre thick red oak veneer. Because oak is the industry standard for wood hardness, it's one of the most popular options. This type of engineered oak flooring is more resistant to stains, scratches, and scuffs than solid oak flooring, thanks to a protective coating of aluminium oxide on the veneer.
This flooring has a 2-millimetre thick veneer layer of prefinished wood. The veneer also has an aluminium oxide protection coating to guarantee that the surface is as long-lasting as feasible. For stability, the core layer comprises five layers of solid wood, cemented together with the grain running perpendicular to each other. A single case can cover a total of 20 square feet of floor space.
This Malibu Wide Plank product is an appealing option for DIYers looking for engineered wood flooring to save money. This oak flooring features 612 inch wide planks for a premium look at an affordable price. This floor's oak veneers are only 1.2 millimetres thick, so they can't be refinished. On the other hand, the surface has a durable aluminium oxide covering to protect it from scratches, stains, and scuffs that would necessitate refinishing. For a thinner surface, that coating is reasonably necessary.
Bellawood's Select Maple Engineered Hardwood Flooring features 3-millimetre thick quality creamy maple veneers. This implies that this product may be refinished, providing it with the same longevity and durability as natural hardwood flooring. The surface is supported by a solid 12-inch-thick plywood core, which adds to its strength.
Heritage Mill's Red Oak Natural flooring is available in 414-inch-wide planks and is ideal for places requiring a more modern aesthetic. The veneers are constructed of natural domestic oak hardwood veneers 2 millimetres thick and have an aluminium oxide clear finish for protection. Because the veneer is affixed to five layers of solid wood, this is a durable option.