Engineered flooring is perfect for our homes here because it expands and contracts less than traditional flooring. With our great humidity and temperature changes, engineered wood is often a good choice.
But what is it? Is it real wood? How will it look in my home?
Your questions are answered below.
What you see when you look at an engineered floor is the veneer, a thin layer of wood or other material applied to the top of another material. This layer is called the “face” meaning top.
Engineered hardwood flooring is constructed of two components, a "core layer" on the bottom, topped by the "face veneer". The core layer is constructed of multiple layers of wood which can be of the same orof a different species, glued together in a cross-hatch (In one layer, the grain goes in one direction, the next in another direction.) configuration. This cross graining provides greater dimensional stability, minimizing the expansion and contraction that natural wood exhibits when exposed to varying moisture levels and temperatures.
Once the core layer is produced, the wood that you want to show, the face veneer, is added on top. This top layer of engineered flooring consists of a veneer made of high-quality wood between 1/40” (.55 mm) and 1/4” (6.35 mm) thick. The thicker the wear layer, the more times the floor can be sanded and the longer the potential life of the floor. Flooring must have a veneer layer of at least 1/12” (over 2 mm) to allow it to be refinished, and many manufacturers offer products that can be refinished at least once. The longer the lifespan of the floor, the greater is the value to you and to any future owner of your home.
An engineered wood floor product is not a laminate. Its top surface is made of real wood, while a laminate is merely a photograph of wood glued to a subsurface. We do not offer laminate flooring material.
Warm and beautiful! The fact that the wood is engineered cannot be seen when you view the finished floor. What you do see is the solid wood of your choice on the top.
The better brands look just like a traditional floor which is one solid piece of wood, from the top to the bottom of each piece.
These higher end manufacturers offer a veneer that is cut from the log of the tree in a similar method to traditional solid (in which each board is one piece of wood from top to bottom) wood flooring, so that the finished product looks identical to solid flooring once installed.
The highest quality engineered flooring is cut by the manufacturer from boards in thick slices. This is called “Sawn Cut veneer.” This cut produces a grain and appearance that you in the final floor, that is the same as that of solid, traditional flooring. This cut produces a grain is varied, some of it straight, and some “cathedral” shaped.
These floors have a heavier wear layer, 1/8” (3 mm) or thicker, which can be sanded and refinished in the future should they become scratched or worn.
In a sliced veneer, the boards will also give the same look as solid wood flooring, showing the full range of possible grain styles in the wood species. Sliced veneer is normally used for floors with a relatively thin wear layer, usually 2 mm or thinner. Products with less than a 2 mm wear layer cannot be sanded and finished again and can have a shorter lifespan than floors with a thicker veneer. They are generally sold at a lower price than floors with a sawn veneer.
In a rotary veneer, all boards have the heaviest and most open grain possible, in an arching pattern. In a heavily grained wood like Oak this is especially prominent. No boards will have any smaller, tighter grain or vertical, straight grain where the grain runs parallel to the board. This type of floor looks the least like a traditional floor and is sold at a lower price point.
Another factor in the appearance of engineered flooring is the coating that is applied on top. Some products come from the factory with no protective finish coat and are sanded and finished in your home. Some floors come from the factory with a finish already applied to them. These are called prefinished and you can learn more about them here.
While most engineered floors are prefinished, there are a number of companies that mill unfinished material which can be custom stained and finished after installation, right on the jobsite.
Engineered flooring can be nailed or stapled to a wood subfloor, or glued down to a wood subfloor or concrete slab. Some engineered floors can also be floated. These floors are glued together at the tongue and groove using special floating floor adhesive. Some engineered floors are specifically designed to be floated and have a different type of tongue and groove so they lock together when joined on the floor. Chris is expert in determining the best choice for your home's construction.
The three main styles of engineered wood flooring are:
|Strip Flooring||Plank Flooring||Parquet Flooring|
|Solid or engineered |
1" - 2” wide,
installed in parallel rows.
|Boards 3” and wider. |
In random width plank,
boards can vary in width from 3” to 8”.
|A wood tile composed ofindividual slats assembled together, forming a decorative pattern.|
In our showroom, we offer a superior selection of these products, in many colors from fresh, cool whites to warm red, to deep, rich ebony tones. We display beautiful, engineered products in many styles, including distressed, wide plank and reclaimed. All have durable, easy care finishes, available in many sheens. To better serve you, our showroom is open by appointment.