Confused about Engineered Hardwood flooring? Want to know if this hardwood flooring type is right for your home?
Engineered hardwood is a wood flooring material which consists of a single-wear layer or veneer attached to a multi-ply hardwood core. The wear layer is the premium covering on top which determines what species of wood it is. The most common types are oak, hickory, maple and birch but can be virtually any type of hardwood species. The multi-ply construction of engineered hardwood makes it structurally stronger and dimensionally more stable than most other flooring materials. This means there is less opportunity for cupping and warping over the life of the floor. The multi-ply construction also reduces expansion and contraction. Most engineered floors come pre-finished from a factory. This makes the top coat or finish more durable and longer-lasting than traditional site-finished solid floors. Most factory pre-finished floors contain a combination of polyurethane and aluminum oxide in the finish. Aluminum oxide is the additive that gives the floor the extra durability and abrasion resistance needed in busy homes with children and pets. New features available in engineered hardwood floors are different types of finishing techniques, including hot oil and wax.
Engineered hardwood has an increased structural stability greater than that of a solid hardwood floor. They also have improved resistance against humidity and moisture in comparison to a solid hardwood. Engineered flooring is the only hardwood suited for installations where moisture is prevalent (i.e., basements). Some engineered floors are capable of being installed over radiant heating systems. This is especially helpful during the cold winter months. Engineered hardwood floors are ideal for concrete sub-floors, either as a direct glue-down or a floating floor. As opposed to solid wood floors, which are only recommended on ground floors and above, engineered hardwood can be installed on, above, or below grade.
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