Engineered wood flooring is the perfect alternative to a solid wood floor and in fact if laid well, it is almost indistinguishable from it. In terms of cost, there is a difference, as engineered floors may cost a fraction of real solid flooring.
Both solid and engineered flooring bring the same appeal, natural elegance and beauty to any interior design. The major difference is that engineered wood is a glued product or composite material which has been manufactured by using separate strands or sections of and bringing them together by a manufacturing process. Wood which is otherwise unsuitable for use as large planks or sections can be whittled into chips or fibers and mixed with veneers, glue or other materials to form different types of engineered like plywood, glulam, parallel strand or veneer lumber. This composite material can then be fashioned into planks, panels or sections for suitable use. Flooring made from engineered wood can be stained, varnished, polished or finished to any kind of appearance that resembles solid. Thus wood flooring can be processed to resemble oak, cherry, pine, walnut, mahogany etc. Laminated flooring is also one of the products of engineered wood.
Current trends in wood flooring manufacture must take into account responsible and sustainable building design and environmental concerns. Using solid may not be the best option in such cases, as felling fresh timber is not advisable or legal in many countries. In such a situation, recycling and reclaiming old and antique timber has become the trend. The advantage here is that such timber is well-seasoned, durable, resistant to changes in temperature and pest-attacks. There is also a huge amount of such old timber available with the tearing down of warehouses, factories, barns, farms, windmills, old houses and mansions. Hence engineering these ancient planks and panels is the best option to convert to wood flooring.
Engineered wood floors are much more durable and able to withstand moisture better than solid wood – hence they can be used in areas where solid flooring would conventionally be avoided, such as kitchens. Since wood flooring is multi-layered, it can be refinished or used in a variety of ways. They are ideal as transition strips in areas like the wet and dry parts of your bathroom. They are extremely easy to lay over an existing floor whatever it is composed of, and this is known as the floating floor laying method. A layer of insulation separates the two and it is possible to lay on heating underneath. Engineered floors save time, effort and money. If you’re using a thin variety, it can even be glued down and removed whenever you want, making it a convenient and sustainable alternative to solid wood floors. Contrary to popular opinion, an engineered wood floor can last up to a century if maintained well.
Using a high-quality engineered flooring can increase the aesthetic appeal and resale value of your property.