Floorings are an essential part of every structure. Whether it’s your dream home or office space, they are not trivial matters to ignore. They may be there for you to step on, but they are an essential part of the room.
As architecture progresses, so do the ideas for better and suitable materials. Putting the design aside, construction materials today are consistent in elevating what’s possible. These materials keep improving from heat resistance, durability, and price to meet demands.
One of such modern construction materials is engineered wood flooring. This flooring born for composite characteristics might be what you’re looking for.
What Is Engineered Wood Flooring?
As the name implies, engineered wood flooring is real wood. They underwent engineering (or modification) to better fit the user’s needs. They come from studies to improve their predecessors and have unique qualities.
There’s often a connection between engineered wood flooring and solid wood. You’ll see such comparisons done later on.
While its name can create a misunderstanding, engineered wood flooring is also wood. However, it is not cut from a single type of wooden slab alone. These wood floorings have hardwood as their top layer and plywood underneath.
These layers get bonded together and sold in pre-cut slabs for easy installation. This method offers many points for this material.
One of such is that the disadvantage presented by one of the layers can be offset by the other. An example is that plywood can cancel the tendency for warping present in solid slabs. Such a combination allows for wood flooring in tropical countries such as Singapore.
When end users want wood flooring, they aim for both aesthetics and durability. The reasonable cost for this flooring makes it a go-to item for first-time buyers. Not only is it cheap, but it can save a lot in installation cost as a consequence of its build.
The strength, durability, and finish of engineered wood flooring come down to its layers. Needless to say, the better the materials used in every ply, the better is the outcome. There’s also the adhesive and technique used for bonding.
Overall, engineered wood floorings are products made to meet the needs of both home and commercial applications.
Solid Wood Vs Engineered Wood Flooring Comparison
Well-aged houses are still around for people to witness the beauty of applying sound engineering. This doesn’t only apply to castles or chateaus, but also to a couple of ancestral homes spread throughout the globe that are still in livable conditions.
While the arcs, masonry, and other antique details of these structures are intriguing, so are its wooden floors. Most of the flooring materials in these households are solid wood laid when carpenters made the house.
If you happen to visit and inspect one of these structures, you’ll know that while owners refinish them, they’re as old as the house. Useful life is one of the advantages of solid wood flooring on engineered wood flooring.
Here’s a list of the items of the comparison of the two:
As one of the significant distinctions a buyer considers, the price is first on this comparison. Even though they’re both wood, there’s a distinction between their makeup that can stagger the costs.
While solid wood may need less work in manufacturing than engineered ones, they’re rarely cheaper.
For the same dimension of slabs, it’s a bit harder to procure volumes of solid wood slabs than plywoods. You can make more engineered slabs than solids from a single tree if you look at them.
A solid wood slab needs thicker hardwood on a single piece. While engineered wood incurs a cost from the bonding process and materials, it’s cheaper. To be precise, it starts at a lower price of $3 per sq foot compared to $8 for solid wood.
This variance is from the lower cost and higher availability of layers used. Each ply of this layer in engineered slabs comes from easier-to-procure materials.
However, as the quality and brand of these two increase, their respective prices tallies to the same range. It reaches about $15 per sq ft for solid wood and engineered wood flooring price, $14 per sq ft.
Another consideration for the price is the installation cost. Solid slabs require intricate skills, which can cost much with a professional.
The next main comparison for the two flooring materials is how long they’re useful. Solid wood flooring lasts way longer than engineered wood flooring, given a typical environment.
If solid wood flooring is in rooms with favorable conditions, it can last for almost a century. Of course, it can only last that long if it’s well maintained as well. For engineered wood flooring, a well-kept room will allow it to last for about 30 years.
The sight you’ll see while these two ages would be the same since they’re both hardwoods. However, solid hardwood slabs age better than the plywood layer of the engineered wood.
It would be best to remember that the conditions to maintain solid wood only stems from a single material. In comparison to this, an engineered wood’s composite body ages in different ways for different layers.
