Economical Engineered Hardwood Flooring
Everyone can agree that hardwood flooring looks great and adds value to any property. But solid hardwood flooring does have its share of limitations. Expensive material and installation costs, susceptibility to moisture damage, and sensitivity to humidity are only some of the problems with solid hardwood flooring.
Engineered hardwood flooring eliminates many problems associated with solid hardwood flooring. Most of the time, engineered floors are easier on the wallet and on the environment too. Engineered hardwood flooring is also easier to install and to care for. But the main reason you would choose an engineered floor is because it is more resistant to moisture, humidity and structural damages.
What is Engineered Hardwood Flooring?
A solid hardwood floor consists of one single block of wood. On the other hand, an engineered floor consists of layers of woods glued together with a finished layer of hardwood on top. The top most layer of wood can be maple, oak, cherry or even antique wood. You can also buy an engineered wood floor in any finish of your choice.
A true engineered hardwood floor is different from laminated and veneer wood floors. A laminate floor only has an image of wood on the upper surface and cannot be sanded or refinished. A veneer board has an underlying board made of fiber or other composite wood product. An engineered wood floor on the other hand can be either of the following:
Sandwich floors are made up of many layers of wood glued together. The upper most layer is made of an expensive high quality wood. The underlying layers of wood are chosen for their weather resistant properties. Wood grains in successive layers run perpendicular to each other. As a result the engineered floor is much more stable than a solid hardwood floor.
Finger core construction boards
In these boards, small pieces of wood form the base that is covered by plywood. The upper most layer is a finished piece of wood.
Globally engineered wood floors are rapidly gaining popularity due to their ease of installation and stability. Engineered wood floors can be installed in areas like the basement where a solid hardwood floor would not be able to withstand the moisture. Remember that a vapor barrier must be installed below an engineered floor. The single most important factor fueling the popularity of engineered floors is its relatively lower cost compared to solid hardwood flooring.
Why is an Engineered Wood Floor Economical?
- Cost savings in material purchase – The engineered wood floor has cheaper wood as its base. Only the top most layer needs to be of the exotic and expensive variety. Wood strips that are left over from quarter sawing large planks can be used as the base. This translates into cost savings in the price of the engineered floor. If you are looking for an exotic wood floor or an expensive flooring material like maple, there are significant savings when choosing an engineered floor.
- Cost savings in installation – An engineered floor is ready to install when it arrives at your home. You don’t need to sand it down. If you have chosen a finished engineered wood floor, you don’t even need to finish it on site. An engineered floor can be installed as a floating floor. You just need to install a vapor barrier, cut the engineered floor in suitable pieces and put it in place. You don’t need to glue it or nail it in place. You may do it on your own or get it professional installer. Either way, a significant amount of money can be saved in direct installation costs.
- Time value of money – An engineered floor can be installed very quickly. Thus your commercial establishment can be in business or you can rent your vacation rental property much sooner. If you are living in a rented unit and are waiting to move in to your dream house – an engineered floor can help you realize your dream faster and help save money in the meantime.
- Cost savings in care and maintenance – An engineered floor can tolerate moisture well. That means that it is unlikely to warp due to moisture. You thus end up saving money on water proofing and replacement of damaged sections of the wood floor.
Apart from the direct out of pocket expenses, an engineered floor also saves on indirect environmental costs. The wood that forms the base is made from faster growing varieties of wood. If you want an exotic engineered floor, fewer trees in a rain-forest will need to be cut to meet your needs. The veneer on top is sliced and not sawn. This means that even the sawdust is not wasted!
When you consider the fact that an engineered floor is much less likely to be damaged from moisture, it suddenly seems that it is, not just an economical, but an environmentally sound choice as well. Contempo Floor Coverings sells engineered wood floors from many reputable manufacturers. You can choose from a wide range of finishes and species from amongst the wood floors available at any of our stores.