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What are Engineered Hardwoods and are they Right for you?

March 18th, 2011 · 7 Comments

When consumers are looking to update the floors in their homes, more and more buyers are turning to engineered hard woods.  Both durable and eco-friendly, engineered hardwoods are becoming a popular choice flooring choice for home owners.

While this earth-friendly and aesthetically appealing material is growing in popularity, not all consumers are totally familiar with engineered hardwoods.

So what are engineered hardwoods and how are they made?

Engineered wood flooring is made up of layers of wood that are glued together and cross layered.  The layers are comprised of thin pieces of plywood and the top surface is a wooden veneer that is readily available in practically any wood type.

And this is wear the eco-friendly aspect of engineered flooring comes in.

Because the material is made up of layers, the top layer of fine wood is much thinner than standard wood floors.  For consumers who want hardwood floors made of luxurious, rare or exotic woods, choosing engineered wood floors will help conserve the source of the wood.  According to Hosking Hardwood, for each square foot of solid three-quarter-inch hardwood that is manufactured, approximately four times the amount of engineered hardwoods can be made.  Because the floors are made of layers, they are great choice for flooring in areas that are prone to high moisture and humidity.

The manufacturing process of engineered hardwoods is usually done in one of two ways: sliced with a saw blade or rotary cut with a knife blade.  The finished product generally ranges between three and seven inch pieces and is sometimes available in thicker wear layer.  Contrary to popular belief, engineered hardwood floors can be resurfaced and have an average lifespan of 60-80 years.

Aside from the great finished look of the floors, the installation process can be fairly simple.  Because of the layered ply pieces, engineered hardwoods can be installed over a dry concrete surface or even on top of some existing flooring materials such as wood laminates or tile.  When installing engineering wood floors, it is vital to ensure that the moisture content does not exceed four percent.

Although it is made manufactured differently than hardwood flooring and the finished product is different, engineered hardwood floors adds the same value to your home as traditional hardwoods.  And, if you choose a rarer or exotic top layer, you may be adding more value than choosing a more common type of traditional hardwoods.

If you decided that engineered hardwood flooring is the right material for your home, make sure you find a retailer that gives you a variety of finishes and woods to choose from.  Many retailers offer different woods and even different finishes, such as the newly-popular hand-scraped look.  Hand-scraped hardwoods provide a rustic finish that really showcases the different grains and textures of the wood.

Before you decide on whether or not engineered hardwood floors are right for you, visit a flooring retailer and do some research.  Don’t be afraid to ask questions.  Making an informed decision and purchase will result in you being much happier with your finished product.


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