Avada Interior Design
Enginereed Flooring2022-08-28T22:39:31+00:00

Engineered Hardwood Flooring

About Engineered Hardwood Flooring

When it comes to hard surface flooring, there are a lot of options, from geniune white oak hardwood to resilient luxury vinyl that mimics real hardwood down to the grain patterns. Oftentimes, when there are a lot of options to choose from, it can seem overwhelming and many questions begin to form. Such as, what’s the difference when it comes to solid vs. engineered hardwood?

An engineered wood floor is constructed of layers of both hardwood and plywood, where solid hardwood is a solid piece of wood with no layers.

Hardwood flooring is a great way to add timeless pizzazz to any room! What should you consider when making a choice between engineered and solid hardwood? Let’s learn about engineered hardwood:

  • Engineered hardwood construction has durable, high-performance qualities.
  • It is constructed with multi-layers of wood; each layer is positioned in a different direction. This construction prevents the engineered hardwood from warping and bowing the way a hardwood floor might in moist areas.
  • Its advantage over solid hardwood is that the construction allows for installation in most grade levels of the home, including below ground with a protective moisture barrier installed.
  • A hardwood veneer gives the natural wood beauty & look to the engineered floor just as a solid hardwood floor does.
  • Engineered hardwood offers easy care and maintenance.

Engineered Hardwood vs Prefinished Solid Hardwood

Engineered hardwood flooring and prefinished solid hardwood are 2 different floors. Each has their uses and requirements so it is important to understand what each are. First we will go over prefinished solid hardwood. This option is a solid piece of flooring and does not have a “core”, the core is the wood tha tis on top and bottom. The flooring is one piece of tree and contians no extra materials like glue or binder. Engineered hardwood is a floor that has a vaneer and a core attached to the vaneer. This option usually has 3-9 layers of core that are small layers of something like a birch or similar plywood.

Which Option is better?

Each option has its pro’s and con’s. The prefinished solid hardwood usually has less color variations and is suseptable to movement. However, the flooring can be resanded multiple times, usually 5-6. The engineered hardwood has more color options but is not typically a domestic product and is not able to be resanded or can (with a 4mm-6mm wear layer) 1-2 times.

Places Engineered Hardwood Can Be Installed

Engineered hardwood flooring can be installed through out the house no matter what level it is being installed on. Due to the multiple layers the flooring is slightly more dimensionally stable. So this means you are able to install it upstairs, ground level or in a basement. However, please remember that water for any flooring will make mold, movement and other issues – even waterproof flooring.

Glue vs Nail vs Floating Engineered Flooring

Different manufacturers require different installation methods. We recommend with any engineered floor to atleast glue assist and nail or full trowel glue. The reason for using glue is that most engineered hardwood floors are over 5″ which require glue to be installed correctly and for longevity of the floor. Typically you will find that with these larger width boards that without glue you will have pop and cracking since the wood is not thickenough for the nail to properly secure the wood. After months of wood movement the nails become lose and there is not enough meat on the baords to be held down. Glue will generally solve all your engineered problems and create less of a headache years down the road. Once the floor is nailed down there i sno way to go back and approperiatly add glue to make the floor not squaky. The most common and secure way of installing engineered floors is full trowel or glue asist.

Does Engineered Hardwood Last as Long as Solid Hardwood?

While we would like to say yes, the real answer is no. This might be a different answer than you were expecting since everyone on the internet lies about this. Solid wood can be resanded 5-6 times while engineered flooring might be able to be resanded 2-3 times for the most high quality of engineered hardwood. Most engineered hardwood falls in the 1-4mm wear layer. While that seems thick – solid wood has a 7mm wear layer. The other thing to think about is the first time you sand your floor you will need to do a major sanding as most floors either have wirebrush, handscarping or other textures on the floor that must come off. Then there is the bevel and if the bevel is deep, that must come off as well. Engineered floors will not last through water damage as solid hardwood can be saved and then resanded. Now, with a home with no issues such as water damage etc, the wood will last just as long if you recoat it. However, some floors can not be recoated with oil or waterbased products so you need to be careful.

