At first glance, engineered hardwood floors resemble solid hardwood floors, but a look beneath the surface reveals what engineered hardwood flooring is made of.
What Lies Below
Unlike solid hardwood consisting of one layer of solid material, engineered hardwood is constructed of thin layers of wood glued together. The top hardwood layer, referred to as the wear layer, is thicker and is available in virtually any hardwood species. The layers are laminated under high pressure and heat to create a floor that is less likely to be affected by humidity, creating an appealing option for bathrooms and basements.
The main advantage to using an engineered hardwood floor is the ability to use this type of flooring throughout your entire home without the worry of humidity and moisture damage. Engineered floors are often pre-finished and are available in a wide variety of colors and widths. These finishes are generally quite durable and are usually guaranteed for 25 years or more by the manufacturer.
Where solid hardwood floors can be sanded down and refinished many times during their life span, engineered floors may only be refinished once or twice due to the smaller layer of actual hardwood on its surface. Engineered floors are less environmentally friendly than solid floors because they must go through so many more processes than the solid wood, but adversely they also use fewer trees. And generally, wood floors add value to a home; however, it remains to be seen whether engineered floors bring that same advantage to homes that solid floors do.
Maintenance for engineered hardwood floors is simple. Sweep or vacuum every day or so. Clean spills immediately. Use only cleaners approved by your floor’s manufacturer. Damp mopping is discouraged; however if you find it necessary to use a damp mop, ensure that it is only damp and that no moisture remains when you are finished.
Flooring, Jeff Hosking – Hosking Hardwood. ” All About Engineered Wood Floors.” Hosking Hardwood Flooring: Brand Name Hardwood Floors For Less!. N.p., n.d. Web. 3 Nov. 2010. http://www.hoskinghardwood.com/Hardwood_Floors_7/7/Engineered_Wood_Floors.aspx.
“How to Select Hardwood Flooring : How-To : DIY Network.” DIY Network – Home Improvement How-To & Projects : DIY Network. N.p., n.d. Web. 3 Nov. 2010. http://www.diynetwork.com/how-to/how-to-select-hardwood-flooring/index.html.