Engineered Flooring

More resistant to moisture and heat than solid hardwood, engineered flooring can be used below, on, or above grade in a home or building. Constructed fully out of hardwood, engineered flooring consists of three to nine layers, or veneers, made out of the same or different species of wood. All veneers are glued together, and the grain on each runs in a different direction. The varied grain directions make engineered flooring more stable, as it contracts and expands less from humidity and temperature than solid hardwood.

The top layer of all engineered flooring is high-quality hardwood. Generally, the number of veneers
used is inconsequential, unless you are adding flooring over radiant in floor heat. In this instance, more
layers make engineered hardwood more stable to heat.

The top veneer, also called the “wear layer,” can be sanded several times. If you expect to be sanding and refinishing wood multiple times, look for a larger wear layer. Engineered hardwood runs in thickness from 1/4th to 3/4ths of an inch, and the wear layer may be 0.6mm to 3/16ths of an inch out of this amount. When deciding on a size for engineered flooring, consider the wear layer and how the new hardwood will align with the older materials in your home.

Engineered hardwood is ideal for concrete floors, although the material can be installed on top of nearly any surface. For installing engineered hardwood, the flooring can be glued down, stapled, or floated. Installation methods vary with each manufacturer.

Floating floors are not attached to a subfloor and, instead, are suspended above the surface and rest on cushioned underlayment. 99-percent of floating floors are made out of engineered hardwood, which can be glued, clicked together, or attached by lock and fold. “Click” floating engineered floors, however, do not always make a sound, and when the hardwood is being installed, pieces may need to be tapped together.

Unlike other types of flooring, floating engineered floors expand and contract as a unit. When you add this type of engineered flooring to your home, make sure the hardwood has some space at the walls.

In the past, engineered flooring was viewed as substandard, but the quality in the present is close to that of solid hardwood. At one point, engineered hardwood was only rotary peeled, but now solid sawn flooring can be purchased. Additionally, all types of hardwoods are available as engineered flooring. Choose from unfinished and prefinished engineered domestic and exotic species to install into your home.