What is Engineered Hardwood?
If you’re shopping for hardwood floors in Dallas TX you’ve likely come across the term “engineered hardwood.” It’s often sold right alongside regular hardwood, but what’s the difference? Engineered hardwood is a more eco-friendly, moisture-friendly and temperature-flux tolerant alternative to regular hardwood. They’re about the same price, so if you’re set on the warmth of wood flooring for your home, engineered flooring is an option worth exploring.
What is Engineered Hardwood?
Engineered hardwood is the flooring version of veneer furniture. A thin layer of regular hardwood, like oak or walnut, is cut and placed on a sturdier base material. The base material is often treated, man made or otherwise manipulated to make it more resilient than any natural wood is alone. The resulting planks look like hardwood but withstand temperature and moisture fluctuations far better than plain hardwood.
What are the Benefits?
Engineered wood offers the same surface durability and longevity that traditional hardwood does, but the benefits don’t end there. Engineered wood has a few extra tricks up its sleeve.
With base prices comparable to traditional hardwood, engineered wood is:
- Warp-Resistant: Engineered wood is designed to hold its shape over time better than traditional hardwood. Maintaining traditional hardwood floors in Dallas TX can take some work. Extreme, dry heat can cause boards to buckle and crack over the years. Because engineered hardwood has only a thin veneer of its primary wood, it can more readily withstand temperature extremes.
- Moisture-Resistant: The core of engineered wood can withstand moisture more readily than hardwood, making it a great choice for kitchens and even some basements.
- Cheaper To Install: Interlocking and “floating” engineered choices are often significantly cheaper and faster to install than traditional hardwood
- Real Wood: Unlike laminate hardwood, which just replicates the look of wood, engineered wood uses a layer of real wood. You can’t beat the real thing.
- Eco-Friendly: Dozens of veneer strips for engineered wood can be made with the same amount of hardwood it takes to make one traditional plank. It conserves trees and gives slow-growing hardwood groves more time to recover from harvesting.
- Hundreds of Options: The wood options for engineered wood are almost limitless. Because it only takes a thin sheet of the real wood, luxury wood options may be more affordable than they would be as a solid hardwood plank.
Are There Disadvantages?
If you’re liking what you’ve heard so far, you’re in luck. There are no major disadvantages to engineered hardwood. For many people, the decision often comes down to a sense of authenticity. Some people simply like knowing that they have solid hardwood floors. If it makes no difference to you, or you prefer to stay eco-friendly no matter what, engineered wood is likely your best choice.
There are a few factors that can come into play between different brands and price points of engineered wood. These factors may never be an issue when you shop high quality brands, but it’s important to be aware of them.
- Veneer Thickness: Value brands sometimes have ultra-thin veneers that can’t be sanded and refinished to buff out scratches or change the color. Even thick veneers can only be refinished a limited number of times, but most people will never refinish their floors often enough for it to matter.
- Core Layers: Your veneer is all about appearance. The base is what makes it good, solid floor. The base the veneer is laid on must be made out of a quality material for your floor to have longevity. Low quality brands cut corners on discount materials that are more likely to warp.
- Off-Gasing: All engineered wood is made with glues, resins and finishes that can potentially off-gas. If indoor air quality is a concern for you, it’s important to choose higher grade brands that are properly sealed and possibly certified low-VOC.
At Peek’s, we understand the quality local homeowners expect and the weather conditions your flooring will have to withstand throughout the seasons. We stock premium, worry-free engineered hardwood floors for Dallas TX homes.
What About Maintenance?
Like traditional hardwood, engineered hardwood can’t be wet mopped. Sweeping and polishing are the way to go. Good quality veneer can be refinished when it starts looking dull and scuffed. Interlocking brands have an added bonus. If one panel gets seriously damaged, you may be able to remove and replace just the damaged area. It’s a good idea to buy an extra box of planks if you opt for this type of floor. Ask about interlocking options at our showroom for more information.
If longevity or conservation are your top priorities, engineered hardwood is an ideal choice for your home. If you’re interested in browsing engineered hardwood floors in the Dallas TX area, stop by Peek’s Floor Co. today.