We guess that there is no one under the sun, who have not heard about engineered wood and engineered wood flooring. However, we are sure that for many people the topic is still pretty mysterious and hard to understand. The main misunderstanding comes from the fact that many people still think that engineered wood is actually another name for laminate, when this is not quite the case and today we are having a deeper and more thorough look at the subject in order to clear out the topic and help you make a better choice, when considering a new floor installation project.
Let’s start with what engineered wood actually is. Engineered wood is a man-made product, however, it is also a natural product, just like solid wood timber. In fact, when installed, it is very hard to tell any difference between solid wood and engineered wood. On another hand, just like laminate, engineered wood is a result of special design and development that ensures a construction that is less prone to some of the most common issues solid wood struggles with and experiences. We can guess that the right way to describe engineered wood is to tell that it is a product that takes the best from both worlds – the solid wood, natural, almost “rough” and very appealing one and the laminate, durable and hard-wearing one.
Engineered wood planks are made out of natural products and materials entirely. Lumber materials, plywood and real wood in a number of different and variety of wood species, unlike solid wood timbers, engineered wood is not an entire piece of wood, but many layers of wooden products that are pressed and glued together crisscrossed and then topped with a layer of hardwood that is called lamella (the wood species used for the top layer can be all wood species used for manufacturing solid wood timbers).
The heart of the plank is soft and the surface is very hard-wearing and durable, which makes engineered wood floors extra long-lasting, yet very flexible. Thanks to the crisscrossed design and layering, engineered wood planks get more flexible and less prone to common issues like expansion, shrinking, loose boards and “movement” of the planks of all sorts that are a result of everyday use, high traffic and mainly high level of indoor humidity, dampness of the subfloor and high temperature changes.
As you can notice, engineered wood is definitely a product that is constructed, developed and designed to be installed in many situations and setting, when solid wood and laminate just won’t survive. Engineered wood floors find their perfect fit in many rooms and spots, where solid wood is just not suitable, like kitchen areas, even basements and bathrooms, thanks to the fact that engineered wood is highly resistant to moisture and humidity. Engineered wood planks also allow the freedom to be installed many ways and over all kinds of a subfloor, so they are a good choice even when the subfloor cannot be completely dry and levelled for some reason, or overall types of underlays, soundproofing barriers and moisture membranes, over underfloor heating systems too.