When it comes to hard surface flooring, there are so many options to pick from. Engineered hardwood flooring is, however, one of the most promising options on the market today. Engineered hardwood flooring is similar to solid hardwood with the difference being in its construction. This wood is manufactured with a relatively thin layer of hardwood that is bonded over a premium quality plywood layer which gives the flooring great stability. A good-quality engineered wood floor lasts for up to 40 years and is less expensive and easier to install than solid wood flooring.
At Hardwood Planet we have a wide selection of extra-long engineered hardwood flooring collections. As a team of passionate contractors, we are committed to providing you with the highest quality engineered hardwood flooring in Toronto. We always take extra care to guarantee that we deliver products that are safe, clean, and eco-friendly. Get in touch with us today to find out more about our engineered hardwood flooring.
What is Engineered Hardwood Flooring?
Engineered hardwood flooring is constructed in layers, with the top and bottom being 100% wood and the core made with plywood. Different species of wood are used to make these planks, especially the top and bottom parts. The plywood used in the midsections consists of layers typically crisscrossed and bonded together.
The construction method makes engineered hardwood very strong and durable. It is less likely to shift once installed, even when the weather changes. It also makes the flooring suitable for areas that other materials are less likely to fit, such as the basement. The layering reduces the chances of the planks warping or getting damaged by moisture, especially when the subfloor is made of concrete.
Engineered hardwood is often confused with solid hardwood, but the planks of the latter are made with solid wood only. On the other hand, engineered hardwood is cheaper, and its planks tend to be wider than those of solid wood. They are also sold in pre-finished form and can last for at least 20 years. Since the top layer of engineered hardwood flooring is made with thin 100% wood, it will require refinishing at some point.
Why Install Engineered Hardwood Flooring?
While solid hardwood stands out in the fact that it can last up to 100 years when cared for properly, engineered hardwood flooring in Toronto is an amazing alternative. It is engineered to look and perform the same way as solid hardwood flooring but with a few additional benefits.
Looks like solid wood flooring
Going for engineered hardwood flooring will not compromise quality. It is very hard to distinguish between solid wood and engineered hardwood. This is thanks to the fact that engineered wood has a top layer of real hardwood.
It is cheaper
One of the key reasons why most homeowners choose engineered hardwood is because it is cheaper than solid hardwood. With engineered hardwood, you can expect to spend almost half of what you would otherwise spend on solid hardwood. Engineered hardwood enables you to save money without sacrificing quality.
Engineered wood flooring has been constructed to offer better stability as well as resistance to moisture and temperature variations. The top layer of hardwood runs over a plywood base which creates additional strength and stability of the flooring. The flooring can thus be used with underfloor heating in areas with significant temperature changes such as utility rooms and conservatories.
Easy to install
When compared to hardwood floors, the installation of engineered hardwood flooring is both quick and clean. The flooring is set in place using durable glue products, which adheres to the surface of your home. Alternatively, thanks to the flooring being dimensionally stable, it can be nailed, screwed down, or floated over an underlay.
Other notable benefits of engineered hardwood flooring include:
A scratch-resistant topcoat can be added
It is compatible with underfloor heating
Found with click fitting system which makes it easy and quick to install
The top layer can be sanded and re-finished when necessary
Available in many wood species, colors, styles, finishes and plank widths
More often than not, people mistake engineered hardwood flooring for laminate flooring. While both are manufactured, the main difference is that engineered hardwood flooring in Toronto has a top layer of real wood whereas the top layer of laminated flooring is simply a picture of wood. Laminate flooring is thinner.
How To Install Engineered Hardwood Flooring
Several methods can be used to install engineered hardwood depending on the type of subfloor and the expected results.
The first method is the glueing method, which is usually applicable when the engineered wood is being installed on a concrete subfloor. This installation option does not involve a lot of noise and guarantees minimal creaking as time goes by. The flooring can also be stapled or nailed to the floor the way they are glued.
The floating installation is another method, and unlike the others, it does not involve attaching the planks to the subfloor. The planks attach to each other, eliminating the need for glue or nails. The main advantage of this installation option is that it works for uneven subfloors. It also allows the installation of insulation material under it, which increases the effectiveness of the underlay.
Our professionals can always choose the best installation method to give you lasting and stable floors.
Difference Between Engineered and Solid Hardwood
The differences between solid hardwood flooring and engineered hardwood extend beyond how they are made. The planks look different, with the engineered wood being larger than solid wood. However, solid wood planks are thicker and longer, but that does not interfere with the installation of the engineered planks. On the contrary, engineered planks have more installation options, which makes them easier to use.
Although solid hardwood has more longevity, engineered wood is also valuable, with a lifespan ranging between 20 and 40 years. The latter also has stronger resistance to moisture and will not warp when used in wet conditions.
Although engineered wood provides the same advantages as solid wood, such as aesthetic appeal and easy maintenance, it comes at a cheaper cost. It also resists heat better and will not require frequent refinishing. Solid wood may have more flooring options, but the choices available with engineered wood are enough for every homeowner to pick a desirable one.
Another advantage you are likely to experience with engineered hardwood is versatility in terms of application. It can be used on any floor, ranging from bathrooms to condos, which is unlike solid wood that does not do well in wet areas. Because of the multiple layers used to make it, engineered wood can expand and contract more than solid wood, giving it a high resistance to warping.