Is Engineered Hardwood a Green Product?

While it is probaly more green than laminate or say an luxury vinyl flooring floor, engineered hardwood is still not the most green flooring option. Solid hardwood is probably th emost green process you can have. Hey, we might sound like we are talking down engineered hardwood, but we tell the trust and we do sell it. This information is not just for our products but ALL engineered products.

So what is not so green?

For starters, the wood usually comes from other countries (USAto China!) to China or Vietnam for production. This means before the wood is milled it is shipped in log form form the USA to China or Vietnam. Then the wood is milled down for the vanner. After this the wood is attached on each layer with glue. After the floor is done it is then shipped again on large cargo ships from china to USA. The worst part is every piece of flooring is in a box that is wrapped in plastic and the whole pallet is then wrapped in plastic as well. While we might make it sound terrible, if you are worried about green options, it might be ideal to stick to solid hardwood.

Why So Negative About Engineered Flooring?

We think it is a great product if it is installed properly if you follow the proper techniques. But, the main reason is that almost every carpet or flooring store does not tell the truth and it really is unfortuante. We like to let people know what to expect so they don’t get sold something on a lie.

How Stores Oversell Engineered Hardwood Flooring

    1. Engineered will last centuries – Most likely not as water damage will happen and fixing an eingeered floor after water damage is impossible because dye lots change and floors get discontinued.
    2. You cant get good colors with real wood – Not true, any installer should be able to help you achieve a look you love.
    3. Engineered floors are cheaper – Most the time this is not true. Maybe if you buy closeout wood from Lumber Liquidators.
    4. Its stronger finish – No, it really is not. All the finish these days is about the samed and factory vs site finished flooring finish is all the same.
    5. You get a warranty – engineered needs a warranty because of all the extra production such as glue and the layers. Solid wood is just 1 material – wood.

Truely, we do like engineered if it is installed right from a reputable professional installer who follows the rules very closely. Engineered wood offers amazing colors that can look awesome. For super wide baord it is slightly more stable. Please pick a professional installer who actually knows what they are doing!

Engineered Hardwood Flooring FAQ’s

Do I need to acclimate engineered hardwood?2022-08-26T20:32:59+00:00

Yes, it is ideal to put boxes in a week or 2 before you install the engineered hardwood floor to get it semi close to the humidty and temps in the house you are installing. You will need to follow the guidelines outlined in the box.

Do engineered colors ever change?2022-08-26T20:31:00+00:00

Unfortuantely, each and every lot of  engineered hardwood flooring does slightly change in color. If you buy a lot today and buy a different one in 2 years it could be different.

How durable is engineered hardwood flooring?2022-08-26T20:24:59+00:00

Yes, it is durable. It is as durable as any solid hardwood flooring that is oak, hickory or maple. Engineered hardwood is no different for durability because the top of the board is a vaneer of normal domestic wood.

What is the point of engineered?2022-08-26T20:22:58+00:00

The iea of engineered started because of basements and other parts of the house that get wet. Engineered hardwood is technically more dimensionally more stable and can take more weather changes compared to solid wood.

engineered hardwood floor breakdown
Do I need to acclimate engineered hardwood?2022-08-26T20:32:59+00:00

Yes, it is ideal to put boxes in a week or 2 before you install the engineered hardwood floor to get it semi close to the humidty and temps in the house you are installing. You will need to follow the guidelines outlined in the box.

Do engineered colors ever change?2022-08-26T20:31:00+00:00

Unfortuantely, each and every lot of  engineered hardwood flooring does slightly change in color. If you buy a lot today and buy a different one in 2 years it could be different.

How durable is engineered hardwood flooring?2022-08-26T20:24:59+00:00

Yes, it is durable. It is as durable as any solid hardwood flooring that is oak, hickory or maple. Engineered hardwood is no different for durability because the top of the board is a vaneer of normal domestic wood.

What is the point of engineered?2022-08-26T20:22:58+00:00

The iea of engineered started because of basements and other parts of the house that get wet. Engineered hardwood is technically more dimensionally more stable and can take more weather changes compared to solid wood.

engineered hardwood floor breakdown

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