Engineered Hardwood Flooring
Engineered hardwood is an ideal choice for installation over, below grade concrete or radiant heating.
What Is Engineered Hardwood?
The term engineered simply refers to the process in which this type of hardwood is made. It is not solid wood, engineered hardwood has a makeup similar to plywood with the top layer being real hardwood. It is made of various thin wood layers that are laminated and glued together in a cross ply construction to form a single wood board. A thin layer of hardwood called a veneer is then glued down on the top surface of the board. This top layer can vary from 1/16th to 3/16ths in thickness. The thicker the layer, the more times it can be sanded.
Like solid hardwood, engineered hardwood comes in a variety of wood species, grains, widths, lengths and colours. You can purchase it prefinished meaning that the sanding, staining and finish coats are applied at the factory or you could opt for unfinished engineered wood that is sanded, stained (if requested) and finish coated on site in your home.
Looks and Feels Like Solid Hardwood
Regardless of what you choose once installed engineered hardwood will have the look and feel of solid hardwood with one unique advantage. If moisture levels in the air or subfloor increase or decrease, solid hardwood will expand or shrink, causing gaps between the boards. Engineered hardwoods configuration of layered wood, glued to each other in opposing directions gives added strength and stability which counteracts movement, making engineered an ideal choice for installation over, below grade concrete or radiant heating.
It should be noted that Engineered hardwood though similar in construction is not the same as Laminate flooring. The difference is evident in the surface layer. Engineered hardwoods top layer is 100% real hardwood that can be refinished whereas Laminate flooring is not wood. As such in the case of water damage Laminate cannot be refinished or repaired, it must be completely replaced.