What is Engineered Hardwood Flooring?
Most people ask themselves, "What is the difference between Engineered Hardwood Flooring and Solid Hardwood Flooring?"..
The explanation is very simple: Solid hardwood floors are made from one solid piece of Hardwood plank. Engineered Hardwood Flooring is made from layers of hardwood, plywood and High Density Fiber (HDF), leaving only the top layer as real prefinished hardwood.
One thing to remember, both of the hardwood floors contain Real Hardwood. While the Solid Hardwood Floors contain one-piece of hardwood plank, the Engineered hardwood flooring contains only one layer of real hardwood, that is the top one, the one you see and walk on.
So how do they make Engineered Hardwood Flooring?
The Engineered Hardwood Floors are built up by gluing together a number of layers made of soft hardwood or plywood materials with a top layer of real prefinished hardwood floor.
Of course, the more layers you have, the more stability and solidity you will get from your engineered hardwood floor. Most of our WoodCrafters Engineered Hardwood Floors come with at least 7 layers of plywood and HDF, this process creates a high-end product which lasts for many years to come.
From a normal persons point of view, when looking at two different Hardwood floor finishes, one is a solid wood floor and the other is engineered floor, it is difficult to find any difference at all between Solid Hardwood Floor and Engineered Hardwood Floor. After the floors have been installed, they are completely identical. That’s because the top layer of hardwood on both wood floors have the exact same style, stain and finish.
There are a few different methods for cutting the hardwood for Engineered Hardwood Flooring. Here are the most used Wood Sawing Methods for engineered hardwood flooring:
A. Rotary Cut Veneer – This type of sawing requires a large wood lathes, which is then used to remove the thin layer of wood used for the top layer of Engineered Hardwood. This peeling method gives the top layer a more wild, dramatic and versatile graining from your average hardwood floor.
B. Sliced Cut Veneer – This wood cutting method is identical to the process that Solid Hardwood Floor is made from. In this method, hardwood is sawn like regular lumber hardwood planks, only the layers are thinner. This process is a more expensive way to cut engineered hardwood floors, but it is the best way to achieve a more natural color and grain from the selected hardwood.
So which Engineered flooring should I choose?
There is no right answer for this question. There are more Engineered Hardwood floors today than ever. The sizes start at 3” width, and goes up to 4”, 5”, 6” and even more. There is every species of wood you can think of along with every stain or finish you can imagine, giving you the ability to choose the floor you always wanted. You can find Engineered Oak floor with Mahogany stain, or Hand Scrapped Engineered Cherry Floor with a natural color or even engineered Red Oak Floor with 2-1/4” inch wide planks and natural red oak stain that looks exactly like a Solid Hardwood Floor. The possibilities are endless.. all depends on your taste and desires.
Can I Refinish Engineered Hardwood Floors?
Today’s Prefinished Engineered Hardwood Floors can last for over 40 years with the manufacturer finish. But what if you want to put on a new stain? Or the floor got damaged?
Basically, the answer is Yes – You can refinish Engineered Hardwood Floors. Since the top layer of the engineered hardwood floor is real wood, the refinishing is the same as in solid hardwood floors. But there is one thing to remember when re-sanding Engineered Floors: while in solid hardwood, the whole plank (usually 3/4" thickness) is wood, on engineered hardwood, the wood layer is very thin.
According to the NOFMA (The Wood Flooring Manufacturers Association), re-sanding hardwood floor shouldn’t remove more than 1/32” of material from the top layer of hardwood. That means that if your hardwood floor has a 1/16” Layer of hardwood, you can re sand it and refinish it two more times. Of course, this kind of operation needs to be done by a professional from the hardwood flooring industry.
Most of our WoodCrafters Engineered Hardwood Flooring can be re-sanded and refinished for at least three more times, a fact that promises you a product that can last for over 100 years.
What About Installing Engineered Hardwood Flooring?
Engineered Hardwood Floors are specially engineered to overcome moisture and humidity issues that are prevalent with Solid Hardwood floors. Engineered hardwood floors have a higher stability and resistance to moisture than solid hardwood floors. Thanks to the layer structure, the twisting issue that occurs with solid hardwood floors is just not possible with Engineered Hardwood.
That is why Engineered Hardwood Flooring is the best choice for rooms below ground level (like basements for example) or for tropical places with high levels of moisture.
Engineered Hardwood Flooring can be installed with a glue-down method (even directly to a concrete slab) or it can be nailed or stapled down to a wood sub floor (plywood for example) using a nail gun or staple gun. Engineered Hardwood flooring is a DIY (Do It Yourself) product and can be installed by following a simple set of instructions.
Benefits of Engineered Flooring
Engineered Hardwood Flooring is the best solution for high humidity areas and can be installed on any level in your house, even bellow ground level and in basements. Engineered Hardwood Floors Installation is not too complicated and can be done by home owners, with proper guidance and instructions.
It can be glued down directly to concrete and of course stapled or nailed down with the proper tools.Prefinished Engineered Hardwood Floors posses a huge variety of wood species, stains and finishes.Engineered Floors can be re-sanded and refinished, which ensures you a very long-lasting hardwood floor.