Engineered Hardwood Floor
The best way to describe engineered hardwood flooring is to think of it like a hybrid car; it’s a little bit of laminate and a little bit of hardwood.
Engineered flooring is structurally stabilized. The cross-grain pattern resists expansion and contraction caused by changes in temperature and moisture. The result is flooring that is actually more stable than solid wood flooring but has the attractiveness of solid woods.
With engineered hardwoods, you’re not getting a thin veneer. You’re getting genuine hardwood on the top layer. That layer is just sawn more thinly than with solid woods. So you have the same kind of natural beauty and rich color that you get with exotic solid woods.
Prefinished engineered hardwood flooring invariably has multiple coats of a highly durable aluminum oxide finish that’s applied at the factory. So it should hold up well for many, many years. Engineered flooring can be installed almost anywhere, including over concrete. With no sanding or finishing needed, the flooring is simply nailed or glued into place.
Because of the thick, sawn top-layer, our engineered flooring can be refinished 2 – 3 times. Engineered Hardwood floors are Environmentally-friendly. Since engineered flooring has only a sawn layer of the actual hardwood on top—with the rest typically being plywood—you’re using much less of an exotic tree than you would with solid flooring. All of our exotic woods come from renewable forests. But using less of a tree makes good environmental sense.
But then you have the cons... with engineered hardwood floors your Subfloor flaws show through. Like with any prefinished flooring there is no sanding done. So if the substrate has any irregularities or height variations, it may require subfloor preparation. Otherwise, the flaws will show up in the finished floor. This is one reason we recommend having any engineered floor installed by us.
As a rule, you pay more for the material costs of pre-finished engineered hardwood flooring than for solid unfinished flooring. But when it comes to installation, a pre-finished floor is less expensive to install because it doesn’t require on-site sanding and finishing. But in the end, you’ll probably pay about the same.
With Engineered Hardwood floors you’re limited to the factory finish. With solid hardwoods, you can choose the finish you like. With pre-finished hardwoods, you’re limited to the manufacturer’s choice of finish. That finish will be extremely durable, but if you want a matte finish and the manufacturer only offers a semi-gloss finish, you’ll end up with semi-gloss.
Engineered Hardwood floors are Hard to repair. If an engineered floor is damaged and repairs need to be made, it’s possible that a whole section of the floor will have to be replaced. Depending on the manufacturer, it can be difficult to match the look of the undamaged floor with the same color and grain of new engineered strips or planks.
As with all prefinished floor can only be sanded down and refinished two or three times. So if a floor has a lot of heavy wear, it may eventually have to be replaced. Solid flooring, on the other hand, can be refinished over and over again.