Since these materials can be tread on for years, they’re both susceptible to damages. The thing about wood flooring is it’s more sensitive to outside forces than concrete. They can get scratched, scraped, and dented when subjected to more than they can carry.
Since they have significant longevity, they undergo refinishing after a while. This means that the top hardwood surface gets smoothened, leveled, and tinted.
For solid wood flooring, you can refinish as many as three times in the wood’s lifetime. Meanwhile, engineered wood allows this twice in its lifespan.
Both these flooring materials create a stable and solid feel when stepped on. While one of them is a composite material, they’re both reliable and bulk. These two won’t make you feel less support on your heels than other materials.
In varying room conditions, though, solid slabs can pose a problem. This problem is that when humidity (water content in the air) gets high, they bend out of form. Even though they’re attached in slabs to make such change less obvious, it does get worse with time.
Engineered wood does better in a humid environment. They’re both competitive in heat resistance, though neither do well in wet locations.
Since markets sell them as slabs, you can buy enough of such to fill the area of your floor. Wood allows for convenient sawing to fit irregular sections, so that shouldn’t be a problem.
With thickness, most solid slabs are thicker at about 0.75 inch (2 cm) per piece. On the other hand, Engineered slabs can range from about 0.4 inch to 0.6 inch (1 to 1.5 cm). While you can get them made to your requirements, these are the average figures.
Sold as planks, both of these materials are longer than wide. In comparison, engineered wood planks tend to be wider, but solid planks tend to be longer.
6. Ease of installation
When it comes down to installation, solid planks are more challenging. To be specific, self-installation is ill-advised for solid hardwood flooring for a person with no experience. These materials are pretty sturdy and can behave far from your expectations.
For this reason, solid woods come with a cost of installation. They’re typically tucked in place by an experienced carpenter. They do last longer, so it’s reasonable to start big if you think about it.
Doing it yourself is one of the things that makes engineered wood flooring popular. They use click-lock interlocking mechanisms, and glue-down methods are standard for this material.
Many things are common to solid and engineered wood flooring, like cleaning them and how they look overall. Though solid wood comes in regard as premium in the market, it’s hard to tell once they’re on the floor.
What Are The Types Of Engineered Wood Flooring?
After picking between solid wood and engineered wood, it’s time to choose which engineered wood flooring is best for your application. There can be as many as 40 unique types in the market. If you can’t pick any from that, you can also ask for personalized planks.
There are also multiple ways to categorize these dozens of engineered wood planks. Here are some of the categories according to Forbes.
The first category basket is the tree species used for the top layer. As mentioned earlier, engineered wood flooring uses a hardwood layer. This is the surface that you see and touch after installation.
It may be no wonder why this is the first categorization of engineered flooring. After all, it matters how the floor will look later.
Different wood species also present different characteristics, such as color with age. Some species also work better with specific layers of composite underneath.
Some wood species for this hardwood layer are white oak, maple, and birch tree.
Other than the species of wood layer used, there’s also the texture. The plank’s top layer species can specify the grains and suitable color. Texture, however, is imparted during manufacturing.
All slabs made with wood are finished and mostly stained (colored). This imparts better aesthetics, safety, and protective layers to the wood. You may have noticed most of them are smooth, and some are even shining.
There are people, though, who find beauty in imperfections. This is why there are such things as textured flooring materials.
Forbes has identified some of these textures as hand-scraped, wire-brushed, and distressed.
Finishing trends can also count as texture categorization. They both separate particular slabs via the final feel of the planks. They also happen at the latter part of the manufacturing.
The previous texture category does mild physical damage on the planks. These physical marks get sealed later on.
Meanwhile, the finished trend does the textures with the covering layer(lacquer and the like). Though the manipulations also occur to the upper layer, it doesn’t do anything to the wood. It is more like a final touch-up to heighten the wood’s innate beauty.
