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Engineered Wood Flooring Types
Engineered wood flooring is a great flooring choice for all sorts of residential and commercial properties. More and more people nowadays are opting for engineered wood flooring, motivated by different reasons to choose this advanced type of real wood flooring. There are hundreds of reasons why you would pick up this type of high-quality, durable, and beautiful floor and all these reasons boil down to the specific, very advanced and innovative structure of engineered wood flooring. Despite the fact that there are still people confusing engineered wood to be the same thing as laminate, engineered wood is actually made out of natural wooden materials only and it is categorised as real wood flooring just like solid wood and parquet floors.
However, unlike solid wood, engineered wood is not cut from a single piece of timber. The structure of engineered wood is very unique, consisting of layers of plywood, softwood, or other wooden materials that are glued together crisscrossed. This structure forms the core of every engineered wood floorboard that is then topped with a thick layer of hardwood available in the whole variety of wood species used for manufacturing of solid wood flooring too. The main reason for this advanced and specific design of the engineered wood floorboards is to make this type of flooring significantly less prone to moisture and humidity damage, the impact of temperature fluctuations too. Unlike solid wood flooring, engineered wood floors can be installed in areas of higher moisture content and humidity, such as the kitchen, bathroom, basement, conservatory, practically anywhere. With engineered wood flooring you don’t need to worry about issues and damages caused by moisture, while the contraction and expanding of the floorboards will be significantly decreased thanks to the unique core of crisscrossed layers of the boards that allows more flexibility, better structural integrity, and better stability and durability allowing the floor to withstand almost everything and last for many decades.
Engineered wood flooring comes with a long list of benefits and advantages over the majority of the flooring options available on the market. It is a great solution in many situations and projects when the installation of a solid wood floor is either not recommended or impossible. Engineered wood combines the classic beauty of hardwood flooring with improved durability, stability, functionality, comfort. By now, you are probably convinced that engineered wood flooring is what you want to invest in with your next building or home improvement project. However, before you rush to the flooring showroom or store, make sure to learn more about the different types of engineered wood flooring and what will suit your project and meet your requirements the best.
Engineered Wood Categories by Grades
Wood flooring grades are divided into four different categories, each of them dividing the wood floorboards depending on the content, amount, and size of natural patterns such as knots and swirls and sap of the floorboards. Remember, the grade of a wooden floorboard has nothing to do with its quality or durability, it only marks its natural appearance and pattern, depending on the part of the tree the boards are cut from, the wood species, and other factors.
The wood floor’s grade is usually a matter of personal taste and preferences. The four different grade categories applied to engineered wood as well as solid wood floors are prime, select, natural, and rustic. Prime is the category that includes engineered wood floors with the least amount and content of sap, knots, natural pattern. This pretty much means that engineered wood floorboards falling under the prime grade category have a naturally simple and clean appearance.
On the other side of the spectrum is the rustic grade category that includes wooden floorboards with a very distinctive, even unique appearance and a rich and beautiful natural pattern. Rustic grade engineered wood floorboards add a lot of character and make a statement whenever they are installed. The engineered wood flooring grade you will choose depends on what will best suit your interior design and your personal preferences and requirements.
Engineered Wood Categories by Thickness
Engineered wood floorboards can also range on the basis of thickness. The thickness of the engineered wood floorboards normally refers to the thickness of the top layer of hardwood that is called lamella. The thicker this top layer is, the stronger and more durable the floorboard is and the more time it will allow to be sanded. Be aware that the price of thicker engineered wood floorboards is also higher.
The thickness of the engineered wood floorboards usually ranges from 14/3 to 20/6, where 14 mm stands for the thickness of the entire board and 3 mm stands for the thickness of the lamella layer and the same applies for the highest numbers – 20 mm stands for the thickness of the entire board and 6 mm stands for the thickness of the top layer. Choose the thickness of the floorboards carefully, especially if you are considering the installation of an underfloor heating system too. The highest thickness is not necessarily the best choice for all wood floor installation projects as some of them may be more specific and require thinner engineered wood floorboards.
Engineered Wood Categories by Width
Just like solid wood flooring, engineered wood floorboards are available in different parameters and width. There are narrow and wider and broader engineered wood floorboards available on the market and what option you are going to choose usually depends on your personal taste and preferences and the interior design and atmosphere you would like to achieve. Remember, broad and wide engineered wood floorboards can contribute to some interiors by making them appear more spacious and wider.
However, when installed in very small and narrow areas, such floorboards can achieve the opposite and easily make the space look and feel even smaller. Sometimes, narrow and smaller engineered wood floorboards may be the better solution depending on the specifics of the room and space. You are recommended to speak to an interior design specialist or a wood flooring expert in order to make the right decision and choose the right floorboard width that best fits your project.
Engineered Wood Categories by Installation Method
Engineered wood flooring allows a lot of freedom, convenience, and flexibility when it comes to its installation. Engineered wood floorboards can be installed following the conventional methods of glueing and nailing them down to the subfloor or an underlayment layer. However, engineered wood floorboards can also be installed in the floating way, which does not involve the usage of nails, screws, or floor adhesive.
This is a great opportunity to have your engineered wood floor installed even over a problematic subfloor that cannot be completely dry and levelled for some reason or on top of an underfloor heating system. Make sure to speak to a wood floor installation specialist to determine and estimate the best installation method of an engineered wood floor depending on the specifics of your project.