If you are thinking about changing your flooring in your home, then you may have come across the term engineered wood floors.
If you are unsure what this is, then it is basically the middle ground between laminate flooring and hardwood flooring. Many people confuse engineered wood flooring with laminate, as they can look very similar.
However, the main difference is that engineered wood flooring contains a top layer of solid wood, whereas laminate uses a photographic layer that is coated to achieve a wood-like surface.
The top layer of engineered wood flooring is referred to as the veneer, and underneath there are thick layers of thinner wood, glued together to form a base of plywood that provides stability for your flooring. WoodFloorsCleaner.com has details below:
If you are wondering whether engineered wood flooring is the right option for your home, then you are in luck.
We are here to answer all of your questions regarding engineered wood floors, and what you need to know before installing these types of floors in your home.
How thick are engineered wood floors?
An engineered wood floor is made through the process of bonding a real wooden veneer to a composite wood base.
These are then installed either by click systems, or glued with tongue and groove systems into the floor. Because an engineered wood floor is made with layers upon layers of wood, you may be wondering how thick engineered wood floors can be.
The simple answer to this question is that most engineered wood floors are between 3-7mm thick. The highest quality of engineered hardwood floors usually have a 7mm thick top layer, up to nun finish coats and a total thickness of approximately ¾ of an inch.
Can you stain engineered wood floors without sanding?
You may be surprised to hear that engineered wood floors can be stained and refinished, but this often requires sanding, as you will have to remove the original coat to apply a new one.
In most cases, you will need to fully sand and refinish to stain your engineered wood flooring, however some engineered hardwood floors can withstand a translucent glaze which will darken the color of the wood without having to sand completely and refinish the floor. For instance, you can try:
Can you waterproof engineered wood floors?
Engineered wood floors are not completely waterproof, however they do have better moisture resistance than normal hardwood floors, but you may be wondering if you can waterproof them yourself.
You are able to purchase engineered wood flooring that is waterproof, but if you wish to, you can purchase water repellent coatings for your engineered wood floors to make them more resistant to spills, and waterproof.
Do you need to seal engineered wood flooring?
As engineered wood flooring has that top layer of hardwood, it can be just as susceptible to damage as real wood flooring, and so you should do everything that you can to protect it.
Whilst engineered wood flooring does not have to be sealed, it can be ruined easily by a minor leak or if you use too many harsh chemicals and products to clean it. It is for this reason that adding a seal to your engineered wood flooring is the best idea.
In addition, this will also maintain the natural wood look for longer, and will keep your engineered wood flooring in the best possible condition for extended periods of time. This means that you will not have to replace it as soon, which can save you money in the long run.
If there is a leak in your home, and your engineer wood floors become water damaged, then the repair can be highly expensive, and there is no guarantee that your wood floors will ever look the same afterwards.
Sealing your engineered wood flooring is inexpensive, and will protect your investment much better in the long run, so for those reasons, we highly recommend sealing your engineered wood flooring.
Do you need underlay for engineered wood flooring?
If you are planning to install engineered wood flooring, then you will need to underlay the floor. However, the underlay that you use will depend on the type of engineered flooring installation that you are considering.
Some engineered wood flooring will have clicking systems, whereas others will have tongue and groove systems that will need glueing down.
If your engineered floor has a click system, then it will have to be installed onto an underlay first.
In addition, if there is a tongue and groove system on your engineered wood floor, then it can be installed by nailing it to a timber sub floor using a flooring nailer, or by sticking it to a concrete floor with wood to concrete glue.
We do however recommend that you glue the groove part and not the tongue. We also recommend this Tongue and Groove Glue:
Most laminate flooring will require accurate installation with an underlay, but ensure that you choose a timber sub floor underlay for that type of installation, and a concrete underlay if installing onto concrete.
What are the disadvantages of engineered wood flooring?
Whilst engineered wood flooring is often favored for its cheaper price tag than hardwood floors, stylish design and great temperature resistance, it is not without its flaws. As with most things, there are a few disadvantages to having engineered wood flooring, too.
The main disadvantage of having engineered wood flooring is that they require a lot of maintenance in order to preserve their lustre and shine, just like hardwood flooring does.
Engineered wood utilizes a top layer of natural wood, and so this can need a lot more care and attention than say, laminate flooring. This natural wood layer will need to be cleaned gently, and without any abrasive products, so you may need to consider this if you have a home with a lot of high traffic, or young children and pets.
In addition, much like hardwood flooring, engineered wood flooring can fade. This is mainly due to extensive contact with UV rays from the sun, which can make the top wood layer fade quicker. To avoid this, we recommend utilizing blinds or rugs to cover certain areas that are more vulnerable to the sun.
Lastly, the final disadvantage to using engineered wood flooring is that you have to think about which would you use. For instance, some cheaper types of engineered wood flooring can be made with cheaper, and lower quality materials, which can make the floor unstable over time.
What we would recommend is that you do your research thoroughly before purchasing, and ensure that you are using a high quality engineered wood, and a well researched and respected manufacturer before buying.
In addition, you may want to pick the type of wood that is on the top, and choose a more durable wood so that your floor lasts longer, and is not as susceptible to scratches and marks.