Who wouldn’t desire a floor that has the look and feel of real hardwood but is also extremely long-lasting? They have taken over the flooring market with their actual wood veneer, simple installation, and ultra-durability. Engineered hardwood floors Because of its beauty and sturdiness, engineered wood can even help you repay 70 to 80 percent of your initial investment in the form of increased property value. Why is engineered wood superior to other types?
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Let’s begin from the top to assist you select the best engineered hardwood flooring for your needs. We’ve developed a list of the finest selections for engineered hardwood flooring by analyzing our engineered wood floor reviews and balancing the pro and con factors. See what we can find!
What to Consider When Choosing the Best Engineered Wood Flooring
Engineered wood flooring may mimic the look and feel of real hardwood when done correctly. When it comes to selecting the best engineered wood flooring, there are several factors to consider and information to be familiar with. Some of the most significant aspects to keep in mind when purchasing flexible flooring are explained below.
In order to comprehend engineered wood flooring, you need to know that it is composed of a veneer of hardwood over a core layer made from different woods.
Veneer Wear Layer and Finish
The engineered wood flooring’s top layer is called the veneer. Basically, this is the stage where you move your furniture about and do all of your fun stuff. Engineered wood flooring can be found in the same hues and species as solid hardwood because of the veneer. Oak, maple, mahogany, bamboo, and many more wood species are available in engineered wood flooring that are among the best.
It can be difficult to tell the difference between items when it comes to the thickness of their veneer layers. When it comes to veneer thickness, some items have veneers as thin as a single micron (less than one millionth of an inch). If a thick veneer product is damaged, it can be refinished.
Some of the best engineered wood flooring has a protective surface comprised of aluminum oxide, a naturally occurring chemical. Aluminum oxide-finished engineered wood is more scratch- and stain-resistant, but it can’t be restored.
The veneer rests on top of the core layer. Various materials can be used to build core layers. A plywood core with seven to eleven layers of wood is commonly used in high-quality items. Layers like these are known as plys. A floor with more plys is less prone to cupping, shrinking, splitting or expanding than one with fewer plys. To put it another way, a thicker floor will endure longer.
HDF (high-density fiberboard) cores can be found in several types of engineered wood flooring. They’re typically less expensive than engineered wood floors made of plywood. Despite their stability, these cores are like sponges that absorb water like sponges.
Softwood cores, meanwhile, are constructed from softwood slices (typically aspen). It helps keep the veneer from cupping or shrinking or splitting when the strips are placed perpendicular to the face of it.
Dimensions and Installation Options
Wood flooring in the 4-inch range to farmhouse-style boards as broad as 7 inches is available in engineered wood. Engineered wood floors are typically less susceptible to cupping than wider boards because they are less than 5 inches wide. Choosing a width also has implications for design. Using narrow boards in a space gives it a formal or contemporary vibe, while using larger planks gives it a country, colonial, and old-world feel, respectively.
For a more handcrafted impression, most engineered wood flooring is available in random-length planks.
A product’s installation procedure varies. It’s possible to lay engineered wood flooring over an existing floor without nailing or gluing it down. The entire floor is held together by a click-in system in floating flooring. The installation method is more of a personal preference than an indicator of quality. Both kinds have high- and low-quality alternatives.
A solid hardwood floor’s upkeep is identical to that of an engineered wood floor. After all, hardwood is used to make the veneer. Using the same cleaning and waxing chemicals as for hardwood floors, you can maintain them.
Refinishing engineered wood floors with a veneer layer that is more than 2 millimeters thick and without an aluminum oxide topcoat is possible for DIYers as well. The floor can be refinished by sanding down scratches in the veneer and applying a fresh coat of wax or another sealing agent.
Moisture resistance is an important factor to keep in mind. However, engineered wood flooring are not as water-resistant as laminate floors despite their similar appearance. To avoid staining the veneer, mop up water and other liquids as soon as they spill to prevent them from soaking into the engineered wood.
How to Choose the Best Engineered Wood Flooring
Numerous variables must be taken into consideration while selecting engineered hardwood flooring. While having a brand new hardwood floor installed is fantastic, there are a number of variables to consider, including the cost, durability, and ease of installation. Let’s take a look at some of the most important aspects of engineered wood flooring.
- Depending on the plank quality, engineered hardwood might cost anywhere from $4 to $12 per square foot. Starting with a budget can help you narrow down your alternatives and ensure that you receive the best value for your money.
- Engineered wood planks’ longevity and aesthetic appeal are directly influenced by the type of wood used to construct the planks’ surfaces.
- Surface layer thickness: The wear layer on most engineered wood is incorporated into the plank’s real wood veneer layer and ranges from 3mm – 5mm thick. Wood species with a thicker, more durable surface layer help your flooring last a long time in your home.
