Published at Tuesday, July 18th 2017. by Aveline in Flooring.
Working in the flooring industry we often have customers calling us because they are interested in a solid oak floor. More often than not we end up suggesting they go down the engineered route and then being asked the same thing, `why choose an engineered wood floor over a solid oak floor and does it really feel and look as beautiful?` We are writing this article to briefly outline the main advantages of our engineered wood flooring and why now so many people are choosing the engineered over the traditional solid oak flooring. Throughout this article I will write in reference to a top quality engineered oak flooring with multiple layers of ply wood under core and a thick, long lasting wear layer. I can not speak on behalf of all engineered wood floors as they differ massively in quality and price. In all cases you need to check thoroughly the specifications of the product on offer.
The final advantage of engineered wood flooring over solid oak flooring that I am gong to mention is how an engineered oak floor is more environmentally friendly. The plywood that is used is made up of fast growing softwoods which are plentiful and this is what the under side of our engineered wood flooring is constructed of. This means that far less of our valued oak, which has taken hundreds of years to grow, is used resulting in a much more environmentally friendly flooring.
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+.
Hardwood flooring is often a generic term that could apply to any type of wood flooring. Hardwood trees (oak, maple, cherry, walnut, elm, chestnut) are generally trees that had leaves which fall off in the winter. Softwood trees (pine, fir) have needles that may stay on all year and usually they produce cones. Hardwoods are usually more dense and more durable than softwoods. Of course, there are exceptions to these generalities. In our product line the hardwoods cost more than the softwoods.
Fourth, factor in the cost of refinishing the floor later or doing touchups. This is a whole another article. Some finishes can be spot touched up like some of the oils while others require a full sand over the whole floor. Some finishes require a professional installer and may have extreme odor during the cure. If you live with the floor for very long, factor these decisions in for the type of finish to choose for lifetime durability and the cost & effort to refinish.
Ah the finished floor, what we see and walk on everyday. For homeowners, this tends to be one of the more important aspects of the floor system. Yes the structure is a consideration, but the look and texture of the floor is what all that will be visible after construction is completed. The most common installed floor finishes include: vinyl sheet, vinyl tile, ceramic tile, wood strip, wood parquet, and carpet.