There's nothing quite like the look of hardwood flooring, though hardwood requires expensive professional installation. Engineered floors are also placed within the category of hardwood flooring, though these floors can be installed without the help of professionals. Engineered floors are a combination of solid wood and plywood that have been fused together to create solid wood flooring.
Engineered floors consist mostly of hardwood that has been added to plywood in order to create cost-effective wooden floor boards. In addition to being cost-effective, engineered floors are also easy to install and maintain. Another positive aspect of engineered wood is that the top portion of these boards are sanded and sealed prior to sale, which means that homeowners won't have to bother with sanding and varnishing.
While engineered wood has many different positive aspects, this type of flooring also has a few drawbacks. Engineered wood tends to be softer than natural hardwood. This can be a problem when it comes to maintaining engineered floors. While this type of wood can be sanded in order to remove dings and scratches, it can only be sanded up to three times. Otherwise, the plywood underneath the top layer of wood may show causing an undesirable appearance.
It is not recommended that engineered wood be placed within high moisture areas. Basements, bathrooms, garages, and any other area that is susceptible to high moisture should be devoid of engineered wood. If this type of flooring comes in contact with a vast amount of moisture or water, warping and cracking is possible, though this is also true with most other kinds of wood flooring.
Other drawbacks include the fact that engineered wood can fade if placed in direct sunlight. Still, this type of flooring proves to be highly durable, warmer than stone or laminate, and aesthetically appealing. When compared to other types of flooring, engineered wood is often a wise investment.
Installation-wise, engineered floors are a dream. These floors are made in three different ways that include easy installation. Floating floors interlock piece by piece, nail-down floors can be nailed into existing sub-flooring, and glue-down floors can be glued to sub-flooring. Unlike natural hardwood, this type of flooring does not have to be nailed to a sub-floor if glue-down or floating floor options are chosen.
Some homeowners may shy away from engineered wood, since it is far more expensive than laminate. However, laminate does not last as long as engineered wood does. In addition, laminate flooring must be ripped out and restored if damage occurs, though engineered wood can be re-sanded to restore its luster.