- Some engineered wood floors are sprayed with a UV and scratch-resistant coating. Layers like these help a floor stay longer and look better, while also providing an extra layer of water resistance to the surface.
- Hardness of a wood species can be determined using the Janka rating scale since engineered wood flooring is overlaid with actual wood.
- Engineered wood floors can be installed in four different ways. You don’t need a professional to float, staple, nail, or glue down your floor; it all comes down to how comfortable you are with each method.
Here are some of the greatest engineered wood flooring options this year, based on what you’ve already decided.
How Do I Know I Need New Flooring?
Wear and tear on your floors, whether they’re made of hardwood, laminate, or tile, will become too obvious to ignore. With proper care, most wood flooring can last up to 100 years. In comparison to carpet, vinyl flooring can last for up to 50 years.
It’s also a good idea to acquire new flooring if you recently purchased an older home with worn flooring or if you’re ready to switch to a new type of flooring. The following are some of the most prevalent reasons to install new flooring:
- You’ve already done a lot of work on them.
- Stains and stains are obvious and won’t go away.
- There’s been flooding.
- There are a few nailheads peeking out.
- An unrepairable staining of wood
- Wear and tear is clearly visible.
- There are floorboards that squeak or move.
Types of Engineered Wood Flooring
Numerous subcategories are available to those interested in engineered wood flooring. It can be categorized depending on the installation method, surface quality, texture, pressure applied in production, and even the wood species used in the manufacturing process. The method of installation is the most fundamental and significant classification to consider, since this will further reduce down your options.
Adhesive Installation Method
Adhesive is applied to the joints in order to ensure a strong hold. It doesn’t matter if the adhesive method is used before or after the boards are installed, the subfloor is cemented down. Installing engineered wood flooring on concrete is frequently done using the adhesive method.
Nail-Down Installation Method
Despite the fact that nail-down installation isn’t as prevalent as other methods, it can be used to fasten the installation of an engineered wood floor to wood subfloors. The subfloor is attached to the engineered wood planks using nails driven through the boards.
Click-Lock Installation Method
The click-lock installation method is common in today’s engineered wood flooring. The tongue-and-groove boards are clicked together to create a floating floor. Because no nails or glue are needed, the click-lock approach is the most cost-effective choice.
The weight of the flooring rests on a subfloor, which keeps it firmly in place. Additionally, if a portion of the floor needs to be replaced or repaired, you may simply lift up the flooring to do so. DIYers will appreciate the ease with which many of these click-lock engineered wood floor planks may be installed.
Popular Engineered Wood Flooring Styles
Engineered wood flooring is a popular choice for home remodeling flooring because it is more inexpensive, adaptable, and durable than traditional hardwood flooring.
Engineered wood floors, on the other hand, are available in a wide range of styles and finishes, depending on the species, color, texture, and finishing of the wood used. All of the most popular engineered wood flooring styles will be covered in this section.
- engineered white oak flooring
- Engineered wood floors made from European white oak.
- engineered wood flooring in a light tan color
- Engineered wood flooring that have been painted white.
- Engineered wood floors in honey and copper hues
- Engineered wood flooring in shades of gray
- Wood floors in a muted shade of gray
Trends in Texture
- Engineered wood flooring with hand-scraping
- Flooring with a wirebrush finish
- Reclaimed engineered wood flooring
Trends in the Field of Finishing
- Engineered wood floors with a smoked finish
- Engineered wood floors with a satin finish
- Engineered wood flooring with a matte finish
- Solid wood floors with an oil finish
Patterns and Styles
- Flooring with a herringbone pattern made of engineered wood
- Engineered wood flooring with wide planks.
Popular Engineered Wood Flooring Brands
Here are our reviews of some of the most popular manufacturers of engineered wood flooring.
Anderson Tuftex Hardwood
In terms of engineered hardwood, Anderson (now known as Anderson Tuftex after a recent merger) is the best.
Anderson’s Cross-Lock technique, which alternates the grain direction of five independent wood plies to make a plank that is as strong as steel and requires considerably less raw wood than solid wood flooring, was the first to come up with the notion for engineered wood.
Today all engineered hardwood brands & manufacturers use this same method – but Anderson were the first, and are still very highly regarded as one of the best.
This method is now used by all engineered hardwood companies, but Anderson was the first to utilize it, and they remain one of the best.
There are also more contemporary sleeker designs in the Anderson brand even though the emphasis is on a rustic or traditional feel.
Anderson hardwood has earned a stellar reputation as a reliable brand you can read our in-depth assessment of here.
Bruce is owned by the same corporation (AHF Products) as another well-known flooring brand, Armstrong. This may not come as a surprise to you.
