Many people prefer to purchase solid wood flooring, purely because they think that it is better product. But if you understand the benefits of engineered flooring I think you will agree that it is a very worthwhile consideration and infact essential in certain circumstances.
Lets take a look at some of the Major Benefits of Engineered Flooring below:
1. Due to its cross ply structure Engineered floor boards expand and contract Less than solid wood floor boards. This makes them suitable for a large variety of installations.
2. Due to their superior structure and stability Engineered floor boards can be used in specific areas, such as areas of varying moisture conditions like bathrooms and kitchens, solid flooring is generally not considered not suitable here.
3. Engineered flooring can be installed as a ‘floating’ floor, meaning you do not fix it to its sub base. This makes it a lot easier to lay, as there is no nailing or gluing, apart from glue on the joints.
4. Engineered floors can also be fitted on slighty uneven sub bases. Gluing a solid wood floor to a concrete sub base, requires perfect leveling of the sub base, but with an engineered floor simply use a good quality underlay of a reasonable thickness (like 5mm) and float your engineered floor on top.
5. Due to its structure Engineered flooring is suitable for under floor heating whereas Solid wood flooring is not suitable at all for under floor heating.
6. There is a large range of Engineered flooring around the 14mm thickness. These are generally very reasonably priced and are good to look at, last well, and are quick and easy to fit. Their wear layer of real wood is normally about 2 to 4mm thick. Then there is a range of the slightly better quality Engineered flooring which is 20 to 22mm thick(overall) with a veneer of solid wood about 6 to 8mm thick.
7. Many engineered floors have a thick veneer layer that can be sanded and refinished for easier repair of everyday wear and tear. This means that you won’t have to spend money buying brand new flooring. You do have to be careful not to sand too far and you must limit how many times you do it as a vigorous sand will remove about 2mm of wood each time.
8. Some Engineered floors are available with an easy clip lock system. This makes them easier to lay than solid flooring because you simply clip the boards together without having to glue them together.
Many of the Engineered floors on the market today look no different to a solid wood floor when they have been installed. The surface that you see is in fact solid wood so why should it look different.
I would say that the determining factor is how the floor has been finished. Floors that have been lacquered tend to have an artificial look. Whereas floors that have been waxed or oiled tend to have a more natural look.