What is engineered hardwood flooring?
Engineered hardwood flooring is a prefinished wood flooring
material that has a top layer of real hardwood. The backing (rest of the thickness of the plank) is a series of crisscrossing layers of
What are the benefits of an engineered hardwood floor?
Briefly: Huge range of colors, availability in varying plank
widths and lengths, stability, repairability, it can be refinished, more durable finish from factory than applied on an unfinished product in the
More specifically: Engineered hardwood flooring is very popular and comes in a wide variety of colors and finishes, as well as in
an array of plank widths (e.g. 3, 5, 7 inch) and varying lengths. Depending on the size of the room, these features can enhance its dimensions.
Engineered hardwood flooring is a more stable product than solid wood flooring, which is particularly relevant for coastal areas such as those
our company serves. Wood is a natural product, and it expands and contracts due to changes in temperature and humidity. Solid wood will
do this to a greater extent than engineered wood (this is what crisscrossing plywood pattern is for). Engineered wood flooring can be sanded
and finished a few times, depending on the thickness of the wear layer (the top layer of solid wood). Because the finish on the engineered
wood product is baked on at the factory, it is more durable than the finish applied in the home.
What are the recommended uses for engineered hardwood flooring?
If you want and love an engineered hardwood floor, then we
highly recommend it, for all the benefits mentioned above. Having said that, because the top layer is real wood it may be softer or harder,
and it can dent if things are dropped on it, or it can scratch due to larger pets. Therefore, we recommend engineered hardwood flooring for
those homes where things are a bit more "controlled" -- the same as with a hardwood solid flooring. If you have pets, younger children, or
are the type of person that wants lower maintenance, we recommend a distressed or handscraped engineered hardwood flooring, and if you
still foresee heavier wear, we recommend laminate wood flooring.
What surface types are available for engineered hardwood flooring?
Engineered hardwood flooring comes in two basic types of surfaces:
smooth and distressed. Most come with a matte/satin finish, though different finishes can be special-ordered (e.g. semi-gloss finish). There
are also different edge options: square edge which renderes a smooth floor, and beveled edge which defines each individual plank.
Distressed engineered hardwood flooring and wire brushed wood flooring finish:
The distressed type of flooring is exactly as described above, with the
important difference that the surface layer has a random pattern of indentations and other irregularities to create a distressed look, which
is very popular today. Usually distressed engineered wood flooring comes in minimum 5 inch wide planks. There are varying degrees of
distressed wood, from light to heavy. The distressing can be done by machine or by hand (handscraped distressed flooring). Most of the
prefinished manufactured distressed engineered wood flooring is light distressed. However, if you are looking for a heavier distressed
pattern, this can be custom done and finished on site.
The wire brushed wood flooring finish is growing in popularity due to its 'old world' or European look and feel. Both engineered and solid wood flooring can have a wire brushed finish, meaning that the wood is run through a machine (or done by hand using a wire brush) which removes the soft wood pulp and leaves the grain of the wood, making for a rough surface. This type of wire brush wood finish is durable and beautiful.