For solid and engineered hardwood flooring, Bruce is the brand to trust. Armstrong focuses on durable, rigid-core, and vinyl flooring. In our opinion, Bruce has an advantage over competitors who provide a wide variety of flooring options because it specializes exclusively in hardwood.
With collections like “American Honor,” “Blacksmith’s Forge,” and “Next Frontier,” the brand focuses on a more conventional, classic style. In spite of the dated nomenclature, engineered hardwood still offers a wide variety of shapes and colors with 165 different alternatives available.
In addition to domestic wood species like oak, birch, cherry and hickory and exotic wood species like Brazilian cherry and tigerwood as well as sapele, santos mahogany and cabreuva, Bruce has a wealth of knowledge about hardwoods.
You can narrow down your search by type of style, type of wood, plank size, or amount of DIY experience on their website.
If you’re interested in the warranties offered by the various collections, check out the warranty details on their website (which are also available online) to get a sense of how long each veneer will last.
From the Forest
From the Forest’s engineered flooring is worth a closer look because of its great environmental credentials, including locally sourced materials from vendors with reforestation programs and environmentally friendly manufacturing procedures.
Founded in 2007, this Wisconsin-based relative newcomer to the flooring market has grown to offer seven distinct collections of beautiful engineered floors in a variety of designs, colors, and sizes.
The wood veneer layer of each collection has been sliced from the log in a certain way to achieve a particular look in their products.
This is why the Northwoods Original collection uses rotary slicing to create a dramatic variegated pattern; the Vineyard collection has a more delicate cathedral grain pattern; and the Woodland Treasures collection is done with décor cutting to get different grain patterns.
Because of their attention to detail, their products have a high quality appearance and finish. Installing any of the engineered wood items from From the Forest is a snap thanks to the interlocking tongue and groove or the click and tap mechanism.
And most of their goods are coated with a ceramic-based aluminum oxide wear layer that is hard-wearing and scratch-resistant. And there is no formaldehyde added.
From the Forest’s engineered flooring is not recommended for use in bathrooms.
In addition to their own underlayment, cleaning, and scratch concealer kit, From the Forest also sells their own products. From the Forest’s admission that scratches can occur, no matter how hard the wear layer or how vigilant the homeowner is, is refreshing to us!
Green Building Supply
This shop (rather than a producer) stocks a variety of environmentally friendly building materials and home items that have all met their stringent quality and sustainability standards if you’re looking for environmentally friendly engineered hardwood products.
Kährs, USFloors, and Tesoro Woods are three of the most popular brands for eco-friendly engineered hardwood flooring.
Founded in 1992 as Eco Timber, the first U.S. company dedicated to selling sustainable wood products, Tesoro Woods’ product portfolio is particularly noteworthy. Even before 1996, they were the first to offer urea-formaldehyde-free engineered hardwood flooring, further demonstrating their commitment to “the very highest environmental and quality standards” in the flooring industry.
Exotic and domestic woods are included in their selections, so most homes can find something they like. Coastal Lowlands, on the other hand, has some lovely stained finishes, notably in hues of gray, that are seen in the majority of their collections, which emphasizes the inherent beauty of the wood. However, you may acquire samples of all of Tesoro Wood’s collections from their website, even if they do not sell products directly from it (thus the link to Green Building Supply).
After being acquired by Tarkett in the 1980s, and more recently by Q.E.P. Co., Inc., a historic hardwood flooring company founded in 1898 will be the subject of our next engineered hardwood flooring review. In spite of these numerous alterations, the company’s mission remains the same: “Extraordinary customer service and our exceptional products surpass your expectations.”
Hickory and red oak are prominent in the Harris Wood collection, which specializes in domestic engineered wood flooring that’s fully made in the United States.
Traditions SpringLoc Collection’s Red Oak Sterling Grey and the new American Escape collection all come in 7.5-inch wide planks for a more contemporary appeal, while their overall aesthetic leans more traditional.
For those who are on a budget but still want a long-lasting floor, Harris Wood’s flooring, which has a top layer of roughly 2mm, is an excellent choice. Harris Wood flooring sells for about $2.90 per square foot, making it a reasonable mid-range option.
What else do I need to consider when buying wood flooring?
Depending on the room you’re purchasing flooring for, you may have to choose a specific style. Engineered flooring with a water-resistant construction should only be used in bathrooms, while narrow boards can make a small space appear even smaller. Solid wood and parquet flooring may not be compatible with underfloor heating (UFH) depending on how it has been treated. Make sure to contact your vendor.
Spend your money wisely and don’t forget to account for installation costs, which can add a lot more on top of what you spend on the flooring itself. Size is a factor in the price of solid wood. Smaller logs tend to yield less expensive thin, short boards, so expect to pay around £30 per square meter (m2). Budget at least £25-40 per square meter for engineered boards or upwards of £50 per square meter for well-known brands.