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Engineered Wood Flooring: What Is It?


Hardwood flooring has been a longtime favorite in homes because of its beauty and durability. However, there are some downfalls including cost and poor water resistance. These downfalls gave rise to a new option for consumers: engineered wood flooring. In this article, we’ll talk about what it is and some of its advantages and disadvantages to help you decide if it may be the right choice for you.

Engineered Wood Flooring: What Is It?

Hardwood flooring has been a longtime favorite in homes because of its beauty and durability. However, there are some downfalls including cost and poor water resistance. These downfalls gave rise to a new option for consumers: engineered wood flooring. In this article, we’ll talk about what it is and some of its advantages and disadvantages to help you decide if it may be the right choice for you.

Does engineered wood flooring vary in quality?

Yes, flooring quality—and therefore the cost—is dependent upon the number of plywood layers, the number of finish coats, the thickness of the wear layer and the overall thickness of the plank.

  • Good: 3-ply construction; 1-2 mm wear layer; 5 finish coats; 10- to 15-year warranty; 1/4 inch thick; $3-$5 per sq. ft.
  • Better: 5-ply construction; 2-3 mm wear layer; 7 finish coats; 15- to 25-year warranty; 1/4 inch thick; $6-$9 per sq. ft.
  • Best: 7-9-ply construction or more; 3 mm-plus wear layer; 9 finish coats; 25-year-plus warranty; 5/8 to 3/4 inch thick; $10-$14 per sq. ft.

What is engineered wood flooring?

Unlike solid hardwood flooring, engineered wood flooring is constructed with only a thin top layer of hardwood (including hickory, red oak and Brazilian Cherry to name a few) and a thicker, high-quality plywood base. The layers of plywood create dimensional stability which makes this type of flooring less susceptible to warping and flexing. There’s no sanding and finishing required since the planks usually come pre-finished, and they’re easy to install through stapling, nailing, clicking or gluing. The thickness ranges from 3/8” t 1/2” and the average width is 3.25”. Invented in the 1960s, engineered wood flooring currently comprises about 30 percent of all wood flooring sold in the U.S.

What are the advantages of engineered wood flooring?

One of the biggest advantages engineered wood flooring has over solid hardwood is its higher resistance to moisture. Because the plywood base is dimensionally stable, it will not distort as easily and stand up to a limited amount of water. It can be installed below grade if the area is protected against moisture, but is still not recommended for kitchens, bathrooms or laundry rooms unless you place a rug in the extremely damp areas. Engineered wood flooring is also easy to clean with a microfiber cloth and wood floor cleaner. Plus, since it has a layer of real hardwood, it can be advertised as such and can help the resale value of your home.

What are the disadvantages?

One of the major disadvantages, despite its water resistance, is that engineered wood flooring is not as durable as solid hardwood. The surface is thin and can be susceptible to chipping or delaminating with time and stress, which also limits the amount of sanding and refinishing it can handle. Another slight disadvantage is there are simply not as many wood options available as there are in solid hardwood.

Overall, engineered wood flooring can be a great option for homeowners who love the look of wood, but need a more practical, less expensive solution. The good news is, the Synchrony HOME™ Credit Card can help you get the flooring of your dreams—no matter the style—with promotional financing* offers ranging from 6 months to 60 months, available at participating retailers, with convenient monthly payments. Visit mysynchrony.com/welcomehome to learn more.

*Subject to credit approval. Minimum monthly payments required. Promotional financing options available at time of purchase may vary by location. See store for details.

https://www.hometips.com/diy-how-to/installing-hardwood-floors.html

https://www.thespruce.com/engineered-hardwood-vs-solid-flooring-1821677

https://www.thisoldhouse.com/ideas/13-must-know-appliance-buying-tips

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