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Monday, August 11, 2014

FLOORS | ENGINEERED WOOD

Engineered wood flooring is made up of layers of plywood that are pressed and glued together with a high-quality wood top layer. The grains of each layer run in different directions and as a result engineered wood is less likely to expand and contract compared to solid hardwood during fluctuations in humidity and temperature.
Here, I have described the characteristics of Engineered wood along with my rating. The overall rating will help you compare Engineered wood with other floor options.


CHARACTERISTICS OF ENGINEERED WOOD: 
Composition: Only the top thin layer is made of high-quality wood, therefore sanding and finishing cannot be done as many times as solid hardwood floors.
Occurrence: Engineered wood is man-made. * 7
Physical Characteristics: Engineered wood is strong because of the underlying plywood resistance. * 7
Seamless flooring: Engineered wood has grout lines between them and so the floor does not have as seamless appearance as hardwood floors. * 7
Porosity: Engineered wood is partially impenetrable to water. * 7
Scratches: Engineered wood is more durable and scratch resistant than Laminate flooring. * 9
Stains: Engineered wood is stain-resistant. *8
Choices: More range of colours, patterns, textures is available in Engineered wood than in solid hardwood. * 8
Cost: Engineered wood is cheaper than  Marble and Granite. * 8
Maintenance: Engineered wood is easy to maintain because of the shiny surface. *9
Green rating: Engineered wood is a green option. * 8

OVERALL RATING OF ENGINEERED WOOD:  * 7.1


ADVANTAGES OF ENGINEERED WOOD FLOOR:
Real wood: Engineered Wood Flooring has real hardwood veneer on top unlike Laminate flooring which has melamine-infused paper veneer.
Strong: Engineered wood has plywood underneath, which is laid cross-ways thus providing additional strength to the flooring.
Pre-Finished: Engineered Wood is sanded and sealed before installation, unlike solid hardwood.
Can be sanded: Engineered Wood Flooring can be sanded upto 3 times.
Moisture-proof: Unlike solid hardwood, engineered wood flooring works well in kitchens, basements, and bathrooms where light moisture might be present but doesn't hold up in really wet areas.

DISADVANTAGES OF ENGINEERED WOOD FLOORING:
Cost: Engineered wood is almost as expensive as solid hardwood and much more expensive than laminate wood flooring.
Maintenance: While solid wood floors can be sanded many times to eliminate scratches and blemishes on the surface, the thin top layer of engineered wood only allows this to be done two or three times.
Cleaning: Engineered wood flooring comes with beveled edges to make installation easy. But the joints attract dirt and are difficult to clean.
Appearance: Although the top layer is made of real wood, in some cases the engineering process can result in a different grain pattern that does not look like wood.
Durability: Because of the thin top layer, engineered hardwood is susceptible to dents, and harder to repair if damaged.
SUITABILITY OF ENGINEERED WOOD:
Engineered wood floors look like real wood floors, are easy to install, are more moisture-proof and cheaper than solid hardwood floors. Therefore they are the most commonly used wood flooring option in homes. But engineered wood is not that affordable and a cheaper alternative, laminate wood is available.

For information on other flooring options, go to:

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