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Engineered Wood Flooring

While
engineered wood looks very much like hard wood, this thinner alternative is
actually more impervious to water. How? Engineered wood is composed of several
layers that are cross stacked, glued, and laminated. That way, they stand up to
humidity well in rooms like the basement. Engineered wood is available in
strips or planks. Its quality is determined by the thickness of the boards,
especially the top veneer layer.

Pros:
Laminated engineered wood consists of a thin veneer of real wood attached to a
substrate of plywood. It features a multi-ply layer that allows for expansion
and contraction as changes in temperature and moisture levels occur; preventing
changes in the shape and form of the flooring – no cupping or bowing of the
boards. This type of flooring material is considered to be the most suitable
choice for interiors with uncontrolled environments such as basements. Unlike
hardwood flooring you can install engineered flooring over radiant heating
systems. It’s long lasting, attractive, and you’ll find a wide variety of
options in color, cut, finish, and surface texture. Along with all the
functional benefits the cost of this material is equally satisfying – often
much less expensive than their solid hardwood counterparts.

Cons:
Engineered wood has a slicker surface than hardwood, and when installed without
a sub floor it has a hollow sound. It also has a thin veneer that can only be
sanded and refinished once. Further sanding will expose the plywood substrate.

While engineered wood looks very much like hardwood, this thinner alternative is actually impervious to water, and won’t expand or contract with changes in temperature. That’s why many homeowners go the engineered wood flooring route when it comes to finishing their basement. Here is some information to help you decide if it’s the right choice for your space.

Costs

Engineered wood flooring can cost anywhere from $6-$21 per square foot (plus installation costs), depending on the quality of the materials used. If you’d like to install your own engineered wood flooring, the project could be completed for $3-$5 per square foot. Talk to a flooring contractor in your area to get a more exact estimate.

Pros

Unlike regular hardwood flooring, engineered wood flooring comes pre-finished.

Features a multi-ply layer that allows for expansion and contraction as changes in temperature and moisture levels occur.

Engineered wood flooring is attractive and long-lasting.

Cons

Engineered wood flooring is more expensive than laminate, tile and carpet.

Engineered wood has a slicker surface than hardwood, and when installed without a sub floor it has a hollow sound.

Comes with a thin veneer that can only be sanded and refinished once.

Durability

The layering of the plywood makes engineered wood flooring a very durable flooring option— even more so than regular hardwood, depending on the quality of the materials used. It’s also considered the most suitable choice for interiors with uncontrolled environments, such as basements.

Maintenance

Maintaining engineered hardwood flooring generally consists of regular cleaning. Begin by dust mopping or vacuuming the floor, then use a wet mop with a cleaning solution of dishwashing detergent and warm water. Be sure to never let standing water collect on the floor, as this can cause a substantial amount of damage.

Common Questions and Answers

What is engineered wood made out of?

Engineered wood is composed of several layers that are cross-stacked, glued, and laminated. Among the layers are a thin veneer of real wood attached to a substrate of plywood.

How is engineered wood flooring installed?

While solid hardwood only has one recommended method of installation, engineered wood has several options. If the flooring is thin (3/8”), it can be nailed down to increase its stability. Half-inch-thick flooring can be glued down, while the thicker 5/8”



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