The term engineered oak floor makes this flooring option sound much more artificial than it is. In the end, engineered wood floors combine the best of two worlds. What you see, in terms of the finished product, is the beautiful grain and color of oak. Beneath the surface, however, the flooring is a durable product that benefits from being designed in a way that adds to its natural strengths. Engineered flooring is a great option if you want a long-lasting floor that has a classic look to it, whether it be red oak, white oak, or another look altogether.
How Engineered Oak Floors Are Made
Engineered oak flooring is created by using several different layers of wood. In the case of an engineered oak floor, the first layer is the oak. This is the only layer you see. From your perspective, it will be impossible to tell that you’re not standing on solid oak flooring. The advanced aspect of an engineered hardwood floor, however, is found just beneath the surface. Instead of having a board supporting the weight of everything on top of it, an engineered floor uses the strength that comes with using multiple materials to provide a more durable product.
In standard oak floors, all of the stress is placed on boards that have no underlying support. In an engineered floor, there is a series of layers – or plies – within each plank. Each of these plies is laid cross-grain from the last, which creates a very strong structure that can hold up to severe wear and tear. An engineered hardwood floor is also far more resistant to shrinkage and expansion than is one made from standard oak flooring. This is a particular advantage in areas where humidity and temperature may vary a great deal from one season to the next.
Engineered Floor Installation
Engineered flooring can be installed directly on a concrete slab, unlike standard oak wood flooring. What you end up with after installing engineered hardwood flooring is a surface that is designed to take punishment. While hardwood flooring of any type can be incredibly durable, engineered oak hardwood flooring is specifically designed for this role. This makes engineered oak a great choice for areas where there is high traffic but where you still want the particular beauty that characterizes wood flooring, and oak flooring in particular.
Engineered wood flooring can be purchased finished, or it can be finished on-site. Comparable in price, it is no more difficult to work with than is any other hardwood floor. The basic design means less maintenance in the long run, another factor that makes it quite popular. If you’re deciding among the various flooring materials available, engineered wood flooring is something to consider seriously. The fact that it is designed rather than grown means that it has several advantages over a solid wood floor. The long-lasting nature of an engineered oak floor makes it particularly attractive to those who don’t care to refinish or replace their floors for many years to come.