Hardwood flooring are popular both for its aesthetics and for its practical characteristics of durability, hassle free maintenance etc. But the whole process of buying and installing hardwood floor tiles can be a costly process.
But engineered hardwood not only has the traditional appeal and beauty of hardwood floors, it also designed to provide enhanced stability complete with design innovation.
Basics of engineered hardwood
The core of an engineered wood plank is made up of either spruce or pine so as to enable expansion during periods of changing weather phenomenon. It also comprises of several layers of wood with the topmost layer being made of a hardwood species to enable it to get the feel and look of an original hardwood plank or tile.
The quality of engineered wood depends on the number of layers that are present in it. Typically speaking the more the number of layers, the better is the quality of the engineered hardwood and on the basis of this factor, they are categorised into:
- Good quality which has about 3 layers,
- Better quality with about 5 layers and
- Best with about 7 to 9 layers or more.
Advantages of engineered wood
Engineered hardwood has several advantages over the traditional hardwood like:
- They are more resistant to moisture, humidity and dampness,
- They are able to bear the heat from the radiant heating systems much better and do not cup, shrink or buckle like hardwood,
- They are ideal even for basements and other below-grade installations,
- They are easy to install since most engineered hardwood planks come prefinished,
They can be easily glued onto a concrete subfloor as opposed to hardwood flooring which needs to be nailed,
- They cost relatively less thereby enabling people with relatively small budgets to install engineered hardwood yet get the fell and looks of a real hardwood.
Refinishing of engineered wood
Refinishing is basically a process by which a wooden floor which has lost its lustre can be almost restored to its original condition. In this process the wood is initially sanded wherein a thin flooring layer is removed and subsequently a finishing coat is applied to get back its sheen.
The use of hardwood as the topmost payer in engineered wood enables it to get refinished just like hardwood. But the number of times engineered wood can be refinished depends on some factors like:
- The thickness of the topmost hardwood layer,
- The depth of the scratches present wherein deep scratches might go down to layers below the hardwood layer on the top,
- Uneven floors result in some areas getting sanded even more than others thereby resulting in an uneven appearance,
- The degree of cupping or buckling that the topmost hardwood layer has undergone etc.
Maintenance of engineered wood
Engineered wood is relatively maintenance free and can be easily mopped using a micro-fibre cloth. Wood cleaners can also be used to relieve the floor of dirt and debris and prevent it from getting scratched thereby shortening the longevity of the engineered floor.
All these factors put together contribute to the popularity of engineered wood. Even though it faces tough competition from hardwood, laminated wood etc., engineered wood has managed to hold its own and has also managed to create its own space in the market.