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Why Choose Engineered Hardwood Flooring

Engineered hardwood flooring stands as a more than viable alternative to solid hardwood flooring particularly when you’re looking to install below grade (in a basement for example), or on concrete. Engineered hardwood floors are made up of a top layer of a real hardwood species and a core, typically consisting of multiple plywood layers laminated together to form a durable plank, or in some cases HDF (high density fiberboard). The stacking of the layers is designed to counteract the natural tendency of hardwoods to expand, contract, warp, or cup when exposed to different environmental factors. This makes engineered hardwood flooring an excellent alternative in geographical areas that have excessive moisture, or in building spaces otherwise unsuited for solid hardwood. Also, many engineered floors offer a floating floor option, allowing installation on a concrete subfloor, as long as the subfloor is clean, dry, and level.

While engineered flooring tends to be more resistant to moisture in general, it is recommended that a vapor barrier be used between the subfloor and the engineered hardwood flooring just as you would with laminate flooring. Further, the option to glue-down engineered hardwood flooring directly to a concrete subfloor is also available. With the glue-down option, the adhesive can work as a sort of built-in vapor barrier, filling in the role otherwise played by underlayment. Unlike solid hardwood flooring, engineered hardwood flooring also gives you the option of installing over radiant heat sources as well, lending additional flexibility.

Engineered hardwood flooring offers many extra advantages, including a very important one: that of a lower price than solid hardwood. Engineered hardwood flooring can provide all the aesthetic value of solid hardwood flooring, but at a fraction of the price. It is often the best choice to consider for ease of installation as well, and is a natural choice for basement installations over concrete. With this application, you can enjoy the aesthetic qualities of solid hardwood flooring in an area where solid hardwood flooring would be an ill-advised option.

Engineered hardwood flooring is an extremely good idea if you want to duplicate the look and feel of solid hardwood but are limited by environment or location issues, or even if you are bound by budgetary constraints. Engineered hardwood flooring stands alone as a completely different style of flooring, with unique advantages that even solid hardwood can’t match when you are faced with certain installation concerns.

(5) Comments

  1. We r thinking of replacing our carpet however 35 years ago flakeboard was installed, I guess I was popular anyway do you recommend removing this or pacing engineered flooring on top. Thanks

  2. We are considering engineered wood flooring (handscraped/distressed). Had 2 questions – is the High density fiberboard (HDF) better, not as good, or same, as traditional multiple layers of plywood stacked together? The product we are thinking of going with has the HDF core so we want to be sure before buying. Second question – how many layers of oxide coating should we be looking for as a minimum?


  3. Looking to replace carpet. Need something very durable and like the look of hardwood flooring. My hoe is very high traffic area and would like something low maintance and very durable. Would engineer hardwood flooring be a good choice?

    • Engineered hardwood can be a good choice but it is important to choose the right species of wood and finish to meet your needs. In high traffic areas choosing a durable wood species is important but just as important is whether the product has a hand scraped or smooth finish and the color variation within the product. A handscraped or distressed product with color variation will hide marks and scratches far better than a high gloss smooth finish product. As for maintenance, I would recommend a lighter colored floor as darker floors tend to show more dust.
      Other good choices for durability would include AC4 rated Laminate or Strand Woven Bamboo.

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