Au contraire mon fraire…..Engineered flooring is anything but fake. In fact engineered flooring is some of the toughest, longest lasting wood flooring on the market. There are several benefits to this type of floor and when it comes to prefinished engineered flooring, you have thousands of options. In fact, it can be quite overwhelming so below we’ll go over some things to consider.
When looking over the vast selection of engineered flooring, one of the first things you will want to find out is if the flooring you are interested in is an import product or domestically made. Import products tend to be cheaper due to lower cost of labor by they are also prone to more manufacturing defects as import floors usually come from places that have fewer manufacturing guidelines than we do here in the good ole USA. Imported flooring are also notorious for using inferior materials in the construction of their flooring too. American made floors, while at times a little more expensive, tend to be far superior. The manufacturing guidelines that mills must follow insure a consistent floor and good manufactures only use the highest quality materials in producing their flooring.
Another thing to research when looking at engineered flooring is how the “Core”, or base layer of the floor is made. Some manufactures use a soft wood core and others use a hardwood core. The core of an engineered floor gives it its stability. Have you ever stepped on a floor and it feels like there is a hole in it or look across the room to see small peaks and valleys – kind of a rolling wave look? These imperfections are typically from an inferior core which more times than not are a soft wood core. You want an engineered floor with a hardwood core. In fact, you want a hardwood core whose layers run in alternating directions to minimize movement. These quality engineered floors can be hard to find, but retailers like The Hardwood Center have several options to choose from.
Just like the material that makes up the core of an engineered floor, the material that makes up the bottom layer is important too. Some manufacturers have a nice hardwood top layer, with a soft wood core and the have a different species of wood all together on the bottom layer which all together leads to an inferior floor with potential issues. Look for an engineered floor that uses the same species of wood for the bottom layer that is used for the top layer. The purpose of this type of construction is to make sure that if there is any movement, the entire board moves together rather than against itself thus being much more stable. An engineered floor with the same species of wood on the top and bottom lay that also has a hardwood core is the very best way to go for your new prefinish floors. Again, this type of flooring isn’t found in every retailer’s shop.
You’ll also want to consider the length of board that comes in a box of flooring. Many import products and lower end domestic products have really short board averages in their boxes of flooring with some even having a uniform length in their boxes. This gives the floor a choppy or tiled look. In today’s open floor plan homes, random length boards with long averages make for an absolutely beautiful floor that you’ll be pleased with for years to come. The engineered flooring that you can get from The Hardwood Center has a 6 foot piece of flooring in every box (which is rare) plus a nice variance of random length boards to round out each and every box.
Outside of the quality construction of a good engineered floor, some other benefits include price and ease of installation. Once you factor in the material, installation and finishing of an unfinished floor, you are about at the price of a quality prefinished engineered floor installed. Speaking of installation, installing this type of floor can usually be completed in one day (after proper acclimation of course) where the installation of an unfinished floor takes multiple days just to get them laid, sanded and finished…….then you have to wait and let the finish harden before the floor can be used. Oh and with prefinished engineered flooring there is no sanding which is huge!!
It is also relatively easy to replace a board in an installed prefinished engineered floor if you ever had and many of these floors boast a 50 year warranty! All the more reason to consider a quality American made prefinished engineered floor for your home or business