Engineered floors have become increasingly popular over the past few years as they offer the benefits and looks of natural wood flooring without some of the disadvantages of traditional wood floors.
Multiple layers of wood which are pressed together to form a finished product:
- The top surface is a veneer of the wood. This layer is usually between 2 and 4mm thick and is usually made of Oak, Beech, Walnut or Cherry. This is the only part of the floor which is visible when installed.
- Balancing layers are layers of wood which are laid at 90 degrees to each other. This is what gives the engineered floor its additional stability.
There are three main installation types:
- Tongue & Groove : The planks are glued together using an adhesive. The planks are strapped together to ensure a tight joint.
- Glue-less click system: Click systems developed for laminate floors have been transferred to wood flooring with great results. We would recommend click floors for DIY customers.
- Glue down / Nail down: Many floors can be glued down to a suitably prepared subfloor
Wood flooring is supplied in a number of different finishes. Following are some key terms which are useful to know when shopping for engineered wood.
Lacquered : This is a clear or coloured coating which is applied to the floor to give the floor its look. Lacquered floors are low maintenance, but also more difficult to repair than oiled floors.
Oiled: Oil is applied to the surface and sinks into the grain for a more natural appearance. Some oiled floors require re-oiling at regular intervals, others require no special maintenance. Oiled floors are easier to repair than the lacquered equivalent.
Brushed:The flooring planks are passed through a machine which brushes the surface of the plank to emphasise the grain. An oil is then applied to create the finish.
Solid wood flooring can be vulnerable to moisture and changes in temperature causing it to contract or expand. Engineered wood floors are designed to cope with these conditions.
Engineered wood floors can be glued together and laid as a floating floor (on top of underlay), which is often quicker and costs less than the alternative (glue down or nail down).
Some engineered wood floors have the added feature of a “click” joint which removes the need for glue entirely and makes for an even quicker installation which is also DIY-friendly.
Suitable for use with underfloor heating thanks to the extra stability gained from the multiple layers.
There are a variety of formats available. Floors are available in 2-strip, 3-strip and plank formats.
Lacquers or oils are applied to protect and enhance the surface, however should you decide to change the finish engineered floors have a wear layer thick enough to be re-sanded at least 3–6 times.