Engineered Hardwood Flooring
Engineered hardwood is taking the flooring world by storm. Sure, real hardwood remains quite popular, but the appeal and versatility of engineered hardwood has homeowners interested. Read on to learn more about engineered hardwood flooring to see if it suits your lifestyle and preferences.
What is engineered hardwood flooring?
The special feature of engineered hardwood flooring is its layered composition. It’s made of many layers; the top layer is a polyutherane cover which is meant to protect the second layer—a hardwood veneer. Customers select any type of wood for the hardwood veneer. There are no limitations; you can purchase engineered hardwood with a cherry, walnut, maple, oak, hickory, etc. veneer…whichever type you want.
Below the hardwood veneer is the wear layer. The wear layer is usually quite thick (for flooring purposes), allowing it to protect the upper layers against scratching and moisture absorption.
Under the wear layer are multiple cross layers of plywood. These layers, generally ranging from 3 to 12 layers, provide extensive support to the entire plank. Due to these protective layers, it’d take a major impact or a major water spill to reach the core of an engineered hardwood plank and damage it.
What makes engineered hardwood flooring so special?
The multi-layer composition of engineered hardwood flooring is what gives engineered hardwood an edge over the other types. You just won’t come across many floors that are water-resistant. True hardwood is not, nor is stone tile. Both of those types have to be sealed in order to protect against water damage; sealing is of course an added cost to your flooring purchase. As for carpeting, you’re pretty much done for if you experience water damage.
Really, the only two types of flooring that can withstand moisture better than engineered hardwood are porcelain and ceramic tile. Porcelain has a water absorption rate of less than 0.5% and ceramic’s water absorption rate is slightly higher than that. Of course, neither porcelain tile, nor ceramic tile, carry the beautiful appeal of an engineered hardwood floor.
Tile isn’t comfortable as bedroom flooring, though.
Where will it fit in your home?
Speaking of flooring positioning, what rooms are most fitting for an engineered hardwood floor? Engineered hardwood flooring works well in virtually any room.
Because engineered hardwood floors can guard against moisture, they can be installed in kitchens and laundry rooms.
Due to its elegant, comforting appeal, you can have engineered hardwood flooring installed anywhere in your home. Your living room is the perfect place! Imagine an oak engineered floor in your living room with a lit fireplace in the background with your family relaxing…it’s the ideal living space.
The kitchen might be an even better place to have engineered hardwood flooring installed. A kitchen is used often, so your guests and family can appreciate its looks day or night. It will benefit from natural light throughout the day as well. Plus, engineered hardwood flooring will fit with any kitchen design. It can help update an older kitchen and add more charm to a modern one.
Compared to hardwood…
You’ve probably picked up on the differences by now, but here are some of the notable differences between real and engineered hardwood flooring:
- An engineered hardwood plank is composed of multiple protective layers, while a hardwood plank is made of one solid chunk of hardwood.
- Due to its composition, engineered hardwood can withstand practically any moisture spill, while hardwood flooring can be damaged by even moderate moisture exposure.
- Engineered hardwood gives off the same look as real hardwood. With engineered hardwood, a homeowner will be getting the same great look, but with more durability.
- Engineered hardwood floors are relatively similar to real hardwood flooring in price, though real hardwood is slightly more expensive. Engineered hardwood can vary in price, costing as little as $4 per square foot and as much as $13 per square foot. The price of real hardwood hardly varies. It’s usually around $11-$15 per square foot (purchase and installation).
Consider sanding and refinishing
One important consideration, however, is the number of times a type of flooring can be refinished. One of the great features of real hardwood is that it can be refinished countless time. This is made possible because the floor type is made completely of hardwood.
As your flooring ages, it will experience wear and tear. There’s no way to avoid it. Therefore, homeowners can refinish a hardwood floor, basically giving it a makeover. A refinished floor will be free of scratches and flaws.
