Engineered wood is probably the most understood type of flooring, however, it still is one of the most flexible and beneficial flooring options on today’s market. Many clients still believe that engineered wood floors are similar to laminate, however this is not true at all. Although engineered wood and laminate have a similar construction concept, unlike laminate engineered flooring is constructed entirely from real products and visually looks like solid wood, when installed.
Engineered flooring is a man-made product made from natural ingredients with a method that has been designed and developed to create a highly stable and durable product. Its construction consists of layers of real wood or plywood that are cut thin and glued together crisscrossed, finally topped on with a layer of real wood that can vary in species, colours, texture and more. In general, most of the species used for manufacturing hardwood floors are used also for the top layer of engineered wood, also known as lamella. Why is the crisscrossed layering making engineered wood one of the most resistant to different issue causers type of flooring? Well, unlike solid wood timber that is made completely from one piece of wood, engineered floors are way more appropriate and recommended to be installed in areas, where moisture, humidity and the aggressive environment, in general, are an issue.
Normally, moisture is the wood’s biggest enemy, making it expand and contract due to high amplitudes in the moisture level and temperature. This “movement” is a natural process that cannot be prevented and this is the natural reaction of wood to changes in the environment, because of its porous structure. Usually, wood’s movement is not a constant process and solid wood floors are naturally coming back to their initial form and shape easily. However, in some more serious situations, solid wood timber can get broken and cracked because of this movement. The specific and characteristic layered structure of engineered wood reduces the impact of the environment, moisture and temperature as much as possible and that way it makes a highly durable and sturdy floor. When people are introduced to engineered wood, their first concern comes from comparing the thickness of solid and engineered wood. After all, how could it be that the thinner engineered planks make a sturdier floor than the thicker hardwood timber? Well, sturdiness not always means thickness, but also flexibility, right?
In the case with engineered wood, flexibility comes not only from the structure and the opportunity to install this kind of flooring practically everywhere but also with the lamella. Why is it called the wear layer? It is called that way because it is the layer that will gradually get worn away with time due to everyday use and foot traffic, as well as being the layer that will be deliberately get removed (in part) when you decide to re-finish and re-send your floor. Much of the harsh wear that an engineered wood floor will experience can be significantly reduced with a good preventive maintenance and cleaning routine. Also, how often you sand your engineered wood floor determines its lifespan, usually, your floor can experience between 2 to 5 professional sanding services.
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