Engineered hardwood flooring is great for basements and other areas below ground level. Because the moisture level in areas below grade is often higher, engineered wood is an ideal option over other things like solid hardwood.
Engineered hardwood flooring is less likely to move with increased moisture. Engineered hardwood flooring combines a veneer layer with a multilayer base. One of the big selling points of engineered flooring is the variety of colors produced. With the library of colors offered by our manufacturers, there is something for each home and decor style.
Beyond color selection, engineered hardwood also offers a variety of texture options that solid hardwood flooring cannot easily replicate. Wire brushing, circle-sawn texture, distressing and more are all types of texture you can get with engineered hardwood flooring. When considering the colors, textures, and finishes available, the options for engineered hardwood are genuinely limitless.
Many homeowners choose products like engineered or solid prefinished hardwood because they want to avoid the messy work inside their homes. Engineered hardwood does not need to be sanded, stained, or finished after installation. The process is often quicker than installing solid hardwood, and you can enjoy your freshly installed floor immediately.
Urban Floor offers a line of engineered hardwood flooring that covers all different price points with various plank widths and color options. Urban Floor is one of the high-end engineered flooring brands on the market and has a reputation for outstanding quality and variety. Urban Floors offers a wide array of colors ranging from the ever-en-vogue natural look to the more trendy grays. No matter what color variety speaks to you, Urban Floor is bound to have a product for you.
7.5″ and 1/2″ thickness with a 2mm wear layer.
9.5″ width with a 5/8″ thickness and a 4mm wear layer.
8.625″ With with a 3/4″ thickness and a 6mm wear layer.
Naturale Elegance is a brand of unparalleled performance, beauty, and simplicity. Natural Elegance has a lineup of engineered hardwood flooring that will meet any customer’s needs. Since the brand’s inception, Naturale Elegance has strived to create products that customers will love, and contractors want to install. It may seem like an easy task, but it can be challenging to create a product that is loved by consumers and contractors alike. Naturale Elegance engineered hardwood flooring offers excellent quality at a great price, making it a fan favorite with our consumers.
Environmentally friendly practices are a big focus for the Naturale Elegance lineup. The trees used to create the engineered hardwood flooring have been harvested to prevent over-harvesting and promote continuous growth. Furthermore, the finishes used on the veneer are water-based to reduce the VOCs created. Combining these elements creates a finished product focused on protecting the world for future generations.
Wickham Engineered Hardwood Flooring
Wickham offers a high-quality engineered hardwood flooring line with enough color options to satisfy even the most detail-focused customer. The Wickham line comes in 1/2,” and 3/4″ thick varieties with a 4mm wear layer. Wickham produces engineered hardwood flooring in North America using domestic woods. Domestic wood is an excellent option for engineered flooring because it is less volatile than exotic species. The colors offered in the Wickham engineered hardwood flooring catalog may not have the cerusing and other complex color varieties you see from Urban Floor or Natural Elegance. Still, they provide a high-quality product with excellent color options. Wickham’s products use natural domestic wood and still produce a high-quality product at a phenomenal price point. A critical note about Wickham’s engineered hardwood flooring lineup is that customers are limited to 5″ planks.
Hickory Engineered Hardwood Flooring
Maple Engineered Hardwood Flooring
Red Oak Engineered Hardwood Flooring
White Oak Engineered Hardwood Flooring
How Engineered Hardwood Flooring is Made
Engineered flooring consists of a multilayer core, veneer, and finish coating. The core is a multi-layered core that consists of either 3, 5, or 7 layers of plywood or different type of manufactured wood products. This base utilized layers of wood running in different directions to better resist expansion and contraction caused by the natural movement of the wood. The core is constructed of a multi-layer core of wood that is constructed in different directions to ensure a base that is less prone to expand and contract. On top of the core is the veneer layer. The veneer layer utilized a thin piece of wood, typically 1mm-4mm thick, in various species. The veneer can be red oak, white oak, hickory, maple, or even ash. The veneer can be stained and finished to the specifications of this specific product line. The thin layer of wood is less prone to movement than solid hardwood flooring, making it an excellent option for climates with wide swings in humidity levels. The veneer and core are glued together, and then the veneer is coated with a layer of finish. The finish used varies based on the type of engineered hardwood flooring and the manufacturer.
Engineered Hardwood Flooring FAQ’s
Yes and no. Engineered hardwood is wood, so, it is as durable as solid hardwood. However, you are unlikely to be able to refinish it so you need to be sure to maintain the floor and buff & coat if possible every few years to ensure your investment lasts a long time.
While there are disadvantages to engineered flooring, there are advantages as well.
- Colors – You will notice that engineered flooring has more color options than maybe you are used to. Not that site finish on solid hardwood flooring you can’t get these colors – it is usually hard and can be time-consuming. Most engineered flooring has multi-layered colors that are not easily reproducible with stains.
- No sanding – While sanding does take an extra day or 2 engineered flooring allows for anyone to install and be done after installation
- Cheaper price points – While cheaper isn’t always better, not everyone has money for solid hardwood. However, cheaper usually has more issues so be careful which cheap option you choose.
Coming from an industry professional, below are real disadvantages of engineered hardwood flooring that traditional flooring stores will not tell you or warn you about prior to buying flooring. Remember, we sell every flooring – we just make sure to fully educate our client’s customers to the fullest for the most informed decision before spending thousands to only find out the choice was wrong for them.
