Engineered wood flooring is also known as multi-layer wood flooring. It is made by gluing together seven to ten very thin sheets of wood called veneer. To finish the process, one solid hardwood plank is placed on top. This layer is called the wear layer. The thickness varies from 1/16 to 1/18 inches. The wear layer can handle the wear and tear of everyday life, whereas the inner veneer layers can’t. The cross-plied veneer layer increases the strength of the flooring. Depending on the thickness of the wear layer, it can usually be sanded two to three times.
Types of Engineered Wood Floors
Based on the species of wood used, engineered wood floors are divided into four types. Hickory is hand scraped to give the floor a worn look. This is very popular and trendy floor style. Hand scraped hickory consists of seven layers of veneer and seven layers of wear layer. They are fairly easy to install, with many people opting to install it themselves. They are usually glued or nailed to the subfloor. This type of flooring can also be installed as floating floors.
Engineered oak flooring is another type of engineered flooring. Oak is easily available and is cheap. This makes oak flooring a popular choice. It is installed using the G5 lock system, which locks the wood in place. They can also be nailed or glued to the subfloor.
Engineered bamboo flooring, as the name suggests, is made of bamboo. Although bamboo is technically a grass, it is typically used in the same way as many hardwoods, due to its properties. This flooring is very cheap and the material is readily available. Like all wood floors, it is also recyclable and environmentally friendly.
Engineered maple flooring is another popular choice, which looks very similar to solid hardwood flooring. The installation process is also very easy. It can be glued or nailed to the subfloor.
Typically, engineered hardwood floors come prefinished. That is, the finishing processes are completed in the factory, saving you time and energy. They are easy to install, as no more sanding is required after installation. When scratches appear on engineered floors, they can be removed by sanding, unlike laminate flooring. You can hire a professional to do this. Most engineered floors can be sanded up to three times in their lifetime. An engineered floor can also be more moisture repellent than solid hardwood, and is usually cheaper to install. It can be used in slightly moist areas, since due to the multiple ply construction, there is only a very little amount of contraction and expansion between the wood planks. For this reason, engineered wood flooring is a good choice for slightly humid areas.
Disadvantages of Engineered Flooring
It is not advisable for use in heavily wet areas like basements. It may also fade in direct sunlight. Keep in mind that it can be sanded, but only two to three times and should be done by a professional. If you do the sanding yourself, you may accidentally sand too much through the top layer, destroying the flooring. You must also avoid sanding less expensive varieties, as the top layer is thinner.