Hardwood flooring is associated with timeless, classic warmth in any home. However, like any natural material, hardwood flooring is susceptible to damage, such as warping from water exposure. Hardwood can also be very expensive.
Engineered hardwood flooring has become an attractive option for homeowners looking for a similar appearance and feel to real wood at a more reasonable price point. Once engineered hardwood is installed, it is difficult to tell the difference between this synthetic flooring and real wood. Engineered hardwood should not be confused with laminate wood flooring, where the appearance of wood is printed onto layers of fiberboard before installation. Engineered hardwood has a top layer of actual hardwood and a plywood base. Here are some of the primary benefits of engineered hardwood flooring:
In engineered hardwood, the top layer of veneer wood and the bottom layers of plywood run perpendicular, creating a unique strength and stability. Because of this construction, engineered wood can be used in areas that change in temperature and humidity too much to support regular wood. The durability also makes engineered hardwood last longer in high-traffic areas. It is even compatible with underfloor heating, a specialty home feature that is gaining in popularity.
Since the top layer of engineered hardwood is actual wood, it is available in a wide range of species, colors, and finishes. Most engineered hardwood is pre-finished, which saves the additional steps of staining on-site and waiting for the stain to dry. The wood layer can usually be sanded and refinished.
Engineered hardwood is much less expensive than actual hardwood flooring, so it is a worthwhile consideration for homeowners on a budget or anyone needing to cover a large area. When engineered hardwood was first introduced, it was typically regarded as a low-quality alternative. Since then, it has improved to the point of looking just as authentic and luxurious as natural wood — without costing a fortune.
Due to the strong composition of engineered hardwood, it can be installed in a variety of ways. The planks can be nailed or screwed down or glued with flooring adhesive. They can even be floated over an underlay and still remain stable. Engineered hardwood is usually created with a click fitting system that simplifies installation.
Considering the durability, convenience, and affordability of engineered hardwood, this type of material is a great alternative to regular hardwood for homeowners looking for a flooring update.
For more information on engineered hardwood flooring, reach out to a local flooring contractor.