Are you looking for an affordable flooring alternative to hardwood? Engineered hardwood flooring is an easy-to-install flooring material that offers the best of both form (the beauty of hardwood floors) and function (the ability to withstand temperature changes).
Don’t confuse it with laminate flooring. Laminate mimics wood; engineered hardwood flooring doesn’t.
Want to know what this flooring material is all about and whether it’s a suitable choice for your home? Keep reading.
Engineered Hardwood Flooring: FAQ
If you love the look of hardwood floors but want something more durable and affordable, engineered hardwood is the perfect choice. Read our guide to learn more about this versatile flooring material.
1. How Engineered Hardwood Flooring Is Made
Engineered hardwood flooring has a multi-ply construction made by gluing together multiple layers of wood piles, with a real hardwood veneer on top. The core board is made of plywood, particle board or medium-density fiberboard (MDF). The tiered construction and synthetic core give engineered hardwood superior strength and stability whereas the real hardwood veneer layer offers the style and warmth of natural wood.
2. How Is It Different from Laminate Flooring?
Though engineered hardwood and laminate look similar, they’re not the same. As mentioned, engineered hardwood has a thick top layer of real hardwood but laminate flooring has a decorative top layer that consists of a photographic image to mimic real wood. That said, engineered hardwood can be refinished a couple of times to renew its appearance and get rid of stains. Laminate needs to be replaced if you want a new look or fix any damage. Engineered hardwood flooring also adds value to your property; laminate doesn’t.
3. Why Choose Engineered Hardwood Flooring?
Installing engineered hardwood flooring has many benefits.
- It’s Affordable
Engineered hardwood flooring is less expensive than traditional hardwood. Solid hardwood flooring costs around $7 per square foot (plus installation charges); engineered hardwood costs around $4.
- It Has a Rich Appearance
Engineered hardwood looks and feels like real hardwood to create a smooth and aesthetically pleasing appearance, regardless of the room. When installed properly, it will stylishly update your living space.
- It’s Resistant to Temperature Changes
One of the biggest disadvantages of real hardwood flooring is that it expands and shrinks due to temperature or humidity changes. However, the engineered variety can endure such changes thanks to its stable core. As a result, this is a suitable choice for dampness-prone areas like finished basements.
- It’s Durable
Engineered hardwood is hard-wearing because of its construction. If you have toddlers and/or pets at home, engineered hardwood flooring is ideal as it can withstand the damage caused by pet claws and accidental spills.
- It’s Easy to Install
Thanks to its click-and-lock system, planks can be joined together and easily installed over the subfloor.
- It’s Available in a Wide Variety of Styles
Engineered hardwood flooring comes in a wide range of styles. Since the planks’ top layer is made of real hardwood veneer, you can get the look of any solid hardwood species<, including oak, maple, walnut, and hickory.
4. How to Maintain Engineered Hardwood Flooring
Maintaining engineered hardwood flooring is easy. Here are a few tips.
- Sweep your floors daily to prevent abrasive particles from scratching the surface.
- Use a soft brush attachment when vacuuming as a beater can cause scratches.
- Mop periodically with a damp – not wet – mop as you should avoid creating standing water that can cause damage.
- Avoid cleaning with harsh chemicals, wax-based cleaners and oil soaps.
- To get rid of dirt and grime, deep clean your engineered hardwood floor occasionally. Use a cleaning agent designed specifically for engineered or real hardwood floors.
5. How to Choose the Best Engineered Hardwood Flooring for Your Home
Here are a few tips to buy engineered hardwood flooring for residential spaces.
- Engineered hardwood is made of multiple layers stacked together in a cross structure, with the top layer made of real hardwood. Cheaper varieties, where the top layer is made of many strips of wood, are available, but to get a quality board, go for a single strip layer. This is made of one section of thick timber. As a result, it has a longer life expectancy, greater durability and more chance of refinishing compared to more inexpensive options.
- Evaluate the samples carefully as they are a valuable tool during the selection process. Compare the thickness of the overall plank and individual layers. This will help verify the number of layers and thickness of the veneer and core.
- Ask your flooring manufacturer/supplier/dealer whether the engineered hardwood planks are made from dry sawn or rotary peeled hardwood. (These are the two ways of creating a hardwood veneer layer.) The dry sawn way is like cutting a slice of bread (thicker top layer) and the rotary peeled way is like peeling a potato (thinner veneer). Each method produces different characteristics in terms of quality and aesthetics.
Engineered hardwood flooring is an excellent choice to get the best features of real hardwood at affordable prices. It not only enhances your home’s visual appeal but also adds to its value. It’s also easy to install and maintain.
Now that you have the important details about engineered hardwood floors, we hope you make a smart purchase. Be sure you buy it from a reliable supplier or dealer of engineered hardwood flooring in Toronto to ensure quality materials and professional installation. If you are planning to replace your existing flooring, it is a good idea to wait for their clearance sale to grab the best offers.