Some of the finishing types are matte, oiled, and smoked.
This last category is more on application style than individual type. The pattern is the design of how the slabs you’ve chosen to arrange on the floor. Since it’s only a pattern, this trend is in other flooring types.
Two of these patterns are Herringbone and wide plank. These two are the most common styles you may have already seen. Both use rectangular slabs, but Herringbone uses more varied and interesting arrangements.
Again, there are other categories used for types of engineered wood flooring. For more technical people, they can categorize the grains on the wood. According to how the layers stack and lamination, there are also types and what layers are present.
If you mention engineered wood flooring, any woodworking staff can tell you distinguished types around.
How Long Will Engineered Wood Flooring Last?
On average, engineered wood flooring lasts for about 30 years — the range spans from 20 to 40 years in the most favorable place.
While this material is durable by varying its composition, it’s not invulnerable. Since it’s still wood, things and practices that damage wood will work on it. It can get scratched, dented, and rotten.
If you want to keep your floor well for long, keep an eye out for the following things.
- Avoid wetting it too much when cleaning. It also goes to avoid letting spilled liquid slip through it.
- Keep an eye on sharp objects.
You don’t need to be frantic about scratches constantly, but be careful of things like worn heels or metal spikes. Avoid dragging these sharp objects across the floor.
- Attach felt pads on all furniture and furnishings. You won’t worry about them scraping the wooden floor by doing this.
- Regularly check and maintain their protective coating.
It can take about two days to install engineered wood flooring in a reasonably large room. This time frame varies depending on the floor area and the installer’s skill. Note that while skilled workers work better and faster, they command higher fees.
There’s also the availability of materials and the complexity of the area.
Why Should You Choose Engineered Wood Flooring?
So, why choose engineered wood flooring? There are already multiple reasons you can skim from the previous section. Flooring is a big part of a particular structure, so it is understandable if it’s hard to decide.
Since floors rarely, if not ever, get changed, it does make your decision final. It also costs a lot all in one time, since you can’t postpone some parts for later construction. When deciding and budgeting, you must therefore think long term.
Here are some more advantages of engineered wood flooring.
- Aesthetic – Wooden flooring is attractive and sensational. This is true for both a home and an office, which is the beauty of wood; it fits any style. This is even better for engineered wood slabs, where almost anything works.
- Timeless and luxurious – As with any wooden piece, what looked good years ago, still looks pretty now. With enough polishing, this wooden floor can bring elegance to any room.
- Easy to maintain – Given that you did well in the installation, there won’t be any trouble cleaning this flooring. Regular sweeping and mopping will do just that.
- Easy to change – When you change your mind about your floor material or design, engineered wood allows for convenient changing. The mechanism used to attach them is secure but possible to undo.
- Diversity – As mentioned, there are many types of engineered wood flooring in the market. They are continuously improved to cater to clients’ new needs and desires.
- Resale – Another good thing about engineered wood flooring is you can resell them. Say you want to change the current one, there will be people willing to take them. The durability of this material and allowance for refinishing gives way to that.
Engineered wood flooring can hardly be a bad choice. If they happen to fall out of your taste, you can always change and resell them.
Where Can You Find An Engineered Wood Flooring Installer?
Manufacturing engineered wood flooring sticks to the idea that you can attach them yourself. However, doing it yourself is a big commitment which most people won’t have the time. It also requires much patience and problem-solving skills.
It is easy to find professional woodworking services when you decide not to do this yourself. If you’re in Singapore, check out Good Wood Carpentry Pte Ltd. for this service.
Good Wood Carpentry Pte Ltd. will provide the materials needed for the installation. There are also other wooden fixtures you can inquire about later. Check our site for contacts so you can also consult for future projects and prices.
We’ve scratched the topic of engineered wood flooring in singapore; but the things discussed should be enough. Deciding on what flooring to use can be scary, but you’re guaranteed never to go wrong with engineered wood.
Check our website now for some engineered wood selections!
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