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Engineered Wood Flooring

Engineered Wood Flooring

For many people, real solid wood floors in the home are a long-held dream. They have a timeless style that works equally well in modern homes as it does for those looking to create a classic look. From a country cottage to a modern town house, minimalist Scandi home to an industrial city apartment, wooden floors can do it all. 
 
Creating these looks can become expensive when installing real wood floors, 
however, what if we told you there’s a way to have the look and feel of real solid wooden floors in your home without the expense? Well, please welcome to the stage engineered wood floors!
 
Remember, wooden floors are not suitable for those moisture rich areas of the home such as Bathrooms, Kitchens & Utility Rooms.  For those areas of the home, please go to our fantastic Luxury Vinyl collections which are designed to create the look you desire, with the confidence of knowing that the products are waterproof and slip resistant.

What is engineered wood flooring?

Engineered wood flooring is made from a plywood base with a real solid wood top layer bonded to the top. The reason that engineered wood flooring looks and feels like the real thing, is because it is!

You can see it as something that’s in between wood and laminate flooring in that it has real, solid wood on top that can be sanded, varnished and finished, but manufactured in a way to give the stability of a laminate and can often be installed like laminate.

Engineered wood comes in a range of different plank lengths and widths which offers a lot of versatility in choosing styles and designs. Plank widths tend to fall between 125mm and 305mm.

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What are the benefits of engineered wood flooring?

Engineered wood flooring has many benefits over solid hardwood flooring including:
 
  • Installation - It’s much easier and cheaper to install engineered wood flooring compared to real solid wood. It can either be installed as a floating floor, glued down or secret nailed.
  • Cost - It’s a cheaper alternative to real solid wood, boasting the same look for less.
  • Temperature & humidity - Although it still has some sensitivity to heat, humidity and moisture, as it is still made from real wood, engineered wood is much more stable and less susceptible to warping and bowing.
  • Variability - there’s a huge range of grades, styles, widths, wood stains and finishes to choose from.
  • Insulation - Engineered wood works well with various types of insulation and underlay. It also works well with underfloor heating.
Finally, DIYers will often find click engineered wood flooring simple to install themselves. See our Guide to Installing Engineered Wood Floors for more info.

Types of engineered wood flooring

There are a few different types of engineered wood flooring to consider:

Construction

  • Multi-Ply Engineered Wood - Probably the most common type of engineered wood floor, multi-ply is generally between 13mm-20mm thick, made up of many layers which provide great resistance to bowing. Due to its strength, it can support wide planks in widths of up to 305mmm.
  • 3-ply Engineered Wood - also very popular, this board has just three, thicker layers providing plenty of strength and support. It comes in thicknesses of between 13-18mm. This means it can only support planks up to around 200mm wide but comes at a more affordable price point. 
  • HDF Core Engineered Wood - Less common but gaining in popularity due to its versatility, the HDF core makes it very strong and light, but easy to install for DIYers.

Aesthetics

  • 2 or 3 Strip – this effect is created when there are two or three pieces of wood across the full width of the board giving the appearance that your floor is made of lots of much smaller pieces of real wood.  This can often be a cost-effective way of achieving your dream wooden floor. 
  • 1 strip – Or plank, is one full piece of real solid wood that is bonded, as a top layer, across the entire ply back board.  The thickness of top layer varies from range to range and the thickness will determine how many times the floor can be sanded down and refinished. 
  • Board Sizes – the length of the boards within a box of engineered flooring can vary from range to range.  Some ranges will have planks that are all the same length, others will have varying plank lengths within the pack.  Plank lengths should be considered for installation but also for the overall appearance of your floor.

Engineered wood flooring vs laminate

Although superficially similar, and click profiles can be installed in the same way, engineered wood and laminate differ in several key areas.

  • Laminate flooring is not real wood. Although modern laminate boasts incredibly realistic finishes and textures, the appearance of wood is a printed graphic rather than real wood.
  • Engineered wood can be sanded and re-finished. Due to the construction, you can sand and refinish engineered wood should you wish to change the look, this can usually be done 2-3 times.
  • Engineered wood lasts much longer. The expected lifespan of laminate flooring tends to be between 10 and 20 years depending on which you buy. Engineered wood flooring can last upwards of 35 years with proper care.
  • Laminate, especially the water-resistant kind, tends to deal with changes in temperature and humidity better than engineered wood.

Engineered wood flooring woods and finishes

As you’d expect, engineered wood flooring is available in a wide range of different wood types and finishes. Oak is an incredibly popular and versatile choice as it works well in a wide range of finishes from light to dark.  With a choice of a 3 strip top surface or full plank real wood top layers to suit your style.  At Tapi we also have a dark, rich and exotic walnut top layer available.
 
Key to the look of your engineered wood floor is the finish applied to the real wood top layer.  Let’s run through the most common:
 
  • Lacquer - Lacquer results in a floor that looks very natural, but with great resistance to scratches, splashes and many contain additional UV protection too.  It’s a great all-rounder.  Matt, satin and gloss lacquer finishes are available to suit your taste.  A great choice if you want to fit and forget.  
  • Oiled - Probably the most traditional finish to engineered wood flooring.  The boards are pre-oiled and finished to give a classic finish that works very well with traditional-style homes. Oiling brings the grain of the wood to the fore and looks fantastic, but offers less protection than lacquer and will need to be periodically re-applied to rejuvenate the appearance of your floor.
  • Brushed – this is a technique that occurs during production to further reveal the natural wood structure prior to finishing with a lacquer or oil.
  • Coloured stain – Another popular finish.  A coloured lacquer is used to change the overall colour while still enhancing the natural characteristics and grain.
Choose engineered wood flooring if:
 
  • You want a natural floor.
  • You want a fantastic looking and feeling of wooden floor to complement your room.
  • You want to add unique character to your home.
  • You want to make a long-term investment in a very durable floor.
  • You want a natural floor that’s more resistant to changes in temperature and humidity.
  • You care about the environment and a floor that is ethically sourced.
Explore our range of engineered wood flooring today. Book a home visit or join us in-store to discuss your needs. For more information about engineered wood flooring below.
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