Engineered hardwood flooring is a remarkable material with all the benefits of solid wood and none of the drawbacks. Unlike laminate flooring it is made of real hardwood and not simply a pattern printed onto wooden substrate. Once installed, even experts struggle to tell if an engineered wood floor is hardwood throughout. Here at Maples & Birch we have put together a comprehensive list of the benefits of engineered hardwood flooring.
A real hardwood surface that can be refinished
One of the major benefits of engineered wood flooring is that it is made out of real hardwood. A surface layer (often referred to as veneer), usually between 4mm and 8mm thick is pressured bonded to layers of premium grade plywood. Once installed, only the real wood surface is visible. This surface comes in a wide variety of textures and finishes and can be sanded and refinished to an equal number of times to restore a floor to its original beauty as is solid counterpart.
It looks identical to solid wood floors
You can only see the surface of an engineered wood floor. The depth of the surface layer is deeper than the eye can see once installed. Even flooring specialists can struggle to tell at first glance whether a floor is made of solid or engineered wood. In addition, another of the benefits of engineered wood flooring is that it’s available in such a wide range that there is always something to perfectly match your existing infrastructure.
Engineered hardwood works well with underfloor heating.
Underfloor heating doesn’t work well with solid wood floors. There are two main reasons. Firstly, solid wood is a very good insulator and will trap the heat under the floor instead of releasing it into the room. Secondly, this build-up of heat and the associated temperature fluctuations can cause solid wood to warp and, in extreme cases, crack. One of the key benefits of engineered wood flooring is that it allows for a much more effective transmission of heat. Also, the way the lengths of wood are bonded together ensures that the natural stress of the material are evenly balanced ensuring that it is highly resistant to temperature related warping.
Another of the benefits is that engineered floors use much less original hardwood and ensures that resources go much further. It’s calculated that engineered wood can cover an area four times the size of solid would for exactly the same natural resources. Not to be forgotten is that all wood products are biodegradable and can be recycled.
Perfect for rooms with significant temperature fluctuations
We’ve already mentioned that engineered flooring can be used with underfloor heating. It’s this quality that also makes it ideal for rooms that experience higher external temperature changes such as conservatories and rooms with wall sized glazing.
Fast and efficient to install
Modern engineering and manufacturing has ensured that these wooden floors are of an exact a consistent thickness with features designed to interlock the planks and create great stability with minimum materials wastage – one of many benefits for installers.
Can be either fixed or floated in position
Unlike wholly wooden floors, engineered hardwood floors can be fitted in two different ways. The first, or traditional, method is to float the floor over a layer of specially formulated insulator (underlay). This allows for expansion and contraction and means that the floor can be lifted if needed with the minimum amount of damage or inconvenience (if a click locking system). The second is to secure the boards (often 18-20mm thick boards) to an existing wooden floor or concrete base using techniques including nailing, staples and in the case of concrete floors, glue. Once this is done, the floor is a fixed, and the solid engineered hardwood floor will be difficult to remove.
More cost effective than solid wood
Another of the benefits of engineered wood flooring is that it uses much less original hardwood in its manufacture and this naturally reduces the cost significantly. It is just as easy to resurface as solid wood and is more stable thus requiring less maintenance.
Extremely stable and resistant to warping
As solid wood ages it can warp due to environmental changes. This is a natural process as the plank, in its entirety was once part of a complete tree. Damp, excessive dryness, temperature fluctuations and structural pressures can all contribute to this problem. The benefits here are in the fact that engineered wood is far more resistant to warping and is extremely stable due to the structure established during manufacture.
Available in a wide variety of species
While some of the most popular flooring options include Red Oak, White Oak, Maple and Hickory. It is also available in a wide range of exotic species including Teak, Brazilian Cherry, Tigerwood, Kempas, Sapele Mahogany and Ipe (Brazilian Walnut).
A wide range of widths, sizes and lengths
The advent of engineered hardwood has made it possible to have access to a wide range of widths and lengths. Maples & Birch can even supply extra-long planks in widths up to 240mm and wider.
Equally we can supply extra narrow boards. The wooden planks are also generally more consistent in grain and texture than solid wood planks as many surfaces can be taken from a single tree ensuring a uniformity of grain and colour.
The benefits of a click fitting system or tongue and groove System
Our engineered hardwood flooring products have advanced means for connecting the planks. These are usually the well-established tongue and groove method or the more recent click-fit system. This ensures that our floors are stable but also have the ability to minutely expand and contract depending on humidity and temperature. This may be one of the most important benefits of engineered wood floor. In particular, the click fitting system allows for fast and efficient installation with tight joins and without the need for nails, screws or adhesive and can be uplifted and reinstalled with ease.
Click fitting engineered flooring provides a quicker and easier installation method. The flooring has been manufactured with a specially designed click and lock system so that the planks simply click together for a tight and seamless join without the need for
A wide choice of finishes and surface textures
Engineered flooring is available in a wide range of textures and finishes so that you can select the perfect option for your home or office.
Suitable for Bathrooms and Kitchens
Finally, in general, the surface area of an engineered wooden floor can be reasonably water resistant if well maintained like many hardwood floor owners in Scandinavian countries. This is particularly true of exotic wood floors. Maples & Birch are suppliers of Navylam products specifically designed for use in these areas.
It’s always best to work with one of our experts for the installation process to ensure that all the planks will be perfectly arranged and set in a symmetrical manner that will enhance the overall look of your interior.
Visit our catalogue pages to see the full range available or for more information and a free consultation please contact the Sales Team at: 0845 293 9374