Great question – a lot of people mistake engineered hardwood flooring for laminate flooring. They are actually not similar at all.
What is engineered hardwood, or engineered wood flooring?
Engineered hardwood consists of layers of hardwood veneer (veneer is just wood that is sliced very thin), glued and heat pressed together onto a plywood base. It can range in thickness from 5/16″ up to 9/16″, having from 3 to 8 layers. In order to create an engineered hardwood, these layers must be stacked on top of each other with each layer or grain of the wood running in the opposite direction.
The top veneer can range in thickness all the way up to 1/4″, depending on the manufacturer. But remember, the top layer is real hardwood – so when it is on the floor, it is indistinguishable from a solid hardwood. And if the veneer is thick enough, the floor can even be refinished like solid wood.
Because the layers are perpendicular, they expand in different directions. This makes an engineered hardwood flooring is less susceptible to the effects of moisture and temperature fluctuations, therefore “dimensionally stable.” (As opposed to solid hardwood in which the grains in the board runs in only one direction.) This stability allows it to be glued directly to concrete, above or below grade.
Bathrooms are often a place to use Engineered wood flooring because it is less susceptible to moisture fluctuations.
Always, however, take precautions against steam and humidity near showers. Added ventilation can help rid the room of humidity build-up while mats placed around tubs can catch water spills.
Most engineered flooring can be stapled or nailed down, or glued directly to cement. They can also be floated. Moisture barriers over concrete is recommended, but not usually required.
The FloorMan can provide you direct access to wholesale flooring products. Not only that, we give you the best price on bonded, insured and qualified craftsmen to install your floor.
If you have already chosen a floor and are looking to have it installed, The FloorMan is the man to call.
If you are trying to decide what you want to install in your home, The FloorMan is still the one to call. Our Project Managers will be glad to consult with you and provide a guide through the maze of countless products and choices.
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