Is Engineered Flooring A Good Choice?

Engineered flooring has a top layer of natural wood that can vary in thickness. Beneath this layer, there is a core board that forms the base layer. This board adds strength and stability to the overall structure of the floor. 

There are several reasons why engineered flooring is considered to be a good choice. Due to the way that it is constructed, when it is exposed to moisture and heat it is not going to swell or shrink as severely as solid hardwood.

Aside from this, engineered floors share the same natural appearance as solid hardwood flooring. For this reason, once it is installed it is unlikely that you will be able to identify any differences between this type of flooring and solid wood flooring. 

Another reason why engineered flooring is deemed to be a good choice is because it is durable and has a long lifespan. It is recommended that you opt for wood with a thick upper layer because it can then be sanded as and when required. 

Engineered flooring is easy to care for and does not require a lot of maintenance. There is also an availability of different types of wood, finishes, and colors so you can choose the style that compliments your taste and the aesthetic of the room that it is going to be installed in. 

Is Engineered Flooring A Good Choice

Does engineered wood flooring scratch easily?

This depends on the type of wood that is used because some will have a tougher resistance to scratching than others.

In the case of engineered hardwood, as it has the same surface as solid hardwood it shares many of its qualities i.e. it tends to resist scratching, however, this doesn’t completely rule out the risk of the surface becoming gauged or dented.

As mentioned, it depends on the type of wood that is used to form the top layer. The finish that it is coated with will also be influential. 

Applying a finish to the surface of the wood will enhance its resistance to scratching as it will create a protective layer. Two of the best staining products include oil and lacquer. The product that you choose will depend on the desired finish.

Wood will absorb oil and this will ultimately make it stronger whilst making it look more natural. Lacquer on the other hand, will effectively protect the wood by forming a thick layer, though some may argue that it does not look very natural. Other finishes include aluminum oxide, shellac, and water-based polyurethane.

Implementing an effective care and maintenance routine will also improve the resistance of your engineered wood flooring, therefore making it less susceptible to becoming severely scratched. Using a floor polish can help to revive the appearance of your wood floor whilst also improving its protective barrier. 

If the flooring is going to be subjected to heavy footfall opting for engineered wood flooring with a tough upper layer is preferable. 

Essentially, the answer to this question depends on the type of wood that your flooring is constructed from, how it is finished and how well it is maintained. 

Is engineered wood waterproof?

Although engineered wood has a greater resistance to humidity and a better resistance to water than solid hardwood flooring it is not completely waterproof. In fact, exposure to water can lead to possible discoloration and warping, especially if puddles are left sitting on the planks as there is a risk of it seeping further into the wood. 

When compared to solid hardwood flooring, engineered wood copes much better with moisture. This is because solid hardwood is much more likely to become distorted and lose its shape and texture. 

Most types of engineered wood flooring are constructed with a core that can become easily damaged upon contact with water. As a consequence, it will begin to expand and potentially buckle. 

The majority of engineered wood floors are treated with a water-resistant coating that is responsible for stopping the water from traveling beyond the surface. If a liquid is accidentally spilled onto the floor you should try and clean it up straight away. If this is not possible, you should not leave it sitting there for longer than 3 hours as this increases the risk of damage occurring. 

Although engineered wood is more effective than solid hardwood in repelling water, installing it in bathrooms is not recommended. This is because there is a risk of more severe splashes and the humidity may also affect the quality of the floor. 

Typically, the manufacturer will specify the water-resistance of the wood. Aside from this, they will also clarify how you should clean the wood because in some cases, using a mop and water is not recommended but other cleaning methods are advised instead. 

Does engineered hardwood need underlayment?

Now you may be wondering whether underlayment needs to be fitted before your engineered hardwood floor is installed. Underlay refers to a layer of thin, cushioned material that is fitted beneath carpet or flooring. There are several benefits and reasons why underlay may be fitted. 

First and foremost, underlay is important for engineered hardwood that has been installed as part of a floating floor. This is because it will form a barrier against moisture and this will reduce any damage that may be caused following contact with water. 

Underlay can also absorb sound and this is likely to be appreciated by those with a busy household. Heavy footfall, particularly from those wearing footwear can be quite a distraction, however, underlay will make this noise much less prominent. 

There are many materials available that can be used as an underlay beneath a hardwood floor. Cork and foam provide some of the best options. Both have characteristics that make them a favorable choice.

Foam is affordable, effective at reducing noise, easy to install, and versatile. Cork is also good at absorbing sound, however, it is also effective at keeping the room insulated which is going to be ideal during colder weather. 

How do you tell if you have engineered hardwood?

There are a few signs that will help you identify whether you have an engineered hardwood floor. Once engineered hardwood is installed it can be difficult to differentiate between this type of flooring and other types of wood flooring. For this reason, we would encourage you to use the following methods as a way of telling if you have engineered hardwood. 

Perhaps the most obvious way of identifying engineered hardwood is by looking at the sides of it. Engineered hardwood is composed of multiple layers of wood that look as though they have been sandwiched together. Solid hardwood, on the other hand, has a more continuous grain.

Of course, inspecting the side of the planks is going to be rather difficult as the floor has already been fitted. Locate an area of the room where it is easy to look at the side of the plank. You may also be able to remove one board to inspect it before reinstalling it. 

Most varieties of engineered hardwood are also believed to be a lighter color than solid hardwood. During colder weather, boards of engineered hardwood do not tend to shrink as much as those that are constructed from solid hardwood.