Published at Thursday, July 27th 2017. by Calantha in Flooring.
However if you go for a quality engineered wood flooring you can even gone as far as to boil a piece of our floor for 30 minutes and the board still will not de-laminate. The 15mm ply wood under core is what gives the flooring the strength and stability is has. Oak is a natural product and when used for flooring the board widths can change in size. This can cause gaps between boards or the floor to buckle and this movement is most commonly caused by the changing of humidity in the environment. Because of the stability of a quality engineered oak floor it is far less prone to this movement. This stability is also becoming of greater importance today due to the fact that an increasing number of properties are having under floor heating systems installed, which of course causes a frequent change in humidity. Having said this I would again like to reiterate that I am writing in regards to a quality, higher spec engineered oak flooring, and I can not talk for all engineered wood floors.
This shrinking action pulls the floor together, adding strength to the overall system. The advantages of this type of sub-floor are its strength and durability. One important note, homeowners are often disturbed by the small 1/4" wide gaps, generally left between the individual planks after the wood dries out. Although disturbing to see during construction, upon completion, the spaces are not noticeable, and really have no impact on the sub-floor components at all. Strip floors are designed to be interlocking, through lapping or spacing of joints.
Another good flooring for wet areas is the vinyl tile. Typically it is manufactured in much the same way as sheet vinyl, but is much more rigid and comes as 12"x12" square units. They are installed in the much the same way, but require skilled tradesmen, familiar with proper installation. A good installer will start from the middle of the room to ensure that all cut tiles are equal in width at opposing walls. One advantage to this type of flooring, over sheet vinyl, is that it is can be installed, without danger of joint separation, over large areas. For this reason, it is often used in commercial buildings where large rooms are the norm. Vinyl tile can also be easily installed directly to concrete floors. Like vinyl sheets, it too is resistant to water, and tends to be installed in the areas of a building, prone to water accumulations. Tile, can be easily cleaned, is relatively maintenance free, and one of the cheaper finished floors to install.
So, a top quality oak engineered flooring will look the same but will it actually last as long?. How long a floor will last is mostly down to something called its `wear layer`. The part of the floor that is classed as the wear layer is from the surface of the board down to the tongue and on a solid oak board this would be around 5-6mm. Now, the wear layer on engineered wood flooring is the top layer of oak. So if you purchase an engineered oak flooring which has a 5-6mm solid oak top layer it will result in the flooring lasting just as long. In conclusion if you want an engineered flooring that is going to last as long as a traditional solid oak floor then make sure it has a nice thick top layer of wood, ideally 5mm+.
Here is a word on prefinished product if they factor into your decision. If you come up short on your order, the next lot that you buy may not match your previous batch. This is especially a problem on the lower end price floors and import floors. Good luck trying to blend it in with your previous floor. So if you go this route, be extra accurate on your measurements. Right now the rage is lifetime warranties on flooring. We stop to think is that really even possible? First will that importer or manufacturer really be around a lifetime? A lot of products are made oversees; the warranty is only good if there is somebody still around for the life of the warranty.
Laying the floor is also another area that is worth thinking about when comparing the two types of oak flooring. The majority of engineered wood floors are longer and wider than most solid oak boards because this is the look that most people are wanting nowadays. The flooring being longer and wider means the flooring is quicker to fit. Another aspect that makes this floor easier and quicker to fit is how well machined the boards are. From our experience in the flooring industry we have had nothing but good feedback regarding how easy our engineered flooring was to lay, and this is down to how well machined the boards are. Given that engineered flooring is quicker and easier to fit, any extra money that is spent on purchasing an engineered oak floor is often compensated in the time that is saved fitting it! This is something to keep in mind when comparing prices.