Engineered Wood Design 2 Build

Engineered Wood Design 2 Build

Engineered Wood

There are many misconceptions about engineered wood flooring.  It is often confused with laminate or thought to be not real wood.  However, engineered wood flooring is real wood, made entirely of wood.  Laminate is melamine infused paper on time and wood composite on bottom and solid hardwood is real wood from top to bottom.  Engineered hardwood is made of several layers of different types of wood, it is  a sandwich of 1/16 to 1/8 of finish wood on top and  non-finish plywood underneath.  The top layer can be any species of wood, is very thin, and glued to the layer below.  The successive layers are made out of different types of wood depending on the  manufacturer  and often uses plywood.   The middle layer of plywood in engineered wood provides additional strength.   For every type of solid hardwood there is an equivalent in engineered wood whether it be hickory, oak, bamboo, or maple.

Pre-finished:  The top finish layer is pre-finished so it is already sanded and sealed.  As soon as the floor is laid you are able to walk on it.  Comparatively, unfinished hardwood requires you to wait until it is sealed.

Can be Sanded:  Engineered wood can be sanded after scratches and dings unlike laminate flooring.  However, it cannot be sanded more than 1-2 times.

Moisture-Resistant:  Engineered food is resistant to light moisture and can be  used in kitchens, basements, and bathrooms.  It cannot tolerate the moisture in areas with heavy moisture such as a basement that floods frequently.  Compared to other types of wood flooring, engineered wood is good for moisture.

Variety of Installation Methods:  Engineered wood can be installed in several ways including nail-down, glue-down, or floating.

Value:  Engineered wood is more expensive than laminate but is a better value over time because it can be sanded to revive wood grain and erase scratches while when laminate is damaged it must be replaced.

Man-Made:  Engineered woods is man-made and therefore can be designed to meet application-specific performance requirements

Cost:   Engineered wood is not as expensive as hardwood yet offers the same appearance and warmth as hardwood.

Durable:   With similar natural characteristics of wood but the addition of a utilizing different layers of plywood to make it stronger, engineered wood is more durable than hardwood floors.  Engineered wood is three or five plywood with a hardwood surface veneer and the multi-layers and cross-ply construction makes it more stable than both laminate and hardwood.

Versatile:  Engineered wood is available in a wide variety of thickness, sizes, grades, and exposure durability.

Natural Wood Appearance:  Because engineered wood is made out of real wood it provides the warmth and beauty of wood.  It comes in a variety of textures and treatments for every aesthetic taste from rustic to elegant and can be easily finished with paints, stains, and varnishes.

Minimal Expansion:   Compared to solid wood, engineered wood contracts and expands less.  Hardwood is susceptible to warping but engineered wood is more dimensionally stable and it less likely to become altered due to changes in weather and moisture.

Beveled Edges:  Because engineered wood is pre-finished, it will contain beveled edges which while making installation easier, can be difficult to clean.

Maintenance :  Is is imperative that engineered wood is kept free of gritty debris to avoid scratching and any spills are wiped up immediately   Daily dusting with the use of a dry mop will prevent the surface from becoming worn or scratched.  Vacuuming will lift the small particles left behind by the dry mop.  Mopping with warm water weekly is recommended   Harsh and wax-based cleaning products should not be used because of the finish on the engineered wood.

Damage:  Mats and rugs are recommended to use on top of engineered wood in high traffic areas.  The surface veneer of engineered wood is susceptible to dents, scratches, and grooves.  Heavy furniture, pets, high heels, and spiked athletic shoes may damage the floor.

Repairs:  Engineered wood is harder to repair when damaged than hardwood floors are.

Safety:   Low quality engineered wood will use different types of adhesives between sub-layers and many kinds of adhesives used may be detrimental to your health.  Urea-formaldehyde, melamine-formaldehyde resin, and phenol-formaldehyde resin have been associated with heath concerns.  This problem can be alleviated by purchasing high quality engineered wood and ensuring they do not use potentially dangerous adhesives.

Refinishing:  Engineered wood can typically only be refinished once or twice because of how thin it is.


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