How to Choose Engineered Hardwood Flooring?
The flooring of a house should be able to fit the design to make the structure appealing. With multiple options available to be used as the flooring of a house, a person should be cautious on picking one that will not only fit the design but also the budget and should also have the capability to last for a long period of time. One of the types of flooring that can fit such requirements is engineered hardwood flooring. This type of flooring is getting more popular these days. With that being said, people should understand what they should look for when choosing engineered hardwood flooring panels. This will help them avoid blindly buying just any kind of engineered hardwood flooring panels.
Characteristics of Engineered Hardwood Flooring
Before discussing the factors needed to be considered when choosing a specific kind of engineered hardwood flooring, it is best to understand what this type of flooring is all about. As one of the hardwood flooring options, this type of flooring uses solid wood coming from hardwood trees. This is one of the most durable types of flooring materials that can be used in locations that are exposed to different weather conditions. Below are some of the important characteristics of engineered hardwood flooring:
- Engineered hardwood flooring is created by bonding together multiple layers or plies of wood veneer. A wood veneer can be made from hardwood, softwood, or plywood. The topmost layer or ply is also called the wear layer. This is made of solid hardwood. This is done because the quality of hardwood will ensure that it can withstand heavy foot traffic and other kinds of heavy pressure that comes in contact with the floor. The solid hardwood used in the wear layer is also used to determine the kind of hardwood the flooring panel is made from.
- A flooring panel may be composed of 5 to 6 plies of wood veneer. The more layers of veneer are added, the flooring panel becomes stronger.
- High-quality adhesive is used to bond the multiple veneers together. This adhesive is very important because it is also used as protection against water or moisture. The adhesive ensures that moisture will not be able to leak into the veneers of the engineered hardwood flooring panels. The flooring panel is also applied with a sealant, stain finishing, and multiple layers of protective coating. This will help increase the strength of the flooring panels. The most common sealant applied to the flooring panel is polyurethane. This is because it has good resistance against chemicals, heat, and wear and tear. A stain finishing is used to make the natural look of the wood clearer. For the protective coating, the most common types used are made from wax or oil. However, there are other kinds of protective coatings that combine the effectiveness of these materials. One of these alternatives is hardwax oil. It is known to seal and penetrate into the pores of the wooden veneer.
- The thickness of the wear layer can help determine the strength of the flooring panel. A thicker wear layer can withstand more force coming from foot traffic. In addition, a thicker wear layer means that the flooring panel can be refinished more times. Refinishing involves sanding the surface of the wear layer before adding the preferred sealant and protective coatings. This is one of the maintenance options that can be done to engineered hardwood flooring panels. Normally, a wear layer can have a thickness from 3 mm to 7 mm. Some manufacturers may create engineered hardwood flooring panels with a thickness that can reach up to 15 mm.
- With all the protection added to engineered hardwood flooring panels, the flooring panels are effective in withstanding the negative effects extreme climate changes have on any type of wood. This type of flooring will not shrink or expand when exposed to heat or cold temperature.
Factors To Be Considered When Choosing Engineered Hardwood Flooring Panels
When you are planning on purchasing engineered hardwood flooring panels, you must remember that there are various factors that you need to consider to avoid wasting resources. You may refer to the following factors that you need to consider when choosing your flooring:
You must consider if the cost of the engineered hardwood flooring panels is within your available budget.
- Hardwood trees are known to be grown all over the world. Depending on the type of environment the hardwood tree came from is a key factor that dictates the price. An example would be the hardwood flooring panels that have been manufactured in Europe. Engineered hardwood flooring panels that use European hardwood as the wear layer are known to cost a bit more than hardwood grown within the US. The quality and, sometimes, the design of European hardwood flooring may be better than their counterparts grown in the US due to the fact that the hardwood trees were able to grow in an environment affected by extreme climate changes. Considering the price and the quality; you may need to go for the cheaper option if you have a tighter budget.
People should think about the species of the hardwood used for the flooring panel.
- Both engineered hardwood and solid hardwood flooring use the same type of wood. One of the important factors in choosing the species, durability, and look of the hardwood in relation to the design created for the house. An example would be the difference between oak and maple. Engineered flooring panels that use oak as its wear layer can withstand mild foot traffic. The Janka hardness rating of oak is less than that of maple.
With regards to the look, oak has a darker red shade while maple has a lighter and more natural look. Based on their characteristics, maple is best used in kitchens and other areas where people constantly pass through. Oak may be a good choice to be installed in the bedroom.
Since engineered hardwood flooring panels have wear layers, it is important to consider the thickness of such.
- If you are the type of person that wants to fully take advantage of the benefits of your hardwood flooring, then you may think about finding engineered hardwood flooring panels that have wear layers thicker than 3 mm. This will give you the option of having more chances to refinish your flooring when the need arrives. Every time you refinish your flooring, you will be sanding the surface of the wear layer. This usually takes approximately 0.5 mm off of the wear layer. Refinishing can prolong the life of your hardwood floor for an additional 5 to 7 years.
You may consider choosing pre designed engineered hardwood flooring panels that will fit the design of your house.
- Since engineered hardwood flooring panels are already processed by the manufacturers, they will already come with specific designs. You will just have to choose one that would fit your needs. The stain of the flooring panels will help set the mood of the room where they will be installed. Just like oak which already gives a dark reddish tone to a room and fits most traditional house designs.
For houses that are designed to give a modern look, you may find flooring panels with a gray stain. This stay exudes a contemporary and modern look. With regards to the finishing, you may choose glossy panels or those applied with a matte finish. With a glossy finishing, your room will look very attractive. It should be regularly cleaned though, since dirt and dust will affect the shiny effect of the floor. It is also easier to find scratches and structural damage on shiny floors. Getting flooring panels with a matte finish is best when there are pets and small children constantly passing through your hardwood floor.
By not having a shiny look, any scratch or dirt will not be easily visible. However, if you feel that you may need to change the stain and finishing of the flooring panels, you can do them, but you may need the help from professionals to properly make changes to the flooring panels.
Choosing Engineered Hardwood Flooring Will Depend On Your Preference
Since there are a number of options available for engineered hardwood flooring panels, you must first ensure that you finalize the design of your house before searching for the actual flooring panels. You will need to focus on specific factors so that you will be able to find flooring panels that will be to your liking. Also, you must make sure that you are buying authentic engineered hardwood flooring panels. The danger with buying flooring panels is that you cannot easily spot if the product being sold to you is authentic or a fake. You will need to compare around and ask flooring experts about the flooring panels being offered to you. Experts will be able to help you identify if the products offered are using materials that resemble a specific type of hardwood.
Here at Three Trees Flooring, we assure you that all of our products are authentic and have been made with the best quality possible. You may contact us at (416) 665-2624 if you need help deciding on the hardwood flooring you wish to install in your house.