Wide Plank Engineered Hardwood Flooring
Hardwood engineered flooring is not only stylish, durable and affordable, but it also tends to contract based on its environment. Therefore, when it comes to wide planks, you will find them basically as engineered hardwood flooring, with the only exception is that wide engineered floors come in greater widths.
Thanks to modern advances, wide planks do not expand as much with humidity or heat. Because of the multiple layers, wide planks make a stable product, looking great and making a room they are installed in stylish.
Wide planks use boards much wider than the typical 3 1⁄4” to 5” boards used in commercial flooring. However, this type of engineered flooring may also use 8” to 10 1⁄2” boards, creating a more striking and distinctive look.
Wide plank flooring will help you to open up limited space. In addition, they are giving the illusion of volume, making an average size room look relatively bigger. Another advantage is that wide planks do not require special care; you can do with this flooring anything you usually would with standard-width hardwood.
Installing this type of flooring is a great way to make your flooring look unique with its patterns. It is considered to be quite practical and versatile. On top of that, such floors are both nailed and glued, making them last longer, and you can expect a reasonable price for the installation.
How to Choose an Engineered Wood Floor
While engineered wood flooring has been a vital innovation that has opened up possibilities for affordable real wood surfaces, choosing the right option to use is hard. There are so many considerations that have to be made in order to pick the solution that suits your needs best.
Types of Wood
Engineered hardwood floors come in a wide selection of real wood species. To find the wood species that is perfect for you, you have to think about the material durability, the tone you want for your floors as well as the existing home décor style. Here are the main wood species.
This is a popular species for hardwood flooring. Oak has a medium ranking hardness and is slightly reddish in tone. Oak is an ideal choice if you expect your floors to experience average wear and tear.
Maple is known for its attractive natural color as well as durability. It is one of the hardest wood species. It is an ideal choice for kitchens, mudrooms, and areas that get lots of foot traffic.
The best qualities of hickory are that it is hard and resistant to moisture. It is perfect for kitchens and areas with significant temperature fluctuations. It will also hold up well in areas with high foot traffic.
This is softer than hickory but has a distinctively attractive flowing grain pattern. It has rich opulent color variations. It goes well with a wide range of home decors.
Engineered hardwood floors come in varying thicknesses. Some may have more than seven layers. Lower-quality engineered wood flooring can be as thin as 3/8 of an inch. Higher-quality flooring will have several layers and be about ¾ of an inch deep. While each of the layers serves a purpose, the top layer is the most important. The thicker the top layer (wear layer) is the better.
The durability of engineered hardwood flooring is determined by the core layer. This is what offers support for the top layer and keeps the whole structure from breaking. Your main options include:
Plywood: This provides great support and offers remarkable durability
HDF: When used with alternating layers of plywood, this is the most durable and stable core option you can find
Fiberglass: While not as common, fiberglass (also known as fiberboard) is less supportive and can easily compromise the durability of your flooring
Types of Finishes
The fourth most important consideration you need to make is the finishes. Finishes are used to seal the wood and increase the lifespan of the floors. There are three main finishes:
High gloss: This is the shiniest type of finish. It is perfect if you are designing to impress. High gloss is ideal for the family room, bedroom, and living room.
Matte: While not glossy, it is perfect for hiding scratches. It is perfect for households with kids or dogs.
Semi-gloss: This has enough shine to look amazing but not too much so the floor will not need regular refinishing.
Engineered Hardwood Floor Cleaning and Maintenance
Engineered hardwood floors do not require daily cleaning to remain in good condition. You don’t need special cleaning products, but you must avoid using damp mops because excess water can cause the surface to wear off quickly.
Dusting or sweeping once every week is recommended. Only use vacuums that have felt or brush on the heads. Beater bars and other hard heads can destroy the floors.
Take care of spills immediately. You can clean the exact spot, but avoid acrylic finishes, ammonia-based cleaners, any type of bleach, acidic products, oil soap, and abrasive products.
Not using harsh cleaning products is advisable. Avoid using the same products you use on tile and vinyl floors or those mentioned above.
When considering refinishing, use an approved wax, but do not apply it more than twice a year. Make sure the floor does not have a urethane coating before waxing.
Place a doormat and a rag in places where there is high foot traffic to avoid getting dust and dirt particles on the floor. They will also prevent scratches, although the layers are usually made with a protective coating that prevents easy scratching.
Try to invest in breathable mats and rugs to avoid moisture accumulation.
If you have pets, keep their nails trimmed all the time and try not to wear pointed shoes indoors.
Try not to roll appliances and furniture on the floor. If you must, place a protective cover first to prevent scratches.
If possible, buy furniture leg protectors and try to keep them in good condition.
Keep the humidity indoors less than 55%, even if it means investing in a dehumidifier. To keep ultra-violet rays at bay, buy curtains or a UV-resistant film.
When cleaning spots of food or stains caused by pets, follow the directives of the engineered wood manufacturer and only use the products they recommend.
If trying to remove a sticky substance like candle wax or gum, use ice in a plastic bag to harden it. Crumble it, then use a recommended cleaner and finish on that spot.
In case the floor gets a minor scratch, chips off, or gets a small hole, use a fill stick or touch-up pen. Follow the directions of the manufacturer. If the scratch is too big, have the specific damaged plank replaced.
HardWood Planet is here to help you with all your hardwood flooring needs, ranging from maintenance to new installations. Feel free to contact us today, and we will make sure your engineered flooring gives you great returns.