Engineered flooring has gained immense popularity in Melbourne in the last 5 years. There are many reasons that have contributed to this, which is why this doesn’t come as a surprise. For one, it offers a feasible, durable and more eco-friendly alternative to hardwood floors. Moreover, it is also easier to install and is eco-friendly as well. Unlike hardwood, engineered wood floors not only have higher strength, but they are also able to better withstand changes in temperature and humidity, making them a lot more resilient to changes in their surroundings. But the two key factors that really work for engineered flooring is its close resemblance to hardwood flooring, that too, at a fraction of the cost. In fact, it is nearly impossible to tell them apart after installation.
What is engineered flooring?
Sometimes, people confuse engineered, hardwood and laminate flooring. While they might look similar, these are widely different from each other. Laminate flooring simply has a printed surface layer that resembles wood and hardwood flooring will be completely made from solid wood, whereas engineered floors are a multi layered flooring that uses real wood as of its layers. In fact, the total number of layers could range from 3 to 12, comprising of a top wear layer made from hardwood veneer, and faster-growing softwood or plywood making up its core. Each of these layers are glued and heat pressed together, to form a single sturdy plank. During bonding, these layers are cross grained, which reduces the chances of the planks changing its size due to fluctuations in temperature or humidity, and also helps to impart more strength to the plank as a whole.
Based on the number of layers, there are three common types of engineered flooring: 3-Ply, Multi-ply and HDF core.
The Multiple Benefits of choosing Engineered Flooring
- Suitable for most indoor areas, including basements, kitchens and bathrooms
- Possible to choose a plank width as per your needs (not possible with most hardwood planks)
- Easy to install and can work with most sub-floors
- Maintenance is easy and fuss free
- Comparatively easier to repair or replace worn-out or damaged flooring
- Eco-friendly, as it uses only a thin layer of hardwood, which is a precious slow-regenerating natural resource
How to choose the best engineered flooring for your home?
Despite all their advantages, not all engineered floor planks are made the same. Depending upon the manufacturer and design, there would be variations in the type of hardwood layer, as well as the total number of layers and the quality of the core, among other things. It is therefore a wise idea to consider some basics before you invest in your new floor.
- Thicker wear layer
The thickness of the top hardwood layer will decide on how many times you could polish or sand the floor. Over time, it is natural for this layer to wear down, and need some refinishing or sanding. However, if this layer is very thin, it limits the number of time you can sand it before reaching the base layers of the flooring. This is why, choosing a thicker wear layer will ensure a longer life for your flooring.
- Core Strength
You should always ask about what makes up the core of the flooring you are considering. A high-quality plywood core will be able to better withstand fluctuations in temperature and humidity, as it has more flexibility. While this might come at a small price premium, it is well worth the investment.
- Number of Layers
Needless to say, the higher the number of layers in the plank, the higher its durability. While 3-Ply might be more economical, it certainly won’t be as strong as multi-ply, which can tolerate higher foot traffic.
- Indoor Décor
The design possibilities are really wide when you choose engineered flooring. You could choose any wood type from oak and timber to engineered oak flooring for your Melbourne property. You can also choose from an array of finishes and patterns that align with your design preferences, and the rest of your décor.
- Comparison of Samples
You could always ask your flooring provider to share some samples before you make your final choice. This will help you get a much better sense of the thickness, finishes and colours of each of the products, and narrow down on what would look best in your home.
- Manufacturer Warranty
Even though engineered timber flooring prices are lower than hardwood floors, it is a significant cost nonetheless. Having a longer manufacturer warranty will take care of minor concerns and wear, giving you peace of mind while you enjoy your flooring.
Over and above these factors, you could also extend the life of your floors by regular cleaning and maintenance, in line with the manufacturer recommendations. Engineered floors are a great option for people looking to upgrade their flooring without exhausting their complete budgets. CQ Flooring in Melbourne is a trusted flooring solutions provider that offers consultation and guidance to buyers looking for a floor makeover, for both residential as well as commercial projects.
Infographic created by FCA Floor Covering Associates, Offering Waterproof Luxury Vinyl Flooring and More