Engineered Hardwood Floors

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Introduction to Engineered Hardwood Floors

As installation of engineered hardwood floors has become an increasingly popular choice for both homeowners and builders alike, it’s worthwhile to review some basic information if you are hoping to purchase or refinish engineered hardwood floors now, or in the future.

 

What Engineered Hardwood is NOT

  • Engineered hardwood is not to be confused with laminate flooring – laminate is simply particle board (not solid wood) with a photograph of wood (or some other man-made product) serving as the top layer. Laminate cannot be sanded or refinished.
  • Engineered hardwood is not the same as solid hardwood. This, in and of itself, is neither a good or bad thing.

 

What Engineered Hardwood IS

  • Engineered hardwood has a real wood top/wear layer, glued to a multi-layer core typically made of plywood.
  • The real wood wear layer is available in almost any hardwood species and can range in thickness from 0.6mm to over 4.5mm. (Thickness and hardness is not the same thing within this context.)
  • The real wood wear layer can be relatively soft (fir is a good example) or relatively hard (Brazilian Cherry is a good example). Red Oak is a good, benchmark species of wood in terms of hardness.
  • Most engineered hardwood products are coated with a finish (a finish such as aluminum oxide) that is very tough. Despite their toughness, these finishes do scratch and dent and eventually some method of refinishing (either sanding or recoating) is required.
  • Engineered hardwood often demonstrates greater moisture stability than solid hardwood as its multiple-ply core counteracts twisting and swelling in moist conditions.
  • Engineered hardwood’s moisture stability makes it an ideal choice for installation over radiant heat sources.
  • Engineered hardwood is installed typically utilizing one of the following processes – nail down, glue down or floating.
  • A floating floor refers to an installation method that does not require the flooring to be nailed or glued to the subfloor. There is typically a gap between the floating floor and the walls to decouple them and allow for expansion; this gap is covered with skirting boards or mouldings.

 

Refinishing Engineered Hardwood Floors

At Woodsmith Hardwood Floors, we have built a strong 22-year reputation for providing trustworthy, expert advice and cost-effective options to our customers.

We have successfully refinished and recoated engineered hardwood floors of various thicknesses in the past using the following approach:

We measure the thickness of the existing wear layer to ensure the sanding process will preserve an adequate wear layer.

We determine the manner in which the floor was installed – whether it be floating or nail/glue down.

We make sure we don’t under any circumstances compromise the integrity of your floor – we will err on the side of caution if there is any doubt about sanding a thin wear layer.

In cases where we determine sanding is not a viable option, we may still be able to recoat the floor.

Using an abrading technique, surface scratches and other surface imperfections may be removed and the floor sealed using a durable, 2-component water-based finish that bonds to the floor both mechanically and chemically.

Recoating can be an effective alternative to sanding that produces excellent results, extends the life of your engineered hardwood floor, while saving you money.

For an honest and trustworthy appraisal of your engineered hardwood floors, contact us today and let us provide you with the expert advice that delivers outstanding results.

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