Engineered wood flooring is the main technological evolution in the field of wood flooring. It is usually made of 2 or 3 wood layers.
The face layer, or wear layer, is real hardwood and can be of any wood specimen. You can browse below the most frequently used wood species. Once installed, it is very difficult to tell the difference between hardwood flooring and engineered hardwood flooring. The wear layer determines the quality of the floor and the number of times that floor can be sanded and refinished. While people commonly mistake that solid wood floors can be sanded and refinished more times, the truth is that it can be sanded and refinished only down to the nail (tongue) head which is the bottom of the wear layer in engineered wood flooring. The face layer thickness usually ranges between 2 mm and 5.4 mm.
The middle layer, or core layer, is made of inexpensive wood lumber or plywood. This layer shows very limited dimensional variations characteristics, meaning shrinkage or expansion. In the case of 2-ply flooring, this layer will be the base layer and is usually made of plywood. In the case of 3-ply flooring, the base layer is made of wood veneer.
The rationale behind the creation of wood flooring is on one hand trying to overcome dimensional variations of solid wood, and reducing cost by removing scrap materials that is never used under the tongue head on another hand.
When comparing similar solid floors and engineered hardwood floors, the price saving can reach as much as half the price of the first. This is due to using thinner top layer of hardwood while core-layer material is often less costly and easier to produce.
In high-end engineered wood flooring (Millennium range), while the price will be close to the one of solid wood flooring, the product characteristics will be much better.
Reduced dimensional variations In varying hygrometric and temperature conditions, engineered wood flooring will show very limited dimensional variations. This is of utmost importance in places that can be subject to high weather fluctuations (i.e. hot and humid countries, holiday houses, spaces with sub-floor heating). In areas that are moisture-prone, flooring boards will show absolutely no cupping or warping. This characteristic is mainly due to a cross-directional glued layers structure; understand change in wood grain direction from one layer to the next one.
Larger size with reduced thickness
Due to reduced dimensional variations, engineered wood flooring range includes wide plank products with limited thickness. 180 mm wide planks can be found in 14 mm thickness. For larger planks (up to 350 mm wide), thickness will increase to 25 mm.
Ease of installation
Engineered wood flooring can be installed in reduced time with floating installation. A vapour barrier of foam is laid down on the sub-floor which can be concrete, ceramic tiles, or terrazzo subfloor. In limited cases, the engineered wood flooring can be glued down to the sub-floor using single or two-component special glue.
Use with under-floor heating
Most our engineered wood floors are warranted for use over radiant heat sub-floors. Special laying instructions will be provided for certain products only.
Most our engineered wood flooring products are factory finished with durable UV cured polyurethane acrylic finish which contains no harmful solvents, or UV oil. Factory applied finishes are of much higher quality than the site applied ones. In addition and due to UV drying, these coatings will be more resistant and more durable than the site-applied ones.
UV Oil finish confers a more natural look to the wood floor. Maintenance is easy to perform and takes about 8 to 12 hours. Oil finishes amber with age.
Water-based lacquer is a water-borne urethane with a blend of synthetic resins, plasticizers and other film forming ingredients that produces a durable surface that is moisture-resistant. These finishes are clear and non-yellowing and have different shine levels. They have a milder odour than oil-modified finishes have and they dry in about two to three hours. Water-based urethanes are generally more expensive.
Engineered hardwood flooring is also more environmentally friendly due to the use of inexpensive “junk” wood in the sub-surface layers. This approach allows saving more forests. In addition, woods used in our engineered wood flooring all come from FSC certified origins.
High quality engineered hardwood floors can be sanded and refinished 5 to 8 times, and therefore last up to 100 years. Engineered floors with a face layer of 3.4mm (standard range) can usually be sanded 4 times for a useable life of up to 50 years. While economical range of engineered wood flooring will have a face layer of 2 mm and can usually be sanded twice, high-end wood flooring (Millennium products) will have a face layer of 5.4 mm and can therefore be sanded up to 8 times.
This test is your standard measurement of how hard the actual wood specie is. The test is conducted by measuring the force needed to lodge a .444-inch steel ball into the wood species to a depth of half the ball's diameter. The higher the rating, the harder the wood specie and more it will withstand wearing and dents. For high traffic application a product with a higher rating is recommended.