Engineered wood is a hybrid consisting of a top layer, or veneer, of hardwood glued on top of anywhere from 3-12 layers of plywood or white unfinished wood. The cross-grain layering of these wood panels, combined with the intrinsic hardness of the veneer wood chosen, gives engineered wood remarkable strength and durability in a variety of conditions.
- Adds warmth, value and aesthetic appeal to the home
- Compatible with a wide variety of budgets, with a price range of $3-18 per square foot
- Easier to install than hardwood; some varieties (e.g. floating floors, glue-down floors) are diy-friendly
- Can be installed below grade and even directly to concrete
- When sustainably sourced, provides a more environmentally friendly alternative to hardwood, cutting the number of trees used by up to half. Inner plies can be constructed from faster growing, renewable wood varieties
- Durable; resists moisture damage and seasonal expansion
- Structurally stronger than a single piece of wood; will not cup, twist or buckle
- Can last from 20-100 years, depending on veneer chosen
- Easy to clean and maintain; helps reduce indoor allergens
- Different thicknesses available make for easier transitions between rooms without the need for big transition strips
- A thick enough veneer (2-6 mm) allows for refinishing if necessary
- Not all engineered wood manufacturers use sustainable forestry practices. Look for the Forest Stewardship Council or the Sustainable Forestry Initiative logo
- No wood product can tolerate standing water, so engineered wood is not always the best choice for kitchens and bathrooms
- Thin veneers cannot be refinished, so dents and scratches are not repairable. Cheap flooring will not last long
- Thick and/or exotic wood veneers can be expensive
Considering engineered wood for your next remodel? Research your options, talk to professional flooring installers, and be sure to support sustainable forestry. If you are not experienced with d.i.y. projects, professional installation is highly recommended.
Anater, Paul. "When to Use Engineered Wood Floors." Houzz Inc, 17 Aug. 2011. Web. 24 Jan. 2017.
"About Engineered Hardwood." Mannington Residential. Mannington Mills, Inc., 2016. Web. 24 Jan. 2017.
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