Engineered hardwood flooring is a product made of plywood, wood or high-density fiber. It is available in any hardwood store. Engineered hardwood has the natural characteristics of the selected wood species. The “engineered hardwood” product has been designed to overcome the disadvantages of hardwood flooring like moisture and heat problems.
Wood floors come in two types:
- Solid hardwood Flooring
- Engineered hardwood flooring
Solid hardwood flooring is made of 3/4inch thick solid wood. Although some manufacturers make a thinner and cheap version that is 5/16inch thick. The main advantage of the solid hardwood flooring is that it can be re-sanded and refinished over many years. Solid hardwood flooring can last more than 50 years. Solid hardwood floor comes prefinished or unfinished in almost any hardwood species.
The main issue of solid hardwood flooring is its susceptibility to expansion and construction due to humidity changes in the home. Solid hardwood floors are typically installed with a 5/8 inch to ¾ inch gap around the perimeter of the floor. This gap is filled by baseboards and show molding.
The ¾ inches thick floor restricted not to be installed in below grade condition areas like a basement. However, 5/16 inches solid wood floor may be used. Before installing a solid hardwood floor over new or existing concrete, be sure about the manufacturer’s limits of moisture that is allowed in the concrete.
There are many kinds of solid hardwood flooring but 3 of them are mostly used and easily available everywhere:
Strip Flooring: Strip flooring has a predefined set width but the thickness can vary. Strip flooring ranges from 5/16 inches to ¾ inches wide.
Plank Flooring: Plank flooring comes in 2 thicknesses and their width can vary, unlike strip flooring. The thickness of plank flooring is ½ inches or 3/4inches.
Laminate Flooring: It is not the real hardwood flooring like engineered or hardwood. Its top layer is composed of resin-infused paper. It is an alternative to wood flooring.
Engineered hardwood flooring solves many problems of the solid, laminate and hardwood flooring. Such as:
- Solid Hardwood floors can have uneven quality.
- Solid hardwood floors do not tolerate moisture.
- Laminate flooring is artificial and can’t be sanded.
- Laminate flooring does not tolerate moisture.
While Engineered hardwood floors are constructed with basic plywood but the top layer is actual wood. Engineered hardwood floor come in 2 to 10 different ply construction structure. Many manufacturers have increased the wear layer that will increase its durability.
Engineered hardwood flooring is the ideal solution of hardwood flooring on concrete due to its structure. Each ply layer is pressure glued and set tin opposite direction to bear the pain. Engineered hardwood floors also expand and contract with humidity. Engineer hardwood floors are more stable than solid hardwood floors.
Engineered hardwood floors are installed using floating floor method. It is important to write down that not all engineered products have the same type of installation specification. Some floors may be a staple, floating or direct glue. Engineered hardwood floor length are 42 to 48 inches.