One of the most frequent questions we are asked at Wood and Beyond is”what’s engineered wood floors manufactured from?” . Actually, engineered hardwood floors is arguably among the most misunderstood floor products on the market today and we think this is a true shame. With some really significant benefits over solid hardwood, it is a flooring solution that’s well worthy of consideration, yet is frequently confused with the likes of laminate flooring, which for us is heartbreaking! Within this article we want to assist you get up close and personal with engineered wood flooring so you can start to love it in the same way as we can!
The fundamental structure of engineered wood flooring
These layers of ply are cross layered, then glued and pressed together to make a very strong bond. It is this bonded core plank that makes engineered wood flooring so very different from solid wood floors.
When the core board has been cut into floor planks, the groove and tongue are made. For instance, a 3 ply board is going to have single core board, a base layer and a true wood top layer or lamella. The problem with many 3-ply engineered wood floor solutions is the core plank, in which the tongue and groove fit together can become fragile, so generally speaking, if your budget permits, you need to pick a multi-layer board.
How is it made?
As already mentioned, the core plank of engineered timber floors is made by bonding layers and layers of design together. Subsequently, the top layer is inserted and it’s that layer that actually makes the end result look so great. There are two distinct ways to obtain the upper layer of solid wood for engineered timber flooring. The first is called slicing or sawing and the second is known as rotary cutting.
A rotary cut veneer was created by efficiently cutting a thin coating from all the way across the tree back to create a veneer’sheet’. After the veneers have been cut from the tree, they are then secured on to the top of the core board to present its finish and exceptionally good looks. Not surprisingly, a sliced or sawn veneer could be cut thicker compared to a rotary cut veneer. Although a sliced or sawn veneer gives a more natural look to the timber, if it is a dramatic grain effect you’re searching for, then you may be best to choose a rotary cut.
What makes it so special?
The thing which makes engineered timber floors so unique is the strength of its center board. As you can imagine, anything that’s made up of a blend of different layers of ply that are secured together with a strong adhesive will be more powerful than just one piece of timber of the same thickness. This is important because it affects the equilibrium of this ground.
Imagine a situation where temperature and moisture levels are fluctuating, a scenario that is particularly common from the likes of bathrooms and kitchens. In these circumstances, solid wood expands and contracts significantly but engineered wood flooring is a lot less affected.
Why is this significant? In effect, excessive contraction and expansion can play havoc with flooring, producing unsightly and draughty gaps as well as significantly raising the possibility of cupping and, or bowing. As a result of the way engineered timber flooring is created, the core board stays stable, in all but really extreme conditions.
What do the different thicknesses mean?
In the same way as solid wood flooring, engineered wood flooring is made in different thicknesses. Nevertheless, there are essentially two elements to the depth of an engineered timber flooring board; the overall board thickness and the upper layer or lamella thickness.
Thus, when you find a figure like 18/5 or 14/3, then this usually means that the planks are 18mm and 14mm thick respectively with corresponding top layers of 5mm and 3mm. When you’re picking the thickness of your board, then you need to be careful to pick the best option for your job. Broadly speaking, a plank of over 14mm thick is not recommended over under floor heating and a board of less than 18mm thick isn’t suitable for structural jobs. All of that said, when it comes to exact technical details, you’re better to call on the advice of an expert each time.
What about species, grades and finishes?
Regardless of what species, finish or grade you need, you need to be able to track it down in engineered timber flooring, exactly the identical way that you can in sound. This signifies is that engineered timber floors is far from any type of compromise — it actually is win:win!
If you want to ask more questions regarding engineered hardwood flooring, we are here for you. All you have to do is contact and a few of our passionate team can help!