Engineered hardwood flooring in Dallas can’t be refinished countless times. In fact, most can only be refinished once or twice. When purchasing an engineered wood floor, try to find the one with the thickest wear layer. For instance, a 3 mm thick wear layer will probably be able to be sanded and refinished twice. Unfortunately, 3 mm is about as thick of a wear layer as you will find.
It’s sort of a trade-off with engineered hardwood flooring. On one hand, it’s really difficult to damage. On the other hand, the refinishing opportunities are limited if it does happen to get damaged.
Compared to laminate…
Homeowners often turn to laminate flooring if they can’t afford actual hardwood flooring. Laminate is a valid choice, but you’d basically be paying for a less appealing version of engineered hardwood flooring.
Laminate is also created from multiple layers. It’ll usually have a wear layer on the top, then a design layer, followed by a series of substrate layers. Laminate withstands moisture and prevents scratching, just like engineered hardwood.
The difference is the design layer. While engineered hardwood flooring includes a layer of real hardwood, laminate flooring includes a high-resolution image of real hardwood. The image is undoubtedly impressive, but it obviously doesn’t compare to the real thing.
The point is, the beauty of your flooring will suffer if you choose laminate hardwood. Your look will not suffer at all if you choose engineered hardwood flooring. Similar benefits from a durability standpoint, but engineered goes above and beyond when it comes to appearance.
Maintaining engineered hardwood floors
You won’t have to go above and beyond to maintain your hardwood flooring. We’re talking basic sweeping and vacuuming once a week. Obviously, your cleaning habits will vary if your kids or pets are constantly dragging dirt in from playing outside.
-When vacuuming, make sure to use the proper setting for hardwood floors. Most modern vacuums have two settings, one for soft surfaces and one for hard surfaces. Using the proper setting will avoid scratching to the wear layer.
-Mopping is another option. It could be problematic for hardwood flooring, it’s not a problem for engineered hardwood flooring. Don’t pour water directly onto the floor, but dipping the mop into a bucket of water and mopping will do well to clean up.
-It’s still a good idea to clean up any spills as soon as they occur. Engineered hardwood is moisture-resistant, not waterproof. Long-term exposure to moisture does pose a threat to the floor type. Hopefully you’re already used to cleaning up spills immediately, but if you aren’t, make sure to get into the habit of doing so.
Basic cleaning is all that is needed for engineered hardwood floors. General dust and debris are unavoidable, but you can clean it up quite easily. Be mindful of moisture and scratching, but you won’t have to carry out any major cleaning tasks to avoid issues with your engineered hardwood floor.
How long will an engineered hardwood floor last?
You can expect it to last for about 20 years. But your floor’s lifetime is entirely up to you. If you maintain your engineered hardwood flooring by taking care of its wear layer, then the floor can last even longer. Keeping the wear layer in perfect condition and elongating its durability will in turn keep your entire floor durable and long-lasting.
Maintenance is key, but the lifetime of engineered hardwood floors reverts back to purchase. Again, the thickness of the wear layer is going to determine how long your floor will last and how many times your floor can be refinished. The thicker the wear layer and the more times the engineered hardwood floor can be refinished, the longer it will last.
You will have to pay more for a thicker wear layer, but it’ll be well-worth it long term. Budget restrictions are completely understandable, but if you save up for it, you won’t regret it!
Will an engineered hardwood floor add value to your home?
Any floor that lasts for a minimum of 20 years and a maximum of 100 years is bound to increase your home’s value. Engineered hardwood offers the durability that home buyers desire. It also offers the appearance and versatility people want.
Purchasing and installing engineered hardwood flooring increase both current and future value. The present is probably more important, but future added value is a bonus!
For all your flooring needs, call Toscana Remodeling! Please visit our website—toscanaremodeling.com—to see the products and services we offer. Call us, visit us or apply for a flooring estimate online. Whatever your home improvement project is, let Toscana Remodeling help!