What are Engineered Wood Floors?
Engineered Hardwood Flooring Plank
So, what are engineered wood floors and why should you buy them?
Simply put, engineered wood floors represent one of the biggest steps forward in wood floor manufacturing, in the past twenty years.
They are more stable, more suitable for condominium buildings and make wood floor installation in a high rise building a breeze.
Not more than 15 years ago, the only flooring option for high rise buildings was laminate flooring or hardwood floors nailed on a floating subfloor.
Since a lot of people didn't wanna settle for a laminate floor and a hardwood floor in a high rise represents a big hustle, engineered flooring came to market, naturally.
Add to it, the fact that, in a city like Chicago the moisture level fluctuates drastically from summer to winter, which creates huge problems when having hardwood floors in a unit by Lake Michigan, for example, and you're starting to understand how many potential problems have been solved with the invention of engineered wood flooring.
But, What Exactly Are Engineered Wood Floors?
Engineered wood floors are planks made out of a multitude of layers, stacked and glued together on top of each other in a cross-grain configuration.
The number of layers, as well as the thickness of the plank varies from one manufacturer to another and, sometimes, it varies from one collection to another on planks manufactured by the same flooring company.
The top layer of the board is always made out of wood, but its thickness, again, varies from one product to another. Unlike hardwood floors that can only be nailed down, engineered floors can be installed floating as well as glue down.
So, to sum it up, engineered wood floors are your best option for wood flooring if you live in an unstable environment, like the Chicago downtown high-rises or any other condominium buildings, that requires you to install floors without nails, on top of a soundproofing subfloor.
What Makes an Engineered Flooring Good?
If you asked yourself this questions, congratulations.
Way too many people fall into the marketing trap set by many flooring suppliers out there, the price, and end up with an engineered floor that is way below what they were led to believe they are going to get.
It's easy to buy cheap engineered flooring, but buying a good engineered floor, for a good price, is not. And this is what you want to do, if you want your engineered floor to last a long time.
So, let's get back to our question. What makes an engineered floor good?
Always look for a few characteristics:
- Number of Layers
- Thickness of the overall plank
- Thickness of the top layer
- Type of wood used for the top layer
- The way the boards are milled