Engineered Hardwood: Common Question And Answers

15 min read

Are you considering installing engineered hardwood flooring in your home? That means you probably want to learn more about it first before making a decision. If you’re new to engineered wood flooring, we’ve developed a list of the most frequently asked questions we’ve received.

The most frequently asked questions concerning engineered hardwood are addressed in this handbook. An explanation of its features, installation instructions, how to care for and maintain engineered wood, and how much it costs.

Start with this engineered wood FAQ.

What Is Engineered Hardwood Flooring Made of?

Engineered wood is coated with a real wood veneer in a number of wood species, from hickory to white oak, for authentic wood aesthetics. Real wood grain, knots, and character can be seen in every plank thanks to this veneer.

Answering 4 Commonly Asked Questions About Engineered Wood Flooring - Mikasa Real Wood Floors - Blog

High-density fiberboard (HDF), stone-plastic composite (SPC), or an engineered plywood core layer are all options for the construction of engineered wood. It’s also possible to find planks that come with a connected underlayment for added comfort.

How is Engineered Wood Made?

Engineered hardwood is made by gluing the planks together in layers. HDF core planks have a single, solid layer of HDF, the actual wood veneer, and the backing layer all cemented together to create a strong flooring option. Fiberboard plies are attached to each other in opposing orientations under the genuine wood veneer for other core materials.

There are three methods used to generate the original hardwood look on engineered hardwood, each with a different effect on the floor’s appearance.

  • A low-humidity level permits the wood to dry out more slowly. This approach is more expensive, but the veneer will appear and feel more substantial as a result.
  • A rotary-peel method involves boiling the log for a specified period of time at a specific temperature, then scraping the log along its side to generate the veneer, which is then pressed flat.
  • For this method, the logs are boiled for a predetermined amount of time at a predetermined temperature. The veneer is then cut from the end of the piece of wood and pressed into place (source).

Engineered hardwood planks are made by attaching a piece of actual wood to the core.

Why Should You Choose Engineered Hardwood?

Engineered wood flooring is becoming increasingly popular due to the authentic wood appearance and environmental friendliness that it provides. However, this floor’s appeal extends far beyond its aesthetics. Consider these additional benefits of engineered hardwood before making your final decision.

  • Increasingly, engineered wood flooring is being built to be interlocking in order to make installation as simple as possible.
  • Since this is a real wood veneer, you won’t discover a repetitive pattern or an unconvincing texture in any of the planks.
  • This year’s hottest design trend is wood-look flooring, but it’s also a timeless appearance that will stand the test of time. Using engineered wood, you don’t have to settle for wood’s appearance. You’re getting the real deal!
  • Engineered wood floors can be moisture resistant or even waterproof, depending on the core used in their construction.
  • Anywhere you want: High resistance to moisture implies that it can be installed even in basements, bathrooms, and kitchens. It doesn’t matter what grade you’re currently in.

What is engineered hardwood flooring?

Glued on top of the core is a top layer of hardwood veneer, which can be any species of hardwood. A photographic coating is not used in this product, so it retains the natural qualities of the wood species used. In areas where moisture or heat pose a concern for solid hardwood flooring, the “engineered” product has been created to be more stable.

What are the benefits of engineered hardwood over laminate and solid hardwood floor?

More stable than solid hardwood or laminate; better for below-grade installations, such as basements where dampness is common; able to be installed over radiant heating systems, which dry out solid hardwood causing the boards to shrink, cup, and buckle; ideal on a concrete subfloor, either as direct glue-down or floating floor; more resistant to moisture and humidity than solid hardwood.

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What does greater stability mean?

Moisture or heat are the most common causes of solid hardwood’s instability. Warping, cupping, swelling, or splitting solid hardwood floors can occur under severe conditions. Because of the multiple ply construction, engineered hardwood flooring is able to resist twisting and remain level and unbroken. Engineered hardwood flooring is a preferable option for installation over radiant heat sources, whether the concrete is below or above grade..

How many layers does engineered flooring have?

Wood flooring that has three or more layers is known as engineered wood flooring. In general, the more layers, the better the stability. High-density fiberboard (HDF), plywood, or hardwood may be used as the core. Vanier engineered flooring, for example, contains between five and seven layers of hardwood cores.

Does engineering destroy the natural beauty of hardwood floors?

Absolutely not. Wooden veneers are made of the same quality of wood as real hardwood flooring.

What is the thickness of the hardwood veneer?

In most cases, the top layer of hardwood veneer is between 0.5 and 4.5 millimeters thick. Quality wooden veneer will last for years. Vanier engineered hardwood flooring, for example, has a 25-year finish warranty and a Select and Better 2mm hardwood veneer.

Can I refinish (sand) an engineered floor?

