Engineered wood floors – How are they made?
The best engineered wood floors are built having 3-12 multiple ply layers (see picture above) that are cross layered, glued and pressed together. The inner core layers are are generally built up with either a hardwood and/or soft plywood type of material, which incorporates the tongue and groove system. The top thicker hardwood veneer wear layer is then glued and pressed on the top surface of the core. Engineered hardwood flooring is available in almost any wood species.
The benefits of using engineered wood floors include more resistance to higher moisture levels than solid wood flooring, which adds to their appeal to use in damp basements or in regions of the country that have higher relative humidity levels. Also, engineered flooring (excluding the newer Click Lock flooring) can be direct glued-down over (dry) concrete slabs above or below grade or stapled down over a wood subfloor. Quality Engineered Hardwood flooring has the same resale value as 3/4 IN. solid wood flooring, if you ever decide to sell your home.
Engineered Hardwood floors range in widths from 3-7 inches wide and in thicknesses from 3/8 – 3/4″ they also come in a wide variety of domestic and exotic hardwood species and some are even available in the popular hand scraped styles. Some brands of engineered flooring have a thin .6 mm wear layer that can only be re-coated and cannot be sanded and refinished new again once they get worn. They have an average lifespan of between 20-30 years depending on traffic. Other brands or styles can have a thicker 2 – 6 mm thick wear layer that can be completely sanded and refinished 1- 5 times if they ever needed to be. These thicker wear layer engineered floors can last from 40 – 80 years before having to be replaced which add to their appeal.