Question: I hear a lot about engineered flooring. Why should I consider going that route?
Answer: Ive listed most of the Pros and Cons for you. This should help you decide.
Engineered Hardwood unlike conventional hardwood, which comes straight out of a tree and into your home, engineered hardwood is a more complex product that consists of several layers. The outermost is a hardwood veneer, a thin slice of wood (less than 1/8″) of whatever species you desire. The inner layers are made of plywood, high density fiberboard, or hardwood. The core layers make the product more stable than regular hardwood, while the outer veneer surface adds beauty and authenticity.
Engineered hardwood is different than a hardwood laminate because the surface is made of real wood. While laminate has a core of high density fiberboard, its surface is basically a picture of wood (or any other material, for that matter). Laminate is less expensive than engineered and solid hardwood, but has a different look and feel due to its make up.
Engineered hardwood flooring is designed to reduce the moisture problems associated with conventional hardwood.
Its layers block moisture and provide added stability to your floor.
Engineered flooring will not swell or warp, making it very low maintenance.
Environmental advantages of Engineered Hardwood
Choosing engineered flooring is considered more environmentally-friendly than traditional hardwood for a few reasons.
Veneer is sliced rather than cut with a saw. This process produces no sawdust, which means that all of the tree’s wood can be used. The sawdust produced making hardwood boards is wasted wood (and adds up to a significant amount).
Hardwood trees grow much more slowly than the trees used to make engineered flooring cores. Because more surface area is produced making veneer, installing traditional hardwood uses many times the amount of slow growing tree. This makes the replenishing time much longer.
There are, in actuality, very few principle drawbacks to this type of hardwood flooring, but this doesn’t make it a foolproof project or even the right floor for every application.
Comparable to solid hardwood in terms of cost, engineered floors are still considerably more expensive than laminate, tile, and carpet.
That said, by far, the biggest concern as a homeowner should be avoiding shoddy or inferior engineered manufacturers and products.
Veneers that are too thin will prevent sanding and refinishing opportunities that may double the lifetime of the floor.
Some veneers are so thin and poorly made that they can prematurely warp or fade.
Core layers must still be fashioned from high-quality wood. Some manufacturers try to cut corners by using fiberboard or oriented strand board that may compromise the stability of your floor and, at the very least, will result in an inferior flooring product.
Dave Silva, GC
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Partial source Home Advisor