Even though the thickness of your hardwood layer makes a difference, 95% of hardwood floors never have their finish restored. Damaged sections are generally removed professionally because of the high quality finishes and the lengthy process of refinishing a floor. A professional sanding method often removes a fraction of an inch when desired. So if your floor has a two-millimeter thickness, you should be able to sand it once or twice.

Do I really need engineered flooring?

Customers frequently ask us about engineered hardwood floors and demand that they have them installed. It’s critical to consider the specifics of your project and market before deciding whether or not engineered is the perfect product for you. Despite what many big-box retailers would have you believe, engineered flooring does have its drawbacks and is not infallible. A natural product, the solid hardwood layer on top of engineered hardwood flooring behaves just like solid hardwood. Engineered flooring is only needed if the floor is to be laid on concrete or below grade. Over radiant heat, engineered flooring is a great option. You can use a broader plank because it is more stable. Relative humidity must be managed, despite the fact that it is more stable.

Do I need to control my humidity?

Engineered hardwood flooring requires a relative humidity level of 30 to 50 percent to be maintained. Products that claim to be able to withstand severe humidity should be avoided. Make sure you read the fine print and find out what is covered by the warranty? Hardwood flooring can get overly dry, causing cracks and checks in engineered flooring. The plywood layer does not slide in the same way as the top layer of wood when it gets too dry.

What should I be looking for in a wear layer?

A wide variety of designed products are available on the market, and finding the perfect one for your project can be a challenge. Choosing the correct combination of wear layer and plywood layer is critical.

The issues with a thin engineered flooring wear layer

Dry cupping happens when the surface wood layer shrinks, causing the lower layers to move as a result, which is commonly referred to as dry cupping in the construction industry. In spite of the difficulties, it does not feel like real wood. A cheap-feeling floor with a thin wear layer often has a hollow, crunching feel to it.

The issues with having too thick of an engineered flooring wear layer

Too much of a surface layer might be overbearing. The wear layer on the surface overwhelms the plywood beneath, which ultimately undermines the objective of acquiring an engineered floor.. These flooring are notoriously prone to delamination, making them a hindrance to any construction endeavor.

Do hardwood floors need to acclimate?

Preparation for installation should begin at least 72 hours in advance for engineered hardwood. Temperature and humidity will be maintained at their perfect levels, helping to prevent warping, cupping, and other defects caused by improper handling. Acclimatization can be ensured by stacking the boxes in short heaps with adequate ventilation around each one.

Can Fuzion engineered hardwood be installed over radiant heat?

Only hydronic radiant heating systems can be used to install Fuzion engineered hardwood products. Acacia, Maple and Hickory can, however. Check with your local Fuzion hardwood store or examine the warranty, installation, and maintenance information for each unique Fuzion flooring product before making a final decision to purchase.

At the Most Basic Level, What is Engineered Hardwood Flooring?

First and foremost, let’s clear the air. Real wood is used in the manufacturing of engineered hardwood flooring.

Even though it appears on many imitation wood flooring comparison lists (including our own), it’s simply because it’s often mistaken for something else. The flooring is basically a different kind of real wood.

What’s the Difference Between Solid Hardwood and Engineered Hardwood?

A single piece of hardwood is used throughout.

There are two layers of wood fused together to make engineered hardwood. Wood composite core (often plywood and occasionally oriented strand board) with a thin layer of solid hardwood veneer on top.

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What Makes for the Best Engineered Hardwood? What Should You Look For?

The top engineered wood flooring products share three characteristics.

  1. As we’ll explain later, they are going to have a thicker veneer covering.
  2. Instead of OSB, plywood will be used for the base (oriented strand board).
  3. More ply will be added to the plywood base to increase its sturdiness. Our recommendation is for at least 5–7 plies in most cases. Several of the better kinds of engineered wood flooring have at least 10 layers.

What Does Engineered Hardwood Flooring Mean?

Engineered hardwood flooring planks are made from a variety of woods, which are then blended together to create a single product.

They form a single flooring plank when put together. All the ingredients are natural and organic, even though it is produced. They’re made entirely of wood. The end. Here, there are no preservatives or taste enhancers.

An insider’s tip: The term “engineered” in the flooring industry simply means “manufactured from more than one material.” With EVP flooring (aka engineered vinyl plank), you may have vinyl flooring with a solid core (which is often infused with some other material). To increase its longevity, SPC flooring, for example, includes a limestone-infused core.

Once Again: What is Engineered Hardwood? It’s Real Wood

This must be emphasized. No, engineered hardwood isn’t a phony imitation of real wood. Wooden construction is used. There are two layers of wood fused together instead of a single plank.

So Why do Engineered Hardwood Floors Exist?

If “another sort of hardwood” is all engineered hardwood is, then why are these floors ever made?

It’s worth noting that engineered hardwood has a wide range of applications in the flooring industry. Most importantly, it is capable of doing things that solid wood floors can’t. The merits and downsides of engineered wood will be discussed in detail.



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