Engineered Wooden Flooring
By Anthony J Davis
Are you considering engineered wooden flooring? By all means, you probably should. Of the three types of hard flooring that are popular for use throughout the home, engineered wooden flooring is the most likely to be all things to all people. Before you go diving headfirst into the first engineered wooden floors that you see, though, be sure to compare to the main competitors. Those would be solid wood floors, and laminate wooden flooring.
Comparing how engineered wooden flooring and solid wood floors look is actually sort of goofy. In fact, the top layer, which is what you actually see, will be identical, dependent on the types of woods, not the types of floors. After all, the top layer of engineered wood flooring consists of a thin piece of solid wood. Laminate, though, can look very different from engineered. You can find a laminate wood floor that looks extremely fake, and then turn around and find on that a flooring expert has to get down on hands and knees to tell that it’s not a solid or engineered wood floor. Since they’re the same thing, it’s an easy decision to say engineered wooden flooring looks just as good as solid, at least at first.
Engineered Wooden Flooring Sounds More Solid Than Laminate
Believe it or not, you should consider the sound before you choose wooden flooring. Obviously, the most common thing anyone does with their floor is step on it, and a sound of some sort is created every time a foot hits the floor. Interestingly, you just might see the biggest variation between the three types, and sometimes various brands, in the sounds they make. Laminate wooden floors, for instance, can often be identified by a hollow sound. There are manufacturers that advertise their newer laminates as not having this issue. Your average solid wooden floor, on the other hand, doesn’t make much noise to speak of. Of course, that changes when it’s no longer brand new. After a few years, maybe even decades, solid wood floors will begin to make creaking sounds, something that laminate will likely never do. Engineered wooden floors might go one way or the other; some have a hollow sound, but most don’t. They’re not terribly likely to begin creaking, but it does happen. I’d have to say, unless the creaking really bothers you, enough that you don’t even want to think of the possibility, engineered wooden flooring comes in behind solid wooden floors in terms of sound quality.
With the exception of concrete, a solid wooden floor is about as durable as it gets. Even when damaged, it can generally be refinished. Yes, it is that simple, although it’s not hard for it to get pretty scratched up before you get around to it. You can also buff and refinish engineered wooden flooring, but not very many times. Depending on the brand and type, you may be able to sand it a few times, but that top layer is generally thin enough that it’s very limited. As such, like laminate, deep damage can quickly force you to replace boards to keep a quality look. Laminate, being nothing more than a resin covered picture, can’t be refinished.
Pricing of engineered wooden flooring is hard to gauge with any kind of certainty since, as with solid wooden floors, there often seems to be no rhyme or reason to price fluctuations. Being a very natural product, the price will move around a lot depending on availability of certain types of lumber. Because it takes more of this natural product, you’ll notice that solid wooden floors often fluctuate more than engineered, although laminate typically is affected only by demand. All things