There are so many things to consider when you are ready to install new flooring in your home. If you are interested in hardwood flooring, but concerned about the cost and maintenance, it’s time to look at engineered hardwood flooring!
Our team at Floor Coverings International Southlake has put together this handy beginner’s guide to help you decide if engineered hardwood is the best choice for your Southlake home.
What is engineered hardwood flooring?
Engineered hardwood flooring is made up of multiple layers. The core layer of the floorboards is most commonly made from pressed plywood, and a thin layer of solid hardwood, called the wear layer, is applied to the top.
The quality of engineered flooring can vary dramatically, anywhere from a 3-ply construction with a 1 mm wear layer to a 9-or-more-ply construction with a 3-or-more mm wear layer. The price will reflect the quality, but the more durable the construction the longer the flooring will last.
What are the benefits?
Where do we begin! There are many benefits to engineered hardwood flooring.
One thing that attracts people to engineered hardwood is the price point. It is more affordable than solid hardwood flooring but, unlike laminate or vinyl, the wear layer is real hardwood. You get the look and feel of solid wood floors at a fraction of the cost.
Engineered hardwood flooring is more stable than solid wood, meaning you can install it below-grade, with radiant heat, or in areas with fluctuations in moisture or humidity. The floorboards are less likely to warp or buckle in extreme conditions. That said, engineered flooring does have limitations, and it is not recommended for use in bathrooms, laundry rooms, or other areas with standing water.
Easy To Install
Unlike solid wood flooring, there are multiple installation options with engineered hardwood flooring. It can be glued to a concrete subfloor, or nailed down to a plywood floor, just like solid wood. Because it is more stable, however, it can also be installed as a “floating flooring.” This click-and-lock method allows for quick, easy installation over many types of subfloor, including plywood, concrete, or even an old flooring covering.
What are the drawbacks?
The drawbacks to engineered hardwoods are minimal, but there are a few things to consider. Unlike solid hardwood, engineered wood flooring typically cannot be sanded and refinished more than 1-2 times, depending on the thickness of the wear layer. However, engineered wood often comes with a finish warranty up to 30 years. The species you select for the wear layer will also affect the durability of the wood. Select a wood with a higher Janka hardness rating to ensure your floors stand up to wear and tear over time.
Environmental concerns are also important to consider when selecting engineered wood floors. Less wood is used when compared to solid hardwood floors, which helps protect our forests, but the adhesives used to manufacture engineered wood can produce harmful emissions. Check out the manufacturers’ environmental ratings before purchasing your floors.
How can I learn more?
Our team at Floor Coverings International Southlake would love to help you select engineered hardwood flooring for your Southlake home. Contact us for a free in-home consultation to learn more.