Wooden floors give a heart to your home, with their warm tones and rich woodgrain complexity. The problem many find with traditional hardwood floors, though, is they can be expensive, tricky to lay, and fairly high in maintenance.
If you want the look and feel of real wood without the restrictions and upkeep, then engineered hardwood flooring may just be for you. This floor type has the same qualities as timber but is easier to install, and it is more stable when in contact with heat or moisture.
Keep reading to find out what to look for if you want the best engineered hardwood flooring for your next floor.
Finding High-Quality Engineered Hardwood Flooring
1. The Thicker, the Better
Engineered hardwood is made up of two separate wood-based materials: the inner core consists of several layers of either hardwood, plywood or high-density fiberboard that are layered cross ways with each new board; and the finished surface is a thinner layer of hardwood.
Lower quality floors might have as few as three layers, while the best engineered hardwood flooring may boast up to 12. The more layers you have, the more resilient and durable your flooring will be, so bear that in mind when choosing your floor, with five layers being the minimum.
2. A Variety of Durable Hardwood Species
The purpose of engineered hardwood is to make your home both beautiful and functional, with minimum fuss. To this end, the best engineered hardwood flooring will only use durable, quality hardwood in its top layer.
The harder the top layer, the less resistant your floor will be to dings and scrapes, so choose an engineered flooring type that has a high Janka rating. Durable red oak is a favorite with wood-lovers and has a Janka rating of 1290, which is a good reference point to judge your engineered hardwood flooring choice against.
3. A Choice of Edges and Finishes
Once you’ve picked your wood, you’ll need to decide how it should look. A high patina means shiny floors, but it’ll also mean higher maintenance and more caution. A high-gloss finish will show up scratches and dents more easily. So, if you have pets, kids, or tend to walk around with your shoes on, you might want to choose a matte finish instead.
You can also choose the edge finish of your floorboards. Choose between traditional square edges, beveled edges to make each floorboard stand out, or micro-beveled edges for less deep and easier to keep clean.
4. A Long Lifespan
Engineered hardwood is one of the most durable flooring choices out there, with an estimated lifespan of 40 to 80 years for high-quality products.
The beauty of high-quality engineered wood is that, while it acquires those inevitable scuffs and scratches over time, you’ll be able to sand and refinish it. Low-quality versions will only take one refinish, but quality products can be refinished at least twice.
Choose the Best Engineered Hardwood Flooring
Engineered hardwood flooring is a popular choice for many homeowners and families today because of its durability, resistance to heat and moisture, and beautiful finish.
As homes with hardwood flooring are worth more in the real estate market, and engineered hardwood is still considered to be “real” wood, choosing this floor type will add value to your home when you come to sell it. So, when you’re ready to choose your engineered hardwood floor, keep these four key features in mind and you won’t go wrong.
Want to know how to maintain your hardwood floor? Take a look at these five key hardwood floor repairs you need to know about.