Engineered hardwood floors are constructed with ply layers, that are cross layered, glued and pressed together to form a plank. According to Floorfacts.com, manufacturers use anywhere from 3-12 layers of wood to construct planks, and in general, the higher the number of layers used, the better the quality of the floor. The inner (core) layers are either a hardwood or a softer plywood, and each incorporates the tongue-and-groove fastening system along the edges. The top is the thickest because it’s the one that you’ll be walking on. This layer can be any of the traditional woods used in solid hardwood floors — red or white oak, walnut, maple, ash, etc.
Engineered hardwood floors are actually offer some advantages over solid hardwood floors. The chief advantage has to do with the finish. Workers finish a solid hardwood floor on-site. Engineered hardwood flooring is factory-finished, eliminating the mess, fumes and extra-time needed for solid hardwood floor installation. In addition, factory finishes often have more coats, affording added protection, as well as being cured with ultra-violet lights which produce a much harder finish than an on-site finish does. Once you install an engineered hardwood floor, that’s it — it’s “open for business”!
Advances in manufacturing in recent years have made it possible to install engineered hardwood flooring in almost any home in the house, even in basements over concrete.
Finally, even the best engineered hardwood floor is less expensive than a traditional solid hardwood floor and looks essentially the same once installed. This makes having a hardwood floor an affordable option for everyone.
The biggest trade-off when choosing engineered hardwood flooring has to do with the lifespan. It’s possible to refinish a hardwood floor multiple times, while even the best engineered hardwood floor can only be refinished once or twice.
There’s no question that a good-quality engineered floor is budget friendly, great looking and is a great option, especially if used in areas that aren’t exposed to heavy foot traffic, such as a living room or bedroom. They’re every bit as rich-looking and handsome as their traditional “cousins”.