Fabricated or engineered wood flooring is a solid hardwood flooring alternative. Since it is a reasonably priced yet attractive substitute, engineered flooring is now the top-selling form of wood flooring.
Engineered wood planks are usually a thin layer of wood layered on top of plywood. The finishes, colors and styles of engineered wood have grown considerably in the last several years. There are several benefits to engineered floors versus solid wood.
Engineered flooring is different from laminate or vinyl. Laminate flooring uses a photograph of wood protected by a transparent layer instead of an actual layer of real wood. Vinyl flooring is plastic molded and designed to imitate wood.
Installing engineered planks is usually more straightforward than hardwood planks. Care is needed to ensure a solid foundation and proper alignment, but even homeowners can install engineered floors. They are also thinner and can mount over existing flooring without having to remove or resurface the original floor. When you want or need to change the flooring, it is easy to do so.
Generally, solid hardwood flooring can last a lifetime while engineered flooring does not. However, this can vary based on the quality and grade of the flooring.
Engineered wood is quite durable due to its’ construction. The layers of wood run perpendicular to each other. This layering reduces any expansion or contraction by creating equal pressure length- and width-wise. Even though it is durable, it can scratch or chip if abused or in higher traffic areas.
Since there is a thin layer of wood applied to plywood, these floors can only be sanded once or twice. After that, their replacement would be necessary. Solid hardwood can be sanded as needed.
Engineered flooring is more resistant to moisture than real wood planks. Water can damage both, but plywood warps less than solid wood when exposed to excess moisture.
Engineered flooring does not need to be sanded, buffed or refinished. They are usually pre-finished in the factory and remain the same for their lifetime. Engineered floors do not need to be sealed or stained. They are virtually maintenance-free, requiring light cleaning as required.
Applications and Aesthetics
Most engineered wood is used for flooring in the private and commercial sectors. However, it is also used in industrial applications as well. Architects and builders use it to replace steel beams and joists in many buildings. It is also a sustainable option since small trees or even scrap materials are used in their production.
Engineered flooring now comes in a wide range of colors, textures and finishes. Currently, it is available in more varieties than solid wood planks. Their aesthetics combined with their ease of use and durability is the reason that engineered flooring is the top-selling form of wood flooring.
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