Engineered Flooring — Engineered Hardwood Flooring Choices, Maintenance, Installation of Engineered

Engineered Flooring - Engineered Hardwood Flooring Choices, Maintenance, Installation of Engineered

Engineered Flooring Engineered Hardwood Flooring

Choices, Maintenance, Installation of Engineered Hardwood Flooring

Engineered Flooring vs. Thin Solid Flooring

When it comes to the age old question of whether to use solid flooring or whether to use engineered flooring, there is the question of thin solid flooring. With solid hardwood flooring available in widths such as 3/8 of an inch, the question becomes more complicated. Solid 3/8 flooring can be glued down, which is one benefit over usual 3/4 solid flooring, which is pretty much nail down only. (Depending on who you talk to, naturally, but this is the safest bet.)

Additionally, these thin solids are handy when it comes to tight spaces that can come into play during a renovation. However, the solids will still undergo the same heightened expansions and contractions because it is a solid, natural product. (Expansion and contraction is usually measured by tangential shrinkage/expansion and radial shrinkage/expansion) Engineered flooring is not subject to as a result of its construction of perpendicular plies.

Despite the smaller width, the same balance of pros and cons still applies to these formats: With engineered flooring, youre getting a wear layer that is probably thinner than the total width of the solid flooring, and therefore cannot be sanded and refinished as many times. However, the engineered flooring will be more dimensionally stable than its prefinished counterpart, and while the smaller width may lesson the effects a bit, the solid flooring will still move in service.

The Lacey Act What Does it Mean for Hardwood Consumers?

On May 22, 2008, the United States congress passed the Lacey Act . amending the existing statute that had previously been used primarily for fighting wildlife crime. Now, the act serves to ban illegally sourced plants and products, promoting a new standard of environmental responsibility for U.S. importers of natural products from abroad. Many companies are already devoted to the use of sustainable harvesting practices, and are therefore already in full compliance with the Lacey Act amendment. Certified vendors of Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified products and consumers alike should be happy to see United States policy makers taking steps to ensure the health and well-being of forests and plant species around the world.

What does this mean for the engineered flooring world. As aforementioned, very little for those companies who were already abiding by the rules of healthy business and global ethics. But naturally, the reality is that more bureaucracy means more time, more documentation, and more labor/cost for import/export companies and mills. Therefore, prices for imported hardwoods have to rise proportionally to accommodate this. FSC certification, which establishes a chain of custody from the harvest source to the end consumer, also creates this price increase to accommodate for its intensive documentation fees.

For example, engineered Brazilian Cherry flooring coming out of Brazil has to pass through customs in order to make it into the United States, this much you already knew. However, this is a one time fee, with taxes and tarriffs paid at the border. With FSC certification, for example, the wood must be documented each time it changes hands. This means that a representative of the FSC or an agent working on their behalf (Such asSCS, Scientific Certification Systems ) must approve each of these transactions and/or documentation must be filled out and filed, requiring extra time and labor. In effect, its like going through customs every time the wood changes hands. The Lacey Act is similar in that it requires more documentation than was previously required in order to import goods. Filling out this documentation requires time on the part of the mills, and the added cost trickles down through the supply chain thereafter. Additionally, the fact that engineered flooring features a wear layer of the exotic specie, and therefore not as much of the wood as a solid hardwood, does not lessen the cost of these certifications. Even if one board in the sub-bundle had a Brazilian Cherry wear layer and the rest were bare plywood, in order to be certified, that board must be tracked along the chain of custody in order to be FSC certified. What raises the cost is certifying multiple locations, such as if a distributor had multiple storage locations. For this reason, it is important to realize that if some hardwood dealers are slow to adopt FSC certification, it is not necessarily because they are illegally harvesting or conducting unethical business practices; the fact is, FSC certification can be a very expensive and complicated process.

However, though these certification processes and newly instated laws do raise costs slightly to the end consumer and create more bureaucratic red tape and cost for every member of the supply chain, they are great advancements towards promoting sustainable harvesting practices and punishing those who would otherwise seek to profit from harming the planet through the poaching of natural products.

Engineered Hand Scraped Woods

One of the great aspects of engineered flooring veneers is that they are very versatile and come in a variety of styles beyond the standard smooth texture.  You can also find it in other styles, such as handscraped and French bleed .

What is handscraped engineered flooring. Basically, it is flooring that is handscraped by the manufacturer in order to give the wood an older look, as if it has been worn over time. This style of texturing wood would be particularly appropriate in a house built in an older architectural era, where installing a brand new smooth hardwood floor might clash with the overall tone of the homes more classic style. The upside of using handscraped flooring is that you get this older look while simultaneously getting new, structurally sound wood that, though the surface is scraped, sports brand new engineered ply layers. Here is a beautiful example of engineered hand distressed black walnut .

French bleed refers to wood with stained edges, with the color of the stain being typically black. Again, this look often provides a more classic tone to a home, and is often combined with hand-distressed or scraping, although not in every case. Both handscraping and French bleed create a tone of warmth and welcome.

The beauty of both of these styles is that you get the classic appeal of and older style appearance of floor while enjoying the structural superiority of modern engineered flooring. If youre going for a rustic or Old World style look for your home, hand distressed engineered flooring or hand scraped engineered flooring are great candidates.

Domestic Engineered Wood Flooring Species

Of the many types of engineered flooring products available, some of the most beautiful and traditionally elegant examples are the American domestic species. These are trees you probably see in your every day life, lining your street, sprouting up along highways and country roads, even in your backyard. Some well known American domestic species include Cherry, White Oak, Red Oak, and Maple, to name just a few. The interesting thing about American domestic species is that they tend to fall within the brown to yellow/white color spectrum, with some red tones here and there, but there isnt a whole lot of deviation from this general spectrum. White Oak and Maple tend to be in the lighter category, Red Oak brings, naturally, some redness into that white equation, with Cherry bringing in a more orange-red tonal quality.

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