There are myriad options for surface flooring, from European oak to resilient luxury vinyl that mimics genuine hardwood right down to fine-grain patterns. But these options pose several questions. The most common question in this respect is: What is engineered timber flooring, and how is it better than solid hardwood floors?
Engineered flooring made of timber involves flooring material built of several layers of hardwood and plywood. A slice of real timber is packed between protective layers and plywood substrates. These flooring solutions add great aesthetic value to the rooms and look just as natural as a hardwood floor would while being a lot easier to maintain and more durable than actual hardwood.
The most crucial component of this timber flooring is that the decorative layer must be genuine wood.
The next component of flooring is the core. The core supports the base layer, which will be bonded to the decorative layer. This provides stability and strength and is of utmost importance. Usually, the core is made of components that possess more stability than wood when exposed to environmental changes.
The other components used are mainly used for protective or bonding purposes.
Different Types of Engineered Flooring
Apart from the obvious difference in patterns, engineered timber flooring is classified into the following types based on their build.
- Multi-ply engineered timber floor: This is the most common type of engineered flooring, providing the closest experience to solid wood flooring. The thickness varies from 13–20 mm. The various layers incorporated in it provide added resistance to over-expansion and cupping. Extra stability is provided by the strength of the core plywood for widths of up to 350 mm.
- 3-ply engineered timber floor: This is another popular choice. It provides a great experience and offers good resistance to cupping and overexpansion. The thickness varies from 12-18mm. A width beyond 200 mm is often not recommended for a 3-ply core, as the core is not as strong as the ones in a multi-ply core. Therefore it is usually unsuitable for wide plank timber floors.
- HDF core engineered timber floor: This type is less common than the previous two. Nevertheless, their demand has steadily been growing as they exhibit extreme versatility. The installation is fast, simple, and suited for DIY click installation systems. They possess high-density fibre cores that are generally strong. Hence, the thickness can be reduced, facilitating easier transitions between different floor types.
Advantages of Engineered Timber Floors
Engineered timber flooring has solved many problems with solid wood flooring and has opened up new opportunities. Apart from obvious reasons such as being easier to maintain and the great durability they provide, there are a lot more reasons that make them look like an attractive option, some of the reasons being:
- Versatility: These floors incorporate a core that provides great stability to changing environmental conditions such as variations in temperature and moisture. Thus they provide great resistance to expansion and contractions.
- Cost: The presence of the plywood core brings down the price by a significant margin compared to solid wood flooring. The protective layers make them affordable, durable and easier to install, reducing the costs.
- Style: The application of authentic, high-quality timber provides a great aesthetic value to them. Although a synthetic alternative has been popping up of late, it does not provide the luxurious feel that engineered timber floors do.
Engineered timber flooring has become a popular choice among interested customers for alleviating the problems associated with expensive solid flooring whilst maintaining better properties than synthetic alternatives. There is no shortage in the options they can provide, and they don’t make a hole in the pockets.