Engineered Wood Flooring
Engineered Wood Flooring comes in a wide range of styles and designs, from rustic grains to tranquil floors with uniform patterning and everything in between!
These boards can be laid on a variety of sub-floors. A special high quality foam underlay, with built in moisture barrier is used to reduce creaking, movement and sound transmission.
I would like to point out that Engineered Flooring is not the same as Laminate Flooring.
Engineered flooring has a top wear layer of real wood, whereas Laminate has no real wood and is a high quality picture of wood. For this reason Laminates are much cheaper than Engineered floors.
Below you can see a close up of the cross section of an engineered board:
How Engineered Boards Are Made
Engineered Wooden Flooring is the type of flooring in which the hardwood (surface layer) is first processed into wood slices (veneers) these vary in thickness from 2 to 6mm.
These veneers are then bonded to a backing board of cross ply materials (for stability), these cross ply boards range from 8 to 15mm. The combined total thickness of backing board and veneer therefore ranges from 10 to 21mm.
Thus, the distinguishing feature of engineered wood flooring is its multi layered structure which sets it apart from solid wood flooring, which is made of single solid hardwood planks.
Availability and Uses of Engineered Flooring
Engineered boards are available in a wide range of widths and lengths, but the variety is not as vast as that of solid wood flooring. This is because engineered boards have gone through an extra manufacturing process and it is the size of the backing boards that actually reduces the range.
The cross ply structure of Engineered Wood Flooring gives strength and stability which is a unique advantage over solid wood flooring.
This essentially means that it expands, contracts and warps a lot less. One advantage of this is that you can now lay this floor on top of its sub base without having to fix it to the sub base.
This is called floating a floor. This is a huge advantage in places where the concrete floor is uneven, as you no longer have to spend time and money creating a perfectly level surface.
This superior structure and stability also means that it is suitable for kitchens and bathrooms where moisture levels vary considerably. Previously when only solid wood was available, floor fitters were very wary of fitting a solid floor in these areas.
Nonetheless, like any other wood, engineered wood flooring should not be exposed to excessive moisture.
Some Advantages of Engineered Flooring Over Solid Wood flooring
• Engineered boards are very stable
• Engineered boards are suitable for areas with moisture content like kitchens and bathrooms
• Engineered boards are suitable for under floor heating
• Engineered boards can be floated on surfaces that are not perfectly level.
• Engineered boards are floated and are easier to fit than gluing or nailing
Read this article which outlines all the Major Benefits of Engineered Flooring
Three important factors to note with engineered flooring are:
1) Veneer thickness – This determines the longevity of your floor by how many times it can be re sanded. Each sanding will remove about 2mm of wood
2) Quality of cross ply backing boards (hard or softwood) – Quality affects the price, but an inferior and cheap cross ply will not last.
3) How the veneer is bonded to the backing board (hot or cold pressed) – Not so easy to find out but cold pressed is a slower process and the bonding last longer than hot press. The last thing you want is delamination of the surface layer from its backing board.
Engineered flooring is now available in almost any wood type and colour, pre finished or unfinished.
Good quality Engineered flooring (often determined by price) is really an excellent choice for most situations and depending on the type, can look absolutely no different to a real solid wood floor.
If you are based in or around London, Surrey, Berkshire, Oxfordshire of Hampshire then it is worth coming to see our showroom where we have a variety of Engineered floors laid side by side with Solid Wood floors. See if you can spot the difference!
To arrange an appointment call:
London 0207 125 0009 or Berkshire 0118 329 0071 or click here to send us a message.