- Unable to refinish – most engineered flooring has small wear layers, hand scraping, or something else that does not allow for resanding. ONLY 4mm with no distressing can really be truly refinished 1-2 times.
- Delamination – these products use many layers of wood to create their product. You need to understand this is not one solid piece of wood and glue can and will fail.
- Different cuts expand and contract differently – Different manufacturers to get certain price points will use cheap wood that produces issues when it gets cold or heats up.
- More noise – You are putting many layers down that are thin. The nail that goes through these materials usually does not set correctly, why we recommend a glue assist. These nails will produce noise if not set correctly. Pops are within spec.
I mean, this one is impossible to truly answer. However, Ideally, even if you do not believe it solid hardwood is probably better overall. That does not mean that engineered flooring is not ideal for certain applications or homes. Solid hardwood is longer lasting since you are able to refinish it. Engineered is possibly better for you if you desire a very specific color, the flooring is going below grade and your timeline is very slim.
Engineered hardwood typically lasts between 20 and 30 years.
Because they do have a top layer of hardwood, like solid hardwood, they are susceptible to scratches.
If scratch resistance is important to you, look for engineered hardwood floors with a scratch-resistant top coat. Small scratches on engineered hardwood can be repaired a wax repair kit or a cotton cloth and some rubbing alcohol.
Since the popularity of engineered hardwood has grown, solid hardwood is generally on par with most higher end engineered floors. Cheaper floors like 3/8″ flooring will still be cheaper.
While engineered hardwood may look similar to laminate flooring, they are not the same.
Engineered hardwood contains a top layer of solid wood, while laminate flooring has a photographic layer coated with a wear-layer that appears to look like a wood surface.
In addition, laminate flooring is usually thinner than engineered hardwood.
This question really depends on a lot of factors. First and foremost, if you have mapjor water damage the floor is ruined. Usually engineered floors are unable to be sanded since ther eis distressing, bevels and other things making sanding impossible. If you have no major damage a floor should last 20-30 years if maintained and you buff and coat the floor. A solid hardwood floor will last much longer.
Engineered flooring is typically between 3/8” to 3/4” thick, whereas solid hardwood is 1/2” to 3/4“ thick.
When compared to other flooring options, engineered hardwood floors offer the following advantages:
- Affordability: Engineered hardwood flooring falls on the lower end of the wood flooring price scale, typically ranging from $4–$10 per square foot depending on thickness and species.
- Moisture-resistant: Although standard engineered hardwood isn’t waterproof, it does boast excellent water resistance, making it a better choice for moist environments such as kitchens and bathrooms.
- Easy to maintain: Engineered wood floors simply need regular sweeping or gentle vacuuming to maintain, and may occasionally be mopped with a wet mop and neutral cleaner to restore shine to their surface.
- Quick installation: The click-and-lock system offered by engineered wood flooring allows for a quick and easy installation.
Engineered hardwood flooring looks almost identical to solid wood, but the way it is manufactured offers premium durability at an affordable price. Instead of a single wood plank, engineered wood flooring is made of a high-quality plywood core with a thinner layer of wood on top. This allows engineered hardwood to display the beauty of its species while leveraging the cost-effectiveness and added strength brought by its design.
Whether engineered or solid hardwood flooring is the better option for your home is dependent upon several factors. Engineered hardwood flooring is better for moist environments than solid hardwood, making it the best option for kitchens, bathrooms, mudrooms, and basements. Because of engineered hardwood’s improved water resistance, it also offers simpler maintenance than solid wood flooring, as you can use a wet mop to clean its surface. However, engineered hardwood floors cannot be restained over time, meaning solid wood has a longer lifespan. That being said, engineered hardwood is best suited for homes where durability is of primary concern, such as those with small children and animals, or in high-traffic areas such as kitchens or basements.
Different Installation Methods of Engineered Hardwood Flooring
**Please consult the guide for your certain floor to ensure which methods are allowed for that brand of engineered hardwood flooring.
Floating: This method you lay the floor down and use tongue and groove glue and glue the tongue to the groove. This method works and is a popular method for homeowners installing their own floors. However, this method is not the most ideal option like nails with glue assist. Another note is to know that not all widths/thicknesses/brands allow this method
Nail Down: In this method, you only use a nail to nail the floor to the ground. The nail will sit right flush with the tongue. You should make sure when using this method you have your air pressure set correctly if the pressure is too high – you will have lots of cracks and squeaks. Remember, in a 3/4″ thick floor this method is fine up to 4″ and a glue assist is absolutely not needed. However, for anything over 5″ and if the floor is less thick than 3/4″ you need to be very careful as it is possible to have more noise on the floor since the nails potentially could not be set correctly. A nail not set correctly could not be holding the floor down to the subfloor correctly. This will produce issues with the floor over time.
Nail & Glue Assist: This is probably the most ideal installation for every engineered hardwood floor out there. Ideally, the nail holds the floor and the glue ensures less noise if a nail is not set correctly. As all machines are man-made, nails can be not perfect, and obviously no matter who the installer is – room for error is great. Using glue is basically insurance you will have a perfect floor outcome. To do this method you either use an S pattern or glue stips with sausage gun glue from Pallmann or Loba. Then you nail the floor down as per the NWFA rules.
Full Glue Down: In this method, you trowel adhesive down on the floor and put the floor down. This is ideal on slab-on-grade or concrete subfloors. You are able to do this on plywood or OSB as well. Just remember if on OSB/plywood if you rip this out your subfloor is most likely ruined and going to cost a lot of money to fix.