Gone are the days when achieving a stylish and characterful wooden floor relied upon the condition of your floorboards and hours of sanding and polishing. The modern world has provided us with the miracle of engineered wood flooring to give us the same look without the hassle. Simple and versatile, engineered wood flooring provides the timeless ambience you want in your room whilst fitting into even the tightest of budgets.
The Engineered Plank
Engineered wooden flooring is made by building up and bonding together many layers of ply, finished off with a solid wood lamella. This construction makes the boards hardwearing and able to put up with heavy use in high traffic areas.
The variables of board design available is vast with a myriad of colours, grain styles and widths. Even a mock parquet look can be now be achieved with an engineered floor which can be laid in a fraction of time against its real block wood counterpart. Advances in technology mean that even the more discerning, solid wood purists cannot deny its likeness to the real thing and its advantages over a wholly natural product.
Why not real wood?
Being a natural product, solid wood can contract and expand with moisture and variances in temperature, making it unsuitable for some interior spaces. It can also be less durable than an engineered finish, and likely to be more susceptible to damage. Real wood planks are limited by the width of the tree from which they have been harvested, whereas an engineered plank can be manufactured for specific measurements allowing for a speedier fit. Solid wood floors are not suitable for under floor heating, but this would not affect an engineered floor.
Owing to the labour involved in both its production and skilled fitting, solid wood floors can carry a hefty price tag meaning it is cost prohibitive for many. Engineered wood flooring starts at a very affordable price and even the higher end of the range is within reach for many. Adding in that engineered wood can be laid without the need of a professional fitter, this lowers costs further.
Variety of Choices
Engineered flooring is available in numerous colours and styles like herringbone, allowing the creation of a look to suit all tastes. And when the time comes for a change or refresh, its durable quality permits sanding and refinishing of the top layer (known as the wear layer). Sanding can also remove any scratches or stains and the process will not affect the strength or construction of the flooring. These planks are not the same product as laminate flooring, which is an image of wood affixed to a ply board and is arguably an inferior product to engineered wood flooring.
Thanks to their clever design, engineered planks can be easily clicked together which provides a tight and neat seal between them. This simplicity appeals to all levels of DIY ability as the process can be swift and pain free. The construction of the planks mean they can be glued, screwed or nailed into place as desired. They can also be laid to ‘float’ over an underlay.
With the choice of species, colours and sizes available in engineered wood boards, it is certainly the most durable flooring option that modern manufacturing has given us. It allows for a quality interior look which is clean and full of character and style. Due to its likeness to solid wood, it adds a certain touch of luxury, warmth and charm to any room. For these reasons and together with an economical price tag, engineered wood flooring is a winner for 21st Century living.
Author Bio: This article was written by Martin O’Callaghan of Wood Flooring Ireland. Martin has been providing engineered wood flooring to the Irish market for over two decades.