Flooring Education: Engineered Hardwood Flooring 101
Understanding what type of flooring you are getting is a very important part of shopping for your next home update. Engineered hardwood flooring has been misconceived by many, so today I’m going to give you a quick education, highlighting key points and explaining terminology. Get your thinking cap on, because Today’s lesson is all about engineered hardwood flooring.
Like a college class, I think the best course of action is to give you the notes and let you study up for yourself.
Engineered Hardwood Flooring 101
- Engineered hardwood floors are an excellent choice for homes that have been constructed on concrete slabs and/or homes that are located in a tropical region.
- Can be Installed on, above or below grade level by using nails, staples, adhesives or a floating method.
- They can also be installed over just about any type of surface, including but not limited to: concrete, terrazzo, marble, plywood, vinyl, vinyl tile, or ceramic flooring.
- The plywood backing found on the majority of engineered hardwoods are designed to prevent cupping due to the harmful effects of moisture heavy conditions. They all so reduce seasonal gaping.
Engineered hardwood flooring is constructed by using a face veneer bonded to a plywood backing. This is usually 3 to 5 layers of soft and hard wood layers that are laminated together by adhesive. They adhere it together in different direction giving the flooring an increased structure strength. The veneer is typically 2 mm to 4 mm thick and is available in most exotic and domestic hardwood species.
- Engineered hardwood floors are a ready to install floor; this means no sanding, staining or sealants required.
- Usually protected by a durable substance known as Aluminum Oxide Urethane Finish, which is ahead of the game in performance.
- Factory finished flooring comes with micro, kissed or beveled edges that do no detract from the floors beauty.
Measuring how much to Buy:
Measuring for a new floor is simple. Calculate the square footage by multiplying the length times the width for each area that you will be installing the engineered flooring in. Always add at least 5% more to the total square feet, for mistakes or possible flawed boards. Once you have the total square footage that you will need, divide your total by the amount of square feet that come in a carton, and WA-LLAH you have the amount of cartons that you will need to order or buy.
Each wood flooring manufacturer has installation instructions in accordance with the sub-floor construction. Some manufacturers recommend nailing or gluing the floor over plywood, while others may only recommend nailing or floating. It is important to review installation instructions and make sure you have the proper tools and required materials before starting the job.
Glue down or floating is the usual choice for concrete slabs; sparing you the expense and labor involved when installing sheets of plywood on concrete or raising the entire floor with 2X4’s and plywood.
Some engineered floors can be installed using the “floating method”. Floating floors are not fastened or glued to the sub-floor, they installed with a specially designed tongue and groove that locks the planks together with a click, or a bead of glue on the tongue and/or groove. Floating wood floors are generally installed over a moisture barrier and a thin foam underlayment which provides insulation, moisture protection, and helps to deaden sound.
Maintenance Tips and Strategies:
- Always follow the Manufacturer’s recommendations first and foremost.
- Use Doormats at entrances
- Do not use mats with rubber backings
- Use the Manufacturer’s recommended cleaning solutions and products
- Regularly sweep or vacuum your engineered flooring with soft bristle brooms or vacuum attachments designed specifically for hard surface flooring.
- Do not Wet Mop Your Floor!
Life Expectancy of Your Engineered Hardwood Flooring
With proper care and maintenance expect your Engineered Hardwood Flooring to last just as long as Solid Hardwood Flooring, now that’s a long time.