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Is Engineered Flooring Basically More Convenient Hardwood?

Everyone loves the sturdy and polished look of a hardwood floor. This type of flooring has long been associated with opulence, and its timeless aesthetics are the envy of most homeowners. The only downsides are that hardwood can be troublesome to install and its price can be a little steep. Because of these notable issues, engineered hardwood flooring can often be a fantastic alternative.

What Is Engineered Hardwood?

Whereas solid hardwood is made up of one species of wood through and through, engineered hardwood’s composition is a synthesis of many different layers. The surface layer is genuine hardwood while the other layers may consist of high-density fiberboard, plywood, or more hardwood. These underlying layers give the product even greater stability than solid hardwood, yet the outer layer gives it that authentic hardwood appearance. Engineered hardwood is vastly different from laminate flooring since it contains genuine hardwood while laminate is just a depiction or image of wood. Since laminate is relatively inauthentic, it is typically the cheapest alternative when going for a wooden appearance.

General Benefits of Engineered Hardwood

The layered design of engineered hardwood allows for it to impede moisture unlike solid hardwood that can experience moisture damage over time. Furthermore, engineered flooring will not warp like traditional hardwood. While all of these pros improve maintenance costs, this flooring type also has a lower entry cost compared to solid hardwood. Since only a thin layer of genuine hardwood is used for this flooring, consumers are able to purchase more exotic and rare wood species without breaking the bank.

Installation Benefits of Engineered Hardwood

This new flooring technology is certainly more easily installed than solid hardwood thanks to it being prefinished and using a clever interlocking mechanism between planks. Some experienced DIY advocates might find the installation a very manageable task, but even if you outsource your installation needs, you will find the cost much cheaper than if you were installing solid hardwood floors. If you feel out of your element, hiring an experienced flooring company for the installation process can be very beneficial.

Environmental Benefits of Engineered Hardwood

Engineered hardwood is also better for the environment since the slicing of thin layers of hardwood produces no sawdust and wastes less of the tree. By using much less hardwood than solid hardwood floors the engineered approach also means that slow-growing hardwood trees have more time to replenish and become populous.

Downsides to Engineered Hardwood

While engineered hardwood has far more advantages than drawbacks, there are still some negative points worth noting. In terms of pricing, engineered hardwood outpaces the likes of tile, carpet, and laminate, and it will definitely require you to pay more per square-foot. You also need to watch out for low-quality products that feature overly thin veneers or outer layers; these won’t allow you to refinish your floor and can fade over time. Speaking of refinishing, another issue can arise if you over-sand when trying to refinish engineered hardwood. It can be easy to sand right through the layer of hardwood since the veneer is quite thin. Assistance from a flooring specialist is highly recommended for this kind of touch-up. Also keep in mind that the underlying layers of the product can vary wildly. Ensure that you are getting sturdy, high-quality materials beneath the hardwood’s surface.

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