What are the pros and cons of engineered wood flooring?

Anyone considering installing an engineered hardwood floor will be doing so because they like the look of a specific, exotic or highly-coveted hardwood. However, the cost involved in installing a solid hardwood floor might be more than your budget allows for. For a more pocket-friendly alternative that still provides you with the look and feel of solid hardwood, you might want to consider engineered hardwood.

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What is engineered hardwood?

Where solid hardwood flooring is made from hardwood only, engineered oak flooring is a product that consists of a multitude of layers. The outside layer is a slice, no thicker than 1/8”, of oak veneer. The outer layer can be that of any hardwood type depending on your taste. Layers of high-density fibre board, plywood or cheaper hardwood follow. These inner layers provide stability superior to solid hardwood.

The advantages of making this choice

As mentioned above, the combination of layers add stability and tend to block moisture to the floor. Because a high quality engineered floor does not warp or swell, you will be saving on the maintenance that solid hardwood floors require. Don’t forget that trapped humidity can also cause mould and damp that can seriously affect your health.

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There are also environmental benefits to consider. The slicing of the veneer produces next to no waste as opposed to traditional sawing methods that produce a large amount of waste in the shape of sawdust. Hardwood trees take a long time to grow. Veneers produce more surface area, and therefore, the tree can cover more floor space as opposed to the solid alternative. Ultimately, fewer trees are chopped down for this purpose and there is a lesser strain on replenishing the forests.

Some disadvantages

Carpets, tiles and laminate floors are much cheaper in terms of price. If you buy an inferior engineered floor with a veneer that is too thin, warping and fading can occur and you won’t be able to sand or refinish the surface because of the fear that your veneer will be worn away. For quality products always go with reputable suppliers such as http://www.woodfloorwarehouse.co.uk/engineered-flooring.html. Inferior core materials will also compromise the stability of the flooring.

Your main financial benefit is seen in the ease of installing engineered wooden flooring. Properly research how it’s done, otherwise your saving might become your loss.