There are many reasons people love wood floors for their homes, businesses, or commercial spaces. They look great, wear well and are easy to clean. Sometimes, however, deciding just what type of wood floor is best can be difficult. Which floor is best suited to meet your needs? Do you go for solid hardwood, engineered hardwood, reclaimed wood, or eschew natural materials altogether and try a wood-look laminate floor? Here we’ll answer some of the most commonly asked questions about engineered hardwood flooring.
1. What is Engineered Hardwood?
Generally, engineered hardwood flooring is made up of a thin layer of hardwood over top of a base consisting of additional layers of wood that make the floor more stable and less prone to warping.
At Forestry Timber, our floors are three layers: a top layer of sustainably harvested hardwood, a core layer using Hevea Brasiliensis – a plantation hardwood that is as strong as white oak – and a bottom timber layer. This combination works to ensure our floors are less prone to cupping, expanding, or contracting when exposed to moisture, humidity, or extremes in temperature.
2. What is the Difference Between Engineered and Solid Wood Flooring?
Where engineered wood flooring has multiple layers (as mentioned above), solid hardwood is just that – a plank of solid hardwood without a base layer.
With solid hardwood, your floor is more susceptible to expanding and contracting depending on the weather. For example, if you live in a very cold and/or dry climate, solid wood floors are likely to contract and develop small gaps in between the planks, especially during drier months.
The science behind the multiple layers of engineered hardwood flooring means that properly installed engineered hardwood is significantly less likely to be affected by extremes in weather. Further, engineered hardwood floors re finished more consistently, reducing the possibility of gaps, bowing and uneven edges sometimes seen with solid hardwood floors.
Because solid hardwood floors are typically between ½” and ¾” thick (1.7cm to 1.9 cm), they can be sanded down more frequently than engineered hardwood. However, there does come a point at which you cannot sand a solid wood floor anymore without making the floor too thin